DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JAISHANKAR MEETS HASINA IN DHAKA Delhireachesoutto Dhakafortiesbeyond ‘strategicpartnership’ THEZERO SUMBILL BY PRATAP BHANU MEHTA PAGE 6 EXPLAINED SIMPLY PUT LEGAL ISSUES IN HARYANA QUOTA PAGE 9 75% FOR UNDER-RS 50,000 SALARY Industry: Haryana quota law will slow 3 COPS KILLED IN MAOIST ATTACK recovery, cut jobs, bring inspector raj Could not obey junta, 19 Myanmar Three constables were killed and two others injured in a Claymore mine explosion triggered by Maoists in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand on Thursday. PTI REPORT,PAGE5 NEW DELHI, GURUGRAM, MARCH 4 THE MOVE by the Haryana government requiring that locals — born in the state or living there for five years — account for 75% of allhiringbycompaniesinjobs with gross salary under Rs50,000 permonth willpotentially slow the post-Covid economic recovery, increase compliance burden and usher in an “inspector raj,” a cross-sectionof industry representatives have told The Indian Express. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 UNEMPLOYMENT:STATE WORSE THAN NATIONAL ■ India ■ Haryana 50 4.1% 40 UnemploymentRateMonthlyTimeSeries(%) 43.2% (Apr-2020) 1.8% 30 26.4% policemen cross over to Mizoram DEVJYOT GHOSHAL NEW DELHI, MARCH 4 AT LEAST 19 Myanmar police havecrossedintoIndiatoescape taking orders from the military junta that is trying to suppress protests against last month’s coup, an Indian police official said on Thursday, adding that more were expected. The men have crossed into Champhai and Serchhip, two districts in Mizoram that share a porous border with Myanmar, the official said, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. All the men, who are lowerranking policemen, were unarmed, the official said. “We are expecting more to come,” he said, citing intelligence reports. There have been several instances recounted on social media of police joining the civil disobedience movement and protests against the junta, with somearrested,butthisisthefirst Explain tight control over vaccinations, Delhi HC tells Centre reported case of police fleeing Myanmar. The official said that the policemencrossedoverfearingpersecution for disobeying orders andwouldbetemporarilyhoused by local Indian authorities. “They didn’t want to take orders against the civil disobedience movement,” he said, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RELATED REPORT 6.9% 10 23.5% (Apr-2020) Aug-17 Nov-17 Feb-18 May-18 Aug-18 Nov-18 Feb-19 May-19 Aug-19 Nov-19 Feb-20 May-20 Aug-20 Nov-20 Feb-21 0 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Law comes as jobless curve in state rises and govt pie shrinks Andhra law on hold after challenge; balkanisation of labour is a concern UDIT MISRA NEW DELHI, MARCH 4 HARYANA’S LAW making it mandatory for private sector firms in the state to reserve 75% jobs with a monthly salary up to Rs 50,000 for locals comes amid a rising unemployment curve and shrinking work opportunities in the government. Data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy shows that Haryana’s unemployment rate has been far in excess of the national average since August 2017. It reached a peak in April 2020 when four out of every 10 people looking for a job failed to get one. Worse still, as the Covid-in- PAGE 1 ANCHOR duced lockdowns have been removed and the economy opened up, Haryana’s unemployment rate has continued to be high and is still rising. Both these trends explain why the BJP government in the state may have chosen to go ahead with this law. In the runup to the Assembly polls in October 2019, the ruling BJP had committed to providing special benefits to those industriesthatprovidedmore than 95% employment to locals. However, this latest push aimed at allaying the massive jobs crisis is likely to be counter-productive. “The move is purely populist and political in its objectives,” said Naushad Forbes, co-chairman Forbes Marshall, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INSIDE NEW DELHI, MARCH 4 AHEAD OF Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh later this month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar made a strong outreach to Dhaka Thursday on his bilateral visit, describing the country as a “key neighbour” and a “valued partner” not only “in South Asia but also in the broader Indo-Pacific region”. He said India's ties with Bangladesh “transcend even our strategic partnership”. The visits have been timed with celebrations to mark 50 years of the 1971 liberation war that led to the birth of Bangladesh. On his first visit since the CAA-NRC issue became a stickingpointbetweenthetwocountries, Jaishankar reached Dhaka Thursday morning and framed Bangladesh’s importance as beingcentraltoIndia’s“neighbourhoodfirst”policyanditsgrowing At a vaccination centre in Delhi, Thursday. Tashi Tobgyal “The affidavit to be filed by theUnionshoulddisclosetherationale for such classification,” the court in its order on Thursday. ThedivisionBenchof Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli observedthatthemanufacturersof Covishield and Covaxin, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech