DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2020, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 22 PAGES Govt nod for Covishield in a few days: Serum WORKING FOR YOU: PM AT KISAN RAIL EVENT Govt calls for talks on Dec 30, says pressure will not work on PM ANURADHA MASCARENHAS PUNE, DECEMBER 28 REGULATORY APPROVAL for Covishield, the Indian variant of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 vaccine against the novel coronavirus,couldcome“inafewdays”, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum InstituteofIndia,saidonMonday. “By January we should have the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine licensed in India,” Poonawalla said.Pune-basedSerumhasbeen licensed by Oxford-AstraZeneca totest,manufacture,andmarket the vaccine in India. “Emergency use authorisation by the UK drug regulator for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is expected by December-end or thefirst weekof January.InIndia too, we are hoping for the regulatory approval for the Covishieldvaccineinafewdays,” Poonawalla told reporters at an online interaction. “Wemustrespecttheprocess and give the drug regulators in the UK and India enough time to reviewthedata.Noonewantsto compromise on safety and we hope for some good news in the new year,” he said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NETWORK UK STRAIN: FRESH MHA GUIDELINES PAGE 8 `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 Govt sends invite to 40 farmer unions for talks with ‘clean intention’, ‘open mind’; they say will attend HARIKISHAN SHARMA NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 28 DRIVERLESS METRO PM Modi launched India’s first train run without a driver, on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line, Monday. Amit Mehra REPORT,PAGE4 1 month of UP ‘love jihad’ law: 14 cases, 49 in jail, woman ‘victim’ complainant in only two 13 cases involve alleged forcible conversion of Hindu women to Islam MANISH SAHU LUCKNOW, DECEMBER 28 MONDAY marked one month since the BJP government in UttarPradeshpassedanewanticonversion law to check what it calls “love jihad”. Since the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, came into effect on November 28, records show that the UP Police has registered 14 cases and made 51 arrests, of whom 49 are in jail. Of these 14 cases, 13 involve Hinduwomenallegedlypressured to convert to Islam. In only two cases is the complainant the womanconcernedherself—inthe remaining 12, the complainants are her relatives. In two of them, Hindu right-wing activists intervened,holdingprotestsatthepolicestation.Inallcasesbutone,the woman involved is an adult. In eight cases, the couple are said to havebeeneitherfriendsorina‘relationship’;whileonecoupleclaim tobemarried. One case involves alleged illegal conversion to Christianity, registered against three people in Azamgarh. In two cases, the women, both married to other people, have refused to have their statements recorded, citing “social pressure”.Intwoothers,women havelevelledrapecharges.Three of the women allegedly pressured for conversion are Dalits. SRINAGAR, DECEMBER 28 AryaRajendran,a21-yr-oldcollegestudentandCPMleader, tookoath asThiruvananthapurammayorMonday. Sanjay Mohan CAPTAIN BHOOPENDRA Singh, an Army officer, had priorarranged an A-Star car, and the “incriminatingmaterial”,including “illegally acquired illegal weapons”loadedinit,weresubsequently planted on the bodies of thethreeRajouriyouthskilled in the ShopianencounteronJuly 18, according to the chargesheet filed by the J&K Police. Captain Singh, who used the alias Major Basheer Khan, is named as an accused in the chargesheet along with two civilians — Tabish Nazir from Chowgam, Shopian, and Bilal Ahmad Lone from Nikas, Pulwama.Thetwocivilianswere arrested on September 28,2020, more than two months after the killingof thethreeRajouriyouth. In the chargesheet, the three havebeenaccusedof stagingthe encounter and the evidence, then destroying this evidence and “purposefully projecting false information” as part of a criminal conspiracy with the motive of grabbing Rs 20 lakh in prize money “earmarked for genuine information”. At the Singhu border protest site on Monday. Abhinav Sinha EXPRESS NETWORK KERALA TO BRING IN LAW FOR MSP TO CROPS PAGE 8 Prime Minister today.” “Modiji has no selfish interest.Hissingle-pointprogramme is the development of the countryandthewelfareof thepeople. He is fully dedicated to