DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ` 90 per kilo ` 109 per kilo ` 62 per Dozen THE EXPRESS INTERVIEW COMING TOMORROW Celebrated editor MARTY BARON, who retires from The Washington Post on February 28, speaks to The Indian Express High-spend Budget will aid V-shaped recovery AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 26 Sitharaman KEYSECTORSpulledtheeconomyoutof recessioninthethirdquarterof 2020-21. Forthefullyear,GDPisstillexpectedto contract8%.WithFinanceMinisterNirmala Sitharamanbudgetingasharphikein capitalexpenditure,aV-shapedrecovery appearssustainable.This,alongwithabold privatisationandassetmonetisationplan, willgenerateresourcesforpublicinfra,and pavewayforaninvestment-ledgrowth. since data collection for IIP and CPI were impacted due to restrictions imposed in March last year in view of the pandemic. In a statement, the Finance STATE BOARD EXAMS FROM APRIL 23 PAGE 3 RITIKA CHOPRA KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 26 Forty-five days after her arrest by Haryana Police for leading an allegedly violent protest by factory workers, labour rights activist Nodeep Kaur, 23, was released from Karnal Jail on Friday evening after the Punjab and Haryana HC granted her bail earlier in the day. Express PAGE9 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 26 IN AN unprecedented move, the Boardof Governors(BoG)atIIMCalcutta has passed a resolution against Director Anju Seth for writing directly to the government against the BoG Chairman and her alleged inability to collaborate with the faculty, among other charges. In a special meeting held on February 20, the BoG resolved to “examine” Seth’s conduct as the institute'sheadandhasempowered the Secretary “to collect all documents pertaining to the same"andpresentittotheBoard at the earliest. In all likelihood, this report will come up for discussion at the BoG's special meeting called on Saturday. A showdown this serious CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Car with gelatin sticks found near Ambani home was stolen: Police EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 26 A DAY after 20 gelatin sticks weighing 2.6 kg were found in a Scorpio car parked near the South Mumbai home of billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani, Mumbai Police found that the vehicle was stolen from Vikhroli 10 days ago. In the Scorpio, which had a fake registration number and was parked close to Antilla on Carmichael Road, the police found four more fake number plates. All four bore registration ONE MONTH AFTER JANUARY 26 Ground Zero: Protest lines hard and deep, state fingers crossed... RITU SARIN CHANDIGARH, NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 26 “JAD MODI Maan Jayein” (whenever Prime Minister Modi relents),” this is the refrain at Singhu one month since the Red FortviolenceonJanuary26when protesting farmers are asked howlongtheirblockadewilllast. Mention the offer of keeping the contentious farm laws on hold for 18 months or two years and there are angry responses. “Itisrepealornothing,”saidVeer Bhan, a farmer from Panipat. “We will not compromise.” Another farm leader from Jalandhar, Amrik Singh, is busy Farmers at the protest site in Singhu on Friday. ANI countingthecollectionsatadesk with a register, a receipt book and a black bag. Rs 49,000 has come in until this afternoon. Besides a per-acre “agitation fund” pouring in, those living abroad route funds to him CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 …And Centre still sees it as Punjab problem, eye on poll-bound states RAVISH TIWARI NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 26 ONEMONTHsinceasectionofthe farmers’protestsveeredoffcourse andturnedviolentatRedFort,the stand-off between farmers and thegovernmenthasturnedintoa battle of attrition with each side hoping the other will wear down andconcede—evenwithouttalking to each other. The Government is of the view that it has lobbed the ball in the farmers’ court after its 18month hold offer on January 20 Ministry said the Q3 numbers were a reflection of the further strengthening of a V-shaped recovery, but warned that India was not yet out of the danger of the pandemic. The GDP had contracted by 23.9 per cent and 7.5 per cent in the April-June and JulySeptember quarters, respectively,markingatechnicalrecession in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. The GDP rates for Q1 and Q2 have now been revised to (-)24.4 per cent and (-)7.3 per cent, respectively. In the third quarter, the manufacturingsectorgrew1.6percent as against a contraction of 1.5 per cent in the previous quarter, and 2.9 per cent contraction in October-December2019.Theconstruction sector also gained momentum, growing 6.2 per cent in October-December 2020, as againstacontractionof7.2percent inthepreviousquarter,and1.3per cent contraction during the same periodlastyear. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Centre briefs states on phase 2 of vaccination INSIDE IIM-C Board passes resolution against director for writing to Govt: ‘improper’ and farmers believe the onus is on the establishment to step forward and secure a resolution. “The agitation has lost its edge, it doesn’t have popular support among masses outside Punjab. It will resolve itself with time,” said a senior BJP leader who was part of the meeting of office-bearers addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last weekend. At the meeting, a source said, the leadership’s message was that the farm agitation, three months on after the sit-in began CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 Economy exits recession as GDP grows 0.4% in Q3; Govt cautions pandemic risk persists THE INDIAN economy emerged out of technical recession in October-December 2020 and grew 0.4 per cent with improvement in manufacturing, construction and agriculture. According to the second advance estimates released by the National Statistical Office on Friday, the economy will, however, face a deeper 8 per cent contraction for the full year 2020-21,asagainsttheearlierestimate of 7.7 per cent. NSO’s second advance estimates are obtained by extrapolatingindicatorsliketheIndexof Industrial Production (IIP) of the firstnine months of thefinancial year. The estimates were likely to undergo “sharp revisions” REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2021, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES ` 62 per kilo ● numbersof vehiclesthatarepart of the Z-plus security convoy of the Ambani family. The registration number of the Scorpio was the same as the lead vehicle in the security convoy of Nita Ambani. Apart from the gelatin sticks, policealsofoundanoteinthecar addressed to the Ambani family. It was lying in a bag bearing the logo of the Indian Premier League team Mumbai Indians that is owned by the Ambani family. It said, "nITA bHABHI aur mKESHbhyyaaurfEMILIekjalak CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DAYS AHEAD of the scheduled second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive, the Central government on Friday held a meeting with states on the rolloutwhereitcommunicatedthat registrations will be carried out in three ways for those aged above 50 and those above the age of 45 with associated comorbidities. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Chairman of the Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration, Dr R S Sharma, chaired the high-level meeting with the health secretariesof states.Thesecondphase of the vaccine drive is scheduled to begin March 1 with a focus on citizens above 60 years of age andthosewithintheagebracket of 45-59years,withspecifiedcomorbidities. During the meeting, the states were informed that the process of registration for the beneficiaries will be through three routes: advance self-registration, where beneficiaries will be able to register themselves in advancethroughtheCO-Win2.0 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Immunisation for next group likely from mid-March TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 26 Senior citizens and those above 45withcomorbiditiescanexpect to start getting immunised from the second week of March. In Maharashtra, there is an estimated 1 crore population in this pool, Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas told The Indian Express on Friday. About8percentof thepopulation in the state is in the 60 years-plus category, and roughly 2 per cent are in the category of 45to60yearswithcomorbidities. "We have asked the government to allow 993 hospitals empanelledunderMahatmaJyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana as vaccinationcentres.Wecanscaleup CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SPIKE IN DHARAVI CASES PAGE 4 EC RELEASES POLL SCHEDULE Bengal to vote in eight phases, Assam in three; results May 2 CEC Sunil Arora (centre) with ECs Sushil Chandra, Rajiv Kumar on Friday. Anil Sharma VOTING ON DECISION 2021 RESULTS: MAY 2 ASSAM(126SEATS) March27,April1,April6 KERALA(140) April6 Bihar 2020 as template, polling stations, voting hours increased EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 26 THE ELECTION Commission announced Friday the poll schedule for four states and one Union Territory, in which West Bengal will vote in eight phases, Assam in three, and Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry together on the same day. Voting will be spread over a month between March 27 and April 29, and the results for all five Assemblies will be announced on May 2, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora told reporters. These are the last set of elections that Arora will oversee as CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MORE REPORTS PAGE 7 PUDUCHERRY(30) April6 TAMILNADU(234) April6 WESTBENGAL(294) March27,April1,April6, April10,April17,April22, April26,April29 In high-stakes Bengal battle, it’s Modi pull vs Mamata pushback RAVISH TIWARI & DIPANKAR GHOSE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 26 EVEN AS the Election Commission announced dates for Assembly elections to four states and the Union Territory of Puducherry on Friday, it's West Bengal, with its poll dates stretching for well over a month, that promises to be the most high-profile of them all. ThestakesarehighinBengal: this is an election that will be fought primarily between Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congressthatsweptthelasttwo elections,in2011and2016,winning 211 seats in the latter; and the BJP which won 0 and 3 seats respectively in those two elections.Butthestateanditspolitics have undergone a churn since BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY then — the BJP rose to win 18 of 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, with a vote share of 40.64 per cent. While the BJP hopes that the investment it has made in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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