respectively, have said they have the capacity, but “it CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Diplomacy atwork S Jaishankar, Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on Thursday. PTI relevanceinthe“ActEast”policy. IndicatingthefrankconversationshehadwithhisBangladesh counterpart,ForeignMinisterAK Abdul Momen, Jaishankar said: “Our comfort levels are now so high that we have shown that there is no issue that we cannot discuss and resolve through amicable dialogue.” Later,healsometBangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her residence. She told him that India score in QS subject ranking: 25 programmes, 12 institutes in top 100 NEW DELHI, MARCH 4 THE EDITORIAL PAGE PARTLY FREE FreedomHousedowngradeisa cueforgovernment,civilsociety. TrashingitorbrushingitunderPR carpetwon’twork PAGE 6 MAHARASHTRA HC ALLOWS AMAZON PRIME TO RE-RELEASE TELUGU FILM PAGE 4 TWENTY-FIVEPROGRAMMES— mostly in engineering — offered by higher education institutions in India rank among the top 100 in the world in their respective subject categories, according to thelatesteditionof theQSWorld University Rankings by Subject. Lastyear,thisnumberstoodat26. While the number of Indian universities/ institutes in the top 100 subject rankings has increased from eight to 12 this year, IIM-Calcutta, which is embroiled in a turf war between its Board and director, suffered its worst-ever ranking. While IIM-Ahmedabad, IIMBangalore, IIM-Lucknow and IIM-Kozhikodehavemoreorless maintainedtheirpositionsinthe Business and Management Studies category, IIM-Calcutta slipped from the 101-150 band INDIA REPORT 12 universities/ institutes in top 100 subject rankings (8 in 2020) ■ IIT-Guwahati, JNU, Anna University, O P Jindal Global University (law) new entrants ■ 25 programmes in top 100 (26 in 2020) ■17of 25inengineering last year to 451-500 band this time. Except one, all the 25 programmes are in institutions run by either the state or union government. The O P Jindal Global Universityistheonlyprivateuniversity to have entered the top100 club. Its law programme is CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Despite High Court protection, father kills teen who eloped with Dalit man DEEP MUKHERJEE JAIPUR, MARCH 4 SREEDHARAN IS BJP CM CANDIDATE PAGE 7 KASHYAP, PANNU RAIDS ON, I-T SAYS DISCREPANCIES OF RS 650 CR PAGE 5 SHUBHAJIT ROY EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MARCH 4 THE DELHI High Court on Thursday directed the central government to explain the rationale for keeping “strict control” over the class of persons who can be vaccinated at present against Covid-19. The court observed that the governmentwaseitherdonating the vaccines or selling them to foreign countries “rather than” inoculatingitsownpeople,when its approach should in fact be to vaccinate Indians urgently — “yesterday and not tomorrow”. The ongoing second phase of vaccination covers individuals older than 60 years and those betweenages45and60withassociated comorbidities. Healthcare and frontline workers were vaccinated in the first phase that began on January 16. SetsstageforPrimeMinister’svisittomark50thyearof 1971 AN 18-YEAR-OLD woman who hadreceivedprotectionfromthe Rajasthan High Court so that she could live with a Dalit man, has been murdered allegedly by her father, state officials said on Thursday. The father, Shankar Lal Saini, told police on Wednesday that he had killed his daughter, Pinki, at his home in Dausa town, dis- A YEAR after the CAANRC issue strained the robust ties between the two countries, quiet diplomacy appears to have worked. The Prime Minister's visit later this month is timed with the celebrations to mark 50 years of Bangladesh. And with Bengal polls coming up, Kolkata and Dhaka will watch the visit carefully. problemsbetweenneighbouring countries should be resolved through discussions and negotiations. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PAGE 11 SOFI AHSAN 20 `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 THE EDITORIAL PAGE OnTuesday,the stateadministration notified the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act 2020, which requiresallcompanies,LLPs,trusts, societies and partnership firms with more than 10 employees to follow these local employment requirements and specifically empower the district administrations to enforce the new regulations through inspections with a 24-hour notice. The legislation, the governmentargued,isaimedatboosting localemploymentparticularlyfor the youth in unskilled jobs. REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FRIDAY, MARCH 5, 2021, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES KARUNJIT SINGH ● trict Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar said. Police subsequently recoveredthebody,whichboremarks of strangulation, the SP said. “PinkiSainihadbeenmarried off to a man on February 16. On February 21, she ran away with Roshan Mahawar (24). On February26,thecoupleappeared beforetheRajasthanHighCourt, and the court ordered that they beprovidedprotectionbythelocal police, and taken to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Pinki