DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2021, KOLKATA, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES SINCE 1932 WEST BENGAL EDUCATION MINISTRY ORDER Govt set to modify webinar checks as scientists object CBI reaches home of Mamata’s nephew to quiz wife in coal case AMITABH SINHA PUNE, FEBRUARY 21 THE GOVERNMENT had asked publicly funded educational institutions and universities to “seek approval” before organising online international conferences related to India’s “internal matters”. The president of the Indian Academy of Sciences had protested that the order was “too constraining”. PROTESTS FIELD DAY A demonstration against Centre’s farm laws in Barnala, Punjab, Sunday. Reuters CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘No devious centralisation. Revenue deficit grants go to states, they don’t have ideological hue of any party’ NK SINGH CHAIRMAN, FIFTEENTH FINANCE COMMISSION CM Narayanasamy tours a flooded colony Sunday. PTI of the Congress’s K LakshminarayananandrulingallyDMK’s PE-VC FUNDING PRANAV MUKUL & SANDEEP SINGH NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 21 CONTINUING TENSIONS at the borderandmeasuresadoptedby the government to check investments by Chinese firms and funds have significantly impacted the flow of investments from China into India over the past year. Data from Venture Intelligence, which looks at pri- 2019 $39.6billion $1.05billion Sep’20 Sep’19 BUSINESS AS USUAL ■ FundingfromChinaandHong Kong-basedcompanies ■ OverallFunding $36.4billion FDI FROM CHINA Cumulative FDI in USD Million; Source: DIPP BY UNNY Discharged after testing negative for Covid, CM Vijay Rupani votes in Rajkot for corporation polls. Express K Venkatesan, a Congress leader told The Indian Express: “Even if the Speaker invokes his right to vote, there is no chance of getting majority strength.” Senior officials told The Indian Express that the government could also resign on its own or be subject to a recommendation from the Lieutenant Governor’s Office for the Centre to dissolve it. However,sourcesclosetoCM Narayanasamy said they “have testingfacilitiestoKerala,inview oftheriseincasesinthestate.The other states to whom the Centre has written are Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Sources said Jammu & Kashmir has also emerged as a cause for concern, andtheauthoritiesmightbewriting to the Union territory. Warningthat“asecondwave is knocking on the door”, Maharashtra Chief Minister CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INSIDE BJP MEET PASSES RESOLUTION PRAISING PM ON COVID, FARM LAWS PAGE 4 At Abhishek Banerjee’s house on Sunday. Express SWEETY KUMARI KOLKATA, FEBRUARY 21 MARKING A new flashpoint in the tussle between the BJP-led Centre and the TMC’s state government, with Assembly elections around the corner in West Bengal, the CBI Sunday reached the Kolkata residence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee to question his wife over alleged “bank transactions” in connection with a coal pilferage case. Themovemarksthefirsttime that a central agency has sought to question a close family memberoftheChiefMinister.However, with Abhishek’s wife Rujira unavailable, the three-member CBI CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MORE REPORTS PAGE 3 Central forces march in Salt Lake, Kolkata, Sunday. Partha Paul As central forces patrol, TMC says BJP treating polls as wars Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) reached West Bengal on Saturday.ByFebruary25,atleast KOLKATA, FEBRUARY 21 125companiesarelikelytoarrive in the state to maintain CENTRAL FORCES on lawandorderduringthe Sunday started route election campaign. The marches and patrolling electionswillinclude60 in several districts of companies of the West Bengal ahead of Central Reserve Police the Assembly elections. While officials said DECISION Force(CRPF),30companies of the Sashastra the patrolling was 2021 Seema Bal (SSB), 25 aimed at boosting the WEST moraleof thevoters,the BENGAL companiesoftheBorder SecurityForce(BSF)and ruling Trinamool five companies each of Congress slammed the BJP government at the Centre, the Central Industrial Security saying “the BJP is treating polls Force(CISF)andtheIndo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). as war, and not elections”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 At least 12 companies of the EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Border tensions: funds from China down to a third of 2019 Mar’20 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AHEAD OF a floor test in the Puducherry Assembly Monday, the Congress-led government found itself on the verge of collapse with two more MLAs submitting their resignations. This pulled own the ruling coalition’s numbers down to 12 in the 33memberHousewhichhasacurrent strength of 26. With Sunday’s resignations Mar’19 INAsignificantmovedeepening their defence and security cooperation, India and Maldives