DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES TERROR ATTACKS DOWN, GOVT TOLD HOUSE WORLD 18monthsaftersplit, downgrade,4Gmobile InternetbackinJ&K ‘AMERICA IS BACK’: BIDEN VOWS NEW ERA IN FOREIGN POLICY SPEECH Pre-paid SIMs will get access after verification as per post-paid connection norm PAGE 14 Expert panel turns down emergency use plea for Pfizer’s shot PRABHA RAGHAVAN NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 5 AN EXPERT body under India’s apex drug regulator has recommended against granting approval to Pfizer’s Covid vaccine under emergency circumstances, prompting the American drug giant to withdraw its request. Official records show the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) under the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) made the recommendation to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) due to concerns over Serious Adverse Events (SAEs). The committee also noted that additional safety information had not been generated from local trials of the vaccine developedwith Germanbiotech firm BioNTech. TheSEChas,meanwhile,recommended that permission be granted to Bharat Biotech to initiate Phase 1 human trials of a single-doseintranasalCovidvaccine developed by Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis and licenced to the Hyderabad firm. The vaccine, which would be squirted into the nose and inhaled,isaimedatovercominglogistical difficulties with mass vaccination and reducing costs by doing away with the requirement for needles and syringes. The CDSCO’s expert panel alsorecommendedthatpermission be granted to Serum Institute of India (SII) to conduct phase2/3clinicaltrialsof aCovid CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & ARUN SHARMA At the kisan mahapanchayat in Shamli district of western Uttar Pradesh on Friday. Abhinav Saha Told farmers we can Greta to cane dues: amend laws... issue in UP farmers rally in only 1 state: Tomar support of protesters In RS, says Cong misleading farmers AMIL BHATNAGAR HARIKISHAN SHARMA SHAMLI, MUZAFFARNAGAR, FEBRUARY 5 SIGNALLING THAT the governmentisreadytoamendthethree agriculture laws at the centre of protestsbyfarmerunions,Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told Parliament Friday that he had made such a suggestion to the delegation of farmers while making clear that this should not mean that there was a “mistake in the laws”. Defending the laws, Tomar, while participating in a Rajya SabhadiscussionontheMotionof ThanksonthePresident'sAddress, FROM GRETA Thunberg to sugarcane dues to communal harmony — a mahapanchayat in Shamli on Friday, meant to rally western UP support for the farm protests, saw speakers explain a host of issues to an estimated 10,000-strong crowd. Themahapanchayatwasheld against the backdrop of a call by BKU’s Rakesh Tikait to mobilise support for the farmer agitation; a similar one was held last week in Muzaffarnagar, which too saw roughly 10,000 people in attendance.Acallforanothersuchma- NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 5 Minister Tomar in Rajya Sabha on Friday. ANI said the protest against the laws was an issue in “only one state” where people had become “victims of misunderstanding”, and thishadbecomea“burningissue”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In Baghpat, protest leaders get notices to sign Rs 2-lakh bond to ‘ensure peace’ P7 MANISH SAHU LUCKNOW, FEBRUARY 5 AFTER SAMBHAL and Sitapur in UP,theBaghpatdistrictadministrationhasissuednoticestoleaderslinkedtothefarmers'protests againsttheCentre'snewagriculture laws, asking them to sign personal bonds worth Rs 2 lakh to “ensure peace” is maintained. THE EXPRESS INTERVIEW RAKESH TIKAIT BKU SPOKESPERSON THE EDITORIAL PAGE DEARNATIONALISTS BY PRATAP BHANU MEHTA PAGE 10 THE CITY CHAKKA JAM TODAY, BUT CAPITAL OFF LIMITS PAGE 4 hapanchayat, in Amroha, has been made for Sunday. Friday’s mahapanchayat was addressed by RLD national vicepresident Jayant Chaudhary CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY NEW DELHI, JAMMU, FEBRUARY 5 ONE-AND-A-HALF YEARS after curtailing Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir, the government on Friday ordered the restorationof 4GmobileInternet in all of the Union Territory. “4G mobile internet services being restored in entire J&K,” J&K administration spokesperson RohitKansalpostedonTwitteron Fridayevening.Sourcesinthegovernment said 4G mobile Internet might return by midnight. The decision comes as the government faces increasing criticism at home and internationally for imposing curbs on the Internet, widely seen as a core human right. The official order issued by Principal Secretary to the J&K government Shaleen Kabra said the restrictions were being revoked “except to the extent that CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Relief in UT as traders, hoteliers and teachers welcome govt’s move NAVEED IQBAL & ARUN SHARMA SRINAGAR, JAMMU, FEB 5 HOTELIERS, BUSINESSPERSONS, andthoseconnectedwitheducation in the Kashmir Valley and Jammuwelcomedthedecisionto restore 4G mobile Internet on Friday, saying it would help the economic recovery, and advance thedemocratisationofeducation through technology. “It is a welcome step and on behalf of the tourism fraternity andallstakeholders,wethankofficialswhohaverestored4Gservices in the Union Territory,” Asif Burza,presidentof thePahalgam Hoteliers' Association, said. Burzasaidthemovewillinstill asenseofconfidenceandsecurity among tourists, which will pave the industry's way to recovery. Many in Jammu could not believe thenews whenthey first CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Faruqui says safeguards flouted during his arrest, SC grants him interim bail EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 5 Former RLD MLA Veerpal Singh Rathi said he and six othersreceivednoticesfromtheadministration a day before they participatedinamahapanchayat inBarauttehsilonJanuary31.The mahapanchayat decided that farmers from the region should move towards the Ghazipur and Singhu borders to join the farm protests outside Delhi. Internet restrictions were imposed in J&K in Aug 2019. ANI MORETHANamonthafterhewas jailedinIndoreonchargesofhurtingreligioussentiments,anddays after the Madhya Pradesh High Courtpointedto“evidence/material collected so far” and rejected Munawar Faruqui his bail plea, the Supreme Court Friday ordered the release on adinterim bail of stand-up comic MunawarFaruqui. Hearing an appeal filed by Faruqui challenging the High Court order and a writ petition seeking quashing of the FIR against him, a bench of Justices R F Nariman and B R Gavai stated: “The learned counsel has pointedouttousthatquiteapart CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 KHUSHBOO NARAYAN & GEORGE MATHEW MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 5 INLINEwithstrengtheningsigns of economic recovery, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has forecast that real GDP, hit by the Covid pandemic in 2020-21, is expected to grow by 10.5 per cent in 2021-22. Signalling the unwinding of the surplus liquidity in the system, the RBI has decided to restorethe cashreserveratio—the portion of bank deposits that is kept with RBI — in a non-disruptive manner from 3 per cent to 4 per cent in two stages by May 22 E X P L A I NE D 10.5% growth in 2021-22, will raise Expenditure secy: Chose capex over handouts, CRR in two stages, says RBI E Focus on return to ● high growth WHILE IT kept the repo rate unchanged at 4% and set GDP growth target of 10.5% for 2021-22, the RBI proposed to increase CRR from 3% to 4% in two stages by May 2021 in a bid to suck excess liquidity in the system. The move will keep bond yields high. Also, RBI has allowed small investors direct access to its platform to open gilt accounts. this year. Inanother“structuralreform” intended to improve retail participation in the government securities market and to keep the cost of funds down for the centralgovernment,theRBIhasproposedtoallowsmallinvestorsdirect access to its platform. The central government plans to borrow Rs 12 lakh crore in 2021-22. Government securities are debt instruments issued by the government, and are considered to be the safest form of investment. TheRBIhaskeptthereporate — the rate at which commercial banks borrow from the central CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 will trigger growth AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 5 WORKINGWITHA“constrained resource envelope” in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic ahead of Budget 2021-22, the government essentially had to makea choice between twopolicy options: handouts and capital expenditure. “We chose capex,” TV Somanathan, Expenditure Secretary, Ministry of Finance, told The Indian Express in a post-Budget interview, responding to a question on the policy choices. TV Somanathan The 34.46 per cent hike in capital expenditure in 2021-22 over the Budget Estimate of 2020-21, tobeutilisedmostly on infrastructure sectors including rail and roads, will have a huge multiplier effect, boost investment,generatejobsandimprove incomes, he said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DELHI: 11 Feb | 5 PM For 3 yrs, govt sat on Kakodkar’s appointment to IIT-Roorkee, now has an acting chairman PAGE 1 ANCHOR RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 5 THREE YEARS since the government withheld the formal notification of scientist Anil Kakodkar’s appointment as chairman of IIT-Roorkee, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has given IIT-Hyderabad chairman, BVR Mohan Reddy, the additional charge of Roorkee. AsfirstreportedbyTheIndian Express on July 6, 2017, the HRD Ministry (now renamed MoE) under Prakash Javadekar, after seeking Kakodkar’s consent informally, had forwarded his name for the post of IIT-Roorkee chairman to then President Pranab Mukherjee in the last weekof June.However,inanunprecedented move, the formal announcement of the appointment was not made despite the President's nod. The Ministry's rethink, according to sources, was prompted by objections raised by another Cabinet Minister regarding Javadekar's decision. Anil Kakodkar Afterkeepingthepostvacant for three years, the Ministry is learnt to have moved another proposal to the President a few months ago to make Reddy IITRoorkee’s acting chairman. This was done without getting Rashtrapati Bhavan to rescind Kakodkar's appointment. "An IIT chairman's tenure is of three years. More than three years have lapsed since Pranab MukherjeeapprovedKakodkar's appointment and so, legally, the ministryisnolongerobligatedto get the approval withdrawn or revoked," said a government source. "The President's role is limited to approval of an appointment.Hisofficeisnotconcerned with whether that is officially notified or not. That's the Executive's job," said another government source when asked if Rashtrapati Bhavan had asked MoE about the appointment. MoE andRashtrapatiBhavan did not respond to questions shared by this newspaper over email. When contacted, Kakodkar said he hasn’t got any updatefrom the Ministryonthis matter since 2017 and did not wish to say anything further. Apart from assigning an acting chairperson for IIT-Roorkee, the Ministry did the same for CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 FA G S A R M G P H D F UG T D K A F N I I F JY C G U D 12 5Jan PM
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