the sin- The document, filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Shopian, onDecember 26,raises questionsonhowasingleofficer planned and executed the encounter without the knowledge of seniors. Also, on where the weapons — subsequently planted on thethree deceased— were obtained from. Additionally, call records of one of the numbers used by the Army officer confirm calls to a J&K police SPO, Fayaz Ahmad. His role in the incident has, however, not been made clear in the chargesheet. The SPO is to ex-BARC CEO to boost TRPs: Mumbai Police to court EKTAA MALIK NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 28 “BOLLYWOOD, IN my personal opinion, is a very democratic space... I could never have believed that an actor who looks like me could have played the protagonist in a Hindi film, like I do in Kaagaz, my upcoming film. Thiswasnotpossible10-15years ago. On afilm set everyone,from the hero to the lightman and makeup artist, they are all equal,”saidactorPankajTripathi. His comment, coming at the end of a year that saw the Hindi RAJINI BALARAJ, 32, from Thirunelli village in Kerala’s Wayanad district, has been a worker under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural EmploymentGuaranteeScheme (MGNREGS)since2006.Overthe years, she grew to become a “mate”, leading other NREGS workersinherward.Twoweeks ago, Balaraj achieved another feat: she is now one of the 2,159 NREGAworkerstohaveemerged winnersinthejust-concludedlocal body elections in Kerala. “TheNREGAworkandmyjob as a mate helped me learn a lot. I EXPRESS NETWORK AYODHYA COLLEGE PROTEST: SEDITION CHARGES DROPPED PAGE 10 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PAGE 1 ANCHOR CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 At the eAdda with Shubhra Gupta, Devyani Onial CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 prepare them for challenges outside Say curriculum needs refresh, schools must help with colleges, careers RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 28 WHEN SHREYAS Sudhaman, 22, the 2014 ICSE topper, went abroadforhisundergraduateeducation in chemical engineering at Cockrell School of Engineering,Universityof Texas, Austin, he realised that school hadn’t quite equipped him with some key skills. “I was much more suited to Include whole class in public speaking; not just a few. It’s a big differentiator in careers” TRACKING INDIA’S TOPPERS PUSHPRAJ SHUKLA, WITH MICROSOFT IN SAN FRANCISCO. CLASS 10 ICSE TOPPER IN 1999 In school, knew only about engineering colleges around Mumbai. Wish I had known Delhi colleges were better” JANVI THOSANI, CA, CLASS 10 ICSE TOPPER IN 2010 textbook problems than out-ofthe-box thinking,” he said. “When I had to do my first-year engineeringprojectwithateam, I failed to clearly communicate my ideas for the project... Report and essay writing were much harder for me than for my American classmates who are trained to organise information andpresentitinaclearmanner.” Years after their high school graduation, like Sudhaman, most of the 86 national Board toppers, tracked down by The Indian Express as part of a fourmonth investigation, say that CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MOHAMED THAVER MUMBAI, DECEMBER 28 IN A remand report submitted before a court on Monday, the MumbaiPolicesaidthatRepublic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami had paid “lakhs of rupees”toParthoDasgupta,former CEO of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), to “increase” the Television Rating Points(TRPs)of thetwoRepublic news channels. “ ..When Dasgupta was the Broadcast Audience Research Council, or BARC, CEO, Arnab Goswami and other accused in thecaseconspired to illegallyincrease the TRPs of Republic Bharat Hindi news channel and Republic TV English news channel.In orderto do that,Goswami CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE WORLD TRUMP RETREATS, SIGNS BILL TO RELEASE COVID AID PAGE 12 Lease, don’t buy: Carmakers offer a hassle-free option SANDEEP SINGH & ANIL SASI NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 28 INSTEAD OF buying new cars, users in several Indian cities are choosing to ‘subscribe’ to them – that is, to pay automakers a fixed sum every month for the useof acarforacertaintime.The country’s two biggest automobile manufacturers, Maruti and Hyundai, are seeing good traction in subscription-based flexible ownership of vehicles. Hyundai, which had started