DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, JANUARY 2, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 OXFORD-ASTRAZENECA VACCINE THE EDITORIAL PAGE PanelclearsCovishield shot,laststepbefore regulator’sapproval LOOK BEFORE YOU REFORM BY FURQAN QAMAR & KRISHNA KUMAR PAGE 8 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY SEC also considering Bharat Biotech’s application for its candidate Covaxin PRABHA RAGHAVAN NEW DELHI, JANUARY 1 Coldest night in 15 yrs, Chhattisgarh halts paddy procurement, says slogan heat, calls to kin keep Singhu warm Centre not lifting stock JIGNASA SINHA & AMIL BHATNAGAR NEW DELHI, JANUARY 1 Grieving family members in Srinagar. Shuaib Masoodi BASHAARAT MASOOD SRINAGAR, JANUARY 1 FOR ALMOST four decades, SatpalNischal hadbeenrunning a jewellery shop in the heart of Srinagar. On Thursday evening, the 70-year-old became the first person killed in Kashmir apparently for having obtained a certificate under the new domicile law,thatallowspeoplewhohave lived in Jammu and Kashmir for morethan15yearsrightstopurchase immovable property. Just a few weeks after he had obtained the certificate, Nischal was shot by suspected militants at his shop in Saraibala, and was deadbythetimehewasbrought to the nearby Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital. The Resistance Front(TRF),arecentlyfloatedmilitantoutfit,tookresponsibilityfor CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 IT'S 11 pm on December 31, the mercury creeping slowly towards 1.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest in the Capital in 15 years. At the Singhu protest site, the farmers are getting ready to ring in the New Year with hymns from the Gurbani, hot tea and some gusty sloganeering. Hundreds walk to the stage, whichhasbeengrowingsteadily since the protest began more than a month ago, to light candles on its railings. Others sit in front of it, not ready yet to go back to their tractor trolleys for the night, as police personnel keep a watch. Some march with candles to pay tribute to Guru Gobind Singh, while backstage, 20-30 men and women decorate a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 GARGI VERMA RAJNANDGAON, JANUARY 1 A NOTICE came up at the gate of a paddy procurement centre on ThursdayatSomani,56kmfrom Chhattisgarh’scapitalRaipurand 17kmfromdistrictheadquarters Rajnandgaon,tellingfarmersnot to come for the next few days as there was no space to hold more dhaan (foodgrains). Similar notices came up at several centres ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU NEW DELHI, JANUARY 1 GOODS AND Services Tax (GST) collectionsinDecember(forsales in November) rose 11.6 per cent to Rs 1,15,174 crore, the highest year-on-yeargrowthsincetheindirecttaxregimecameintoforce in July 2017. Higher festive season sales on account of Diwali in November,alongwiththerollout of new technological systems of e-invoicing, and action against tax evaders contributed to the surge in GST revenues. TheFinanceMinistrysaidthis has been the highest growth in monthly revenues in the last 21 months. “This has been due to E Indication ● of recovery INGENERAL,GSTcollectionsareanindicatorof economicactivity. Collectionshadplummetedtoarecordlowin April,followingthelockdown.However,togauge therealextentof therecovery,itisimportanttoknow howmuchof thetotalGST revenueshavebeencollectedthroughfilingof returns,andhowmuch throughrecoverydrives. the combined effect of the rapid economic recovery post pandemic and the nationwide drive againstGSTevadersandfakebills along with many systemic changes introduced recently, which have led to improved compliance”, the Ministry said. Tax experts, however, noted that for a clearer picture of the extentof theeconomicrecovery, the government should provide a breakup of GST revenues collected through filing of returns, and through recovery drives by the authorities. “The GST collections in December have been higher than expected. The collections are significantly higher as AHMEDABAD, JANUARY 1 THE INDIAN Institute of Management-Ahmedabad(IIMA)haswithdrawn anExpression of Interest (EoI) floated by it on December 4 inviting bids for reconstruction of student dormitories on the main campus, designed by the legendary American architect Louis Kahn. The decision follows strong across the state, which are currently bursting at the seams. After a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel wrote to protests from many quarters, including architects, designers, historians, alumni and Kahn's children, to the plan in the past two weeks. An official statement by the Chairman and Members of the Board of Governors of IIM-A to all ‘stakeholders’ of the institute said they were being "sensitive to the feedback from some stakeholders who are not in agreement with this approach". "We are therefore withdrawing Designed by Louis Kahn. File AMITABH SINHA & ESHA ROY PUNE, NEW DELHI, JANUARY 1 INANambitiousattempttomake scientific knowledge and data availabletoall,thegovernmenthas proposedan'opensciencepolicy' thatwillensurethattheresultsof, and information generated by, all publicly-fundedresearchisfreely accessiblebyeveryone. WORLD the Expression of Interest that wasputout."Thestatement,that added that the institute was trying to find an alternative, came two days after Kahn's children made another appeal to not pull down the buildings. However, governing council memberandPrincipalSecretary, Education,AnjuSharmatoldThe Indian Express she had no informationonthis.