Sunday signed a pact to “develop, support and maintain a MaldivesNationalDefenceForce Coast Guard Harbour” for maritime security in the region. The project is seen as key to India’s and Maldives’s strategic interests, particularly given Beijing's increasing footprint in the Indian Ocean Region. Announcing the pact, External AffairsMinisterSJaishankar,who isonavisittoMaldives,tweeted, "Glad to sign with Defence Minister @MariyaDidi the UTF HarbourProjectagreement.Will strengthen Maldivian Coast Guardcapabilityandfacilitateregional HADR ( Humanitarian AssistanceandDisasterRelief)efforts. Partners in development, FROM MONITORING mutant strains to increasing the proportion of RT-PCR tests, the Centre has written to the five states reportingasurgeincasestoimplement a multi-pronged strategy to curb the spread of Covid-19. Top government sources told TheIndianExpressthattheCentre wouldberushingmobileRT-PCR CHENNAI, FEBRUARY 21 1,985.90 2,138 2,214 2,315 2,378 2,433 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 21 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 21 ARUN JANARDHANAN Sep’18 SHUBHAJIT ROY KAUNAIN SHERIFF M Floor test in Puducherry today: Cong govt minus 2 more MLAs Mar’18 ‘Security allies’ Delhi, Male in pact for harbour REPORTP8 Centre writes to five states, Uddhav warns second Covid wave at door Education Ministry on January 15, asked all government Mar’17 1,635.70 Sep’17 1,738.90 PAGE 10 Mamata: Will not be afraid of any intimidation Gag on discussing ‘internal matters’ $3.5billion DAYS AFTER two science academies, representing over 1,500 topscientistsandacademics,expressed concern at a recent ordermandatingpriorapprovalfor holding online seminars and conferences, the government on Sunday said it will “modify” the order “soon”. Principal Scientific Advisor K VijayRaghavan and Science and Technology Secretary Ashutosh Sharma told The Indian Express thatthematterwasunderactive considerationofthegovernment. “This has been taken note of a couple of weeks ago. There is no intent to curb academic and research interactions at all. Modifications that both clarify and make enabling changes will be coming out very soon,” VijayRaghavan said. The order, issued by the `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM 2020 Source: Venture Intelligence vatecompanyfinancials,transactions,andtheirvaluationsinIndia, showthatprivateequityandventure capital funding from funds basedinChinaandHongKongfell sharply to $1.05 billion in 2020, compared to $3.5 billion in 2019. For context, overall private equity and venture capital (PEVC) investment in Indian companies increased to $39.6 billion in 2020 from $36.4 billion in the previous year. Foreign direct investment CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Spotlight on Hot Springs, Gogra in swap of proposals KRISHN KAUSHIK & DEEPTIMAN TIWARY NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 21 AIMING TO take the disengagement process in eastern Ladakh forward, India and China exchanged proposals on outstanding issues in the region during the 10th round of military-level talks between the two sides that started 10 am Saturday and continued past 2 am Sunday. Sources told The Indian Express that the proposals will be considered at the political level before being taken forward CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Signboards, slogans face BJP as it heads for west UP to woo Jats before rural polls PAGE 1 ANCHOR AMIT SHARMA & AMIL BHATNAGAR MEERUT, MUZAFFARNAGAR, FEBRUARY 21 DAYS AFTER the BKU’s Naresh Tikait suggested a social boycott of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, an MP, MLA and several leaders of the party visited Lisad village in Shamli Sunday afternoon in the first such foray by the party into ground zero of the Jat unrest A sign outside Bardaula village in Sambhal. Express over the farm laws in western Uttar Pradesh. However, anger with the BJP overthelawswaspalpable,asits Muzaffarnagar MP and Union Minister of State Sanjeev Balyan and Buldana MLA Umesh Malik, among others, were met with slogans of “Balyan Murdabad” and “Kisan Ekta Zindabad” in village Baiswal. The BJP attempt to retain its Jat base comes ahead of the zila panchayat elections. “BJPbacked candidates had won 25 of the 26 zila panchayats in west UP last time and the Jat community has a sizeable presence in at least18,”pointedoutaseniorBJP functionary. Lisad, where the BJP leaders headed on Sunday, is the native village of khap panchayat leader Baba Harikishan, who enjoys a huge following in the region. Harikrishansaidtherewasnogoing back for the community. “We clearlytoldBalyanandBhupendra Chaudhary (UP Panchayati Raj Minister)thattheCentremustrepeal the farm laws. We also informed them that sugarcane growers hadn’t been paid their dues even for the last season.” Denying that there was a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Kolkata
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