Saini, Roshan Mahawar approached HC in Feb. Express EPFO board recommends 8.5% interest for 2020-21 ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU NEW DELHI, MARCH 4 THE CENTRAL Board of Trustees of the retirement fund body Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has recommendedthat theinterestratefor the financial year 2020-21 be retained at 8.5 per cent. This rate, the same as last year's, is the lowest offered by EPFO in eight years. The board meeting chaired by Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar in Srinagar on Thursday, discussed the investment portfolio of the retirement fund body, and made its recommendation keeping the returns in view. “For FY2021, the EPFO decided to liquidate investment in equity and the interest rate recommended is a result of combined income from interest received from debt investment as well as incomerealised from equity investment. This has enabled EPFO to provide higher return to its subscribers and still allowing EPFO with a healthy surplus to act as cushion for providing higher return in future also,”theMinistrysaidinastatement.“Thereisnoover-drawlon EPFO corpus due to this income distribution,”thestatementsaid. A member of the board of trustees said “the interest rate has been decided on an income of Rs 70,000 crore fromdebt and equityinvestmentsof theEPFO”. This level of interest rate will leave a surplus of about Rs 200300 crore, the member said. The Board also discussed a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 For Mumbai’s first Covid couple, hope after year-long isolation TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA MUMBAI, MARCH 4 THE LAST time Vithal Sonawane and wife Lata Sonawane left their Andheri flat together was on March 10, 2020, to go to Kasturba, the city’s first infectious disease hospital. The next day they were Mumbai's first confirmed Covid-19 positive cases.Aftera14-dayisolationperiod, they took an ambulance home and were unprepared for what they saw --- empty roads, shut markets, and their masked neighbourhood. In the year since, Covid-19 has changed their lives completely. Afraidof beingreinfected,the elderly couple have remained confined to their apartment for the entire time, except for short trips to the bank and a grocery shop nearby. They also stopped their maid domestic help from coming in. They have rare visits by friends and relatives. They do not step out even for a walk in the nearby park, which was a habit with them before the pandemic struck. Both have diabetes; Vithal is a heart patient with history of angioplasty and Lata has arthritis. With the start of the second phase of vaccination, in which senior citizens and people with co-morbidities are being immunised, the Sonawanes are eager to get their shot-- this, they believe, is their only chance to break free from the fear of reinfection that has bound them indoors. The 70-year-olds plan to get their vaccine on different days,sothatincaseof anadverse reactiononecanlookafterother. The couple declined a meeting for this report, insisting the threat of infection was high. "We have sacrificed so much LIVING WITH A PANDEMIC ONE YEAR OF COVID PART - I this past year," Lata says. “Once we get the vaccine, we will meet people, normal life will resume. We want to travel the world while we still have energy,” Vithal says. Their daughter lives in the USA and son in Singapore. The BMC workers disinfecting the Sonawanes’ building after they tested positive in March 2020. Express entire family last met on the Dubai trip in February 2020. Over the past year, a few relatives have dropped by. Vithal says he misses the evening walk in parks, and daily chatswithsociety members. “Our children keeptellingustoavoidgoingout. Once a month I go to the bank to withdraw cash and once a fortnightto buy vegetables. The grocery shop owner downstairs is kind, he stocks extra things just to deliver to us.” Thecouplewouldgoonaforeign trip every year. It was during one such trip with a group of 40 Indian tourists to Dubai last Februarythattheywereinfected withCovid-19. Theyreturnedon March 1, 2020. Nine days later, a Pune couple, who were part of the tour, tested positive. Contact tracing led to families in Karnataka, Yavatmal, Nagpur, and Mumbai. The Sonawanes had no symptoms, but tests found a high viral load in them. In the next 14 days of isolation at Kasturba, the couple saw a fellow Covid-19 patient from Ghatkopar die, and another young man became critical and hadtobeputonaventilator.Lata developed stomach infection due to antibiotics. The two detested using the government hospital washroom. Amid this gloom, one day they were surprised to receive fruits from a local BMC medical officer in hospital. “Everyone spoke of stigma due to Covid-19, we were lucky we experienced no such thing,” Vithalsays.Theliftintheirbuilding was being repaired. After being discharged, four residents volunteered to carry Lata on a chairtotheirsecond-floorapartment. “She was not able to walk. Society members would cook CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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