monthlyandyearlysubscription plans across its models in asso- ciation with Gurgaon-based Revv,hasseenfreshdemandthis year from cities such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. Its smaller cars Grand i10 Nios and Santro are the most popular among subscribers. Maruti Suzuki India launched a vehicle subscription scheme for individuals in September in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru, which allows customers to use a new Maruti Suzuki vehicle without actually owningit.Marutihasteamedup with Orix Auto Infrastructure Services India, a subsidiary of Japan-based Orix Corp, for the subscription programme. E E X P L A I NE D THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, DECEMBER 28 also developed a good network among people, and that helped me win,’’ said Balaraj, who belongs to a Scheduled Tribe. Accordingtoofficialdatafrom the MGNREGS State Mission, of the15,961recentlyelectedvillage panchayats members, 2,007 are MGNREGS workers. Officials say thisisprobablythelargestrepresentation of NREGS workers in panchayat bodies. Considering women make up around 90 per cent of NREGS workers in Kerala, it’s no surprise that 1,863 of the 2,007 NREGS winners at the villagelevel are women. Besides, 147 NREGS workers — 140 of them women — have been elected to various block CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 OTT must duck formula trap: Goswami paid Pankaj Tripathi, star of 2020 lakhs of rupees Big win for NREGS workers in Kerala panchayat polls, 90% of them women Toppers say schools stuck to textbook, didn’t SHAJU PHILIP gle-pointprogrammeof making agriculture prosperous and improving the economic condition of the farmers,” he said. “Jab uddeshya prati samarpan ho, desh prati samarpan ho, toh koi bhi taakat apne dabaav aur prabhaav ka istemaal neta par nahin kar paatee (when there is dedication to the purpose, dedication to the country, then no power can exert pressure and influence on the leader),” said Tomar. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Rajouri killings: Captain arranged car, weapons planted, say police NAVEED IQBAL EVENASthegovernmentinvited 40protestingfarmunionsforanother round of talks on December30,UnionAgriculture Minister Narendra Tomar seemed to draw a hard line on Monday. Stating that Prime Minister was dedicated to “improving the economic condition of farmers”, Tomar said “no power could exert pressure and influence(dabaavaurprabhaav)” on him. Addressing a separate event, Modi said the government would “keep marching on the path of strengthening Indian agriculture and farmers”. Speaking to a group of farmers who support the new farm laws, Tomar said: “At the time of the UPA government, Manmohan Singhji and Sharad Pawarji also wanted to enact these laws, but they could not withstand the pressure and influence. So they could not legislate these laws. But we are fortunate that Narendra Modiji is our Cars at Maruti’s plant in Manesar, Gurgaon. Express Archive ● Win-win potential FOR USERS who want to avoid the hassles of buying, selling, and maintaining cars, and those who may not have the money for a down payment, this can be an option to consider. For automakers, the subscription model can be a way to overcome the hurdles of slowing demand. As an alternative to outright purchase, the subscription modelallowscustomersto drive home a vehicle in lieu of a monthlyfee,andwithoutahefty downpayment.Themonthlyfee is all-inclusive, covering complete maintenance, insurance, and roadside assistance. The subscription for a Maruti Suzuki Swift Lxi is around Rs 14,500 per month. While this is not cheap, the arithmetic vis-àvispurchasingacarisasfollows: The on-road price of this car isoverRs5.5lakh.If abuyerwere to take a loan of Rs 4.5 lakh, her EMI on a 9-per-cent-loan for three years would be about Rs 14,300.However,shewouldhave also paid over Rs 1 lakh in down payment,registration,andinsurancecosts,andwouldalsoberequired to pay for the annual maintenance and renewal of insuranceduringthelifetimeof the car.If sheweretosubscribetothe car instead, she would pay around Rs 3.5 lakh over two years, and would then have the optiontobuyanewsubscription. The carmakers say the subscription model is targeted only at certain categories of customers. “There are people who don’t want the hassle of buying and selling a car every two or CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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