“Idonothaveany communication or information CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 W.H.O. GIVES EMERGENCY NOD TO VACCINE TRUMP EXTENDS FREEZE ON H-1B, OTHER WORK VISAS PAGE 12 EXPRESS NETWORK SCHOOLS RE-OPEN IN KERALA, KARNATAKA AND ASSAM PAGE 10 VHP rally through a village in MP leaves empty homes, damage and fear in its wake Many villagers yet to return; VHP denies role; 5 held; SP says police deployed PAGE 1 ANCHOR IRAM SIDDIQUE MANDSAUR, JANUARY 1 DAMAGED WINDOW panes, broken doors, walls scribbled with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and villagers scared to return to their own homes: this is the picture that Dorana village of Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district presents after a rally of an estimated 5,000 workers of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) marched the streets Tuesday with no ef- ■ States will begin inoculation dry run today (Jan 2) ■ Govt will procure vaccines from Serum Institute of India ■ 300 mn healthcare and frontline workers, those aged 50 years or older; those under 50 with comorbidities will be vaccinated first ■ In US and UK, vaccination started almost immediately after final approval ■ Aim is to complete first phase of vaccinations by August The SEC had on Wednesday sought additional information from the Pune-headquartered CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PRANAV MUKUL NEW DELHI, JANUARY 1 FLIGHTSBETWEENIndiaandthe UnitedKingdom,suspendedsince December 23 to check transmission of the new, more contagious strainofthenovelcoronavirusdetectedinthatcountry,willresume onJanuary8,thegovernmentsaid on Friday evening. There will be only 15 flights perweek for the first two weeks, the government said. Twenty-nine samples have so far tested positive for the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday. “It has been decided that flights between India & the UK will resume from 8 Jan 2021. Operations till 23 Jan will be restricted to 15 flights per week each for carriers of the two CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 After protests, IIM-A drops plan to rebuild student dorms designed by Louis Kahn RITU SHARMA Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel ■ DCGI will take final call on approval, likely in a few days Festivals, action on evaders: GST All should get free access to science journals, revenue hits record high growth public research data: new draft S&T policy E X P L A I NE D In Srinagar, jeweller killed weeks after domicile nod, militants warn of more attacks A group of protesting farmers at Delhi’s Singhu border, on Thursday night. Gajendra Yadav AN EXPERT committee under the country's top drug regulator recommended on Friday that Covishield, the Indian version of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, should be approved with certain conditions, The Indian Express has learnt. The recommendation is enormously significant, as it paves the way for India to get its first vaccine against the novel coronavirus that has killed almost1.5lakhandsickenedmore than 1 crore Indians. The recommendation of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has come two days after regulators in the United Kingdom approved the use of the OxfordAstraZeneca vaccine among the Britishpublic.Theexpertbodyin Indiawasatthetimeconsidering an application for clearance for Covishield, which is being tested andmanufacturedunderlicence by Serum Institute of India (SII). WHAT NEXT? UK flights to resume Jan 8; just 15 a week until Jan 23 Women said they had to flee their homes. Vishnukant Tiwari fectiveinterventionbythepolice. A day before, villagers had petitioned the Superintendent of Police (SP) and sought protection, citing messages allegedly being circulated on social media which called all “Hindu brothers” to join the rally from Amlawad to Dorana village in largenumberswithsaffronflags. Another message allegedly urged people to teach the “descendantsof Aurangzeb”alesson for having stopped a Hindu rally frompassingthroughDorana.An earlierrallyonDecember25was stopped from playing loud musicoutsidethemosqueinthevillage by locals. But on Tuesday, some of those in the rally climbed the same mosque and put up saffron flags. These flags wereremovedbypolicepersonnel present at the rally. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 HOUSEDEMOLITION ILLEGAL:EX-SCJUDGE THE MANNER in which a house was demolished in Ujjain, a day after a BJYM rally was pelted with stones in the area, is “absolutely illegal and an act of a police state”, former Supreme Court judge Deepak Gupta said. “This is a mockery of the rule of law. There is no power to the police to demolish structures like this,” he said. REPORT, PAGE 10 EXPRESS NETWORK IN POLICY, EQUITY & GENDER INCLUSIVITY PAGE 6 More significantly, the government has proposed to buy bulk subscriptions of all importantscientificjournalsacrossthe world, and provide everyone in India free access to them. The proposals have been made in the draft Science, Technology and Innovation Policy that was released on New Year’sDay,forinvitingcomments andsuggestionsfromthepublic. The ‘One Nation, One Subscription’policy forscientific journals is a radical move that could be a game changer for the scientific community and individual researchers. The world's best scientific journals are expensive, and sometimes even one article can cost several tens of dollars to access. Even top institutions have to be selective in subscribing to these journals. Officials said the policy aimed to buy access to between 3,000 and 4,000 high-impact scientific journals, and the government could end up spending an estimated Rs 2,000 crore to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.