DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SINCE 1932 `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM NITI AAYOG PREPARING NATIONAL MONETISATION PIPELINE 8 ministries list assets for monetisation: from stations to telecom towers, pipelines to roads Bundled for privatisation: 7 airports making losses With PM lending weight, Core Group sets Rs 2.5 lakh cr target for 2021-22 SANDEEP SINGH NEW DELHI, MARCH 16 TO MEET THE aggressive target of raising around Rs 2.5 lakh crore through asset sales, the government has lined up plans to monetise assets including roads, electricity transmission, oil and gas pipelines, and telecom towers, sports stadia, among others. The assets shortlisted come under the purview of eight ministries. Alongside these core sector assets, the plan includes awarding 150 passenger trains to private players; divestment of the equity stake of Airports Authority of India in the joint ventures that operate the Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad airports; and leasing out stadiums such as the Jawaharlal NehruStadiuminthe national capital, sources said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PRANAV MUKUL & SANDEEP SINGH NEW DELHI, MARCH 16 FinanceMinisterafterCabinetmeetingTuesday. Premnath Pandey THEAIRPORTSAuthorityof India (AAI) has identified seven airports alongside six others already shortlisted for the next round of airport privatisation, sources told The Indian Express. AfterleasingoutAhmedabad, Mangalore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuramairportsonpublic-private partnership mode, the AAI had selected Bhubaneswar, Varanasi, Amritsar, Raipur, Indore and Trichy airports for the second round. The AAI now plans to bundle Jharsuguda airport with Bhubaneswar, Kushinagar and Gaya airports with Varanasi, Kangra airport with Amritsar, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Boris Johnson will be in India next month UK unveils policy on ‘tilt to Indo-Pacific’ China visa rider to India and 19 other countries: First take Chinese jabs EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MARCH 16 BEIJINGHASmadeitmandatory forpeoplecomingfromIndiaand 19 other countries to get themselves inoculated with Chinesemade Covid-19 vaccines if they wish to travel to China. ForIndiantravellers,thiscondition is a problem because Chinese-made vaccines are not available in India. AnoticepostedattheChinese Had stepped down as V-C 2 years ago RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, MARCH 16 LESS THAN two years after he steppeddownasVice-Chancellor, noted scholar, political scientist and commentator Pratap Bhanu Mehtaresignedasprofessorfrom Ashoka University Tuesday. Mehta, who is also Contributing Editor, The Indian Express, has consistently, in his writing and public appearances, questioned the ruling establishment. He is considered one of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY EMPTY STANDS GOVT & POLITICS During the India-England T20 match at Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad Tuesday. Amid rising Covid cases, BCCI had said remaining matches would be played without spectators. @BCCI P C CHACKO JOINS NCP PAGE 6 NIA: Waze drove vehicle Days after border truce, seen escorting SUV India hosts Pakistan outside Ambani home equestrian team in Noida MOHAMED THAVER & SADAF MODAK MUMBAI, MARCH 16 IT PRIMA facie appears that SachinWazedrovethewhitevehicle that escorted the SUV with explosives near the residence of MukeshAmbanionFebruary25, according to the remand report of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that was submitted in court Sunday to obtain custody of the Assistant Police Inspector for 12 days in the bomb scare case. The NIA probe in the case, meanwhile, has identified Waze as the person seen on CCTV footage wearing a large kurta and covering his face, a few hours after the Scorpio SUV was parked outside the Ambani residence that day, sources said. NIAIGAnilShuklasaidinvestigators have also found the fake CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN MUMBAI, MARCH 16 THREE WEEKS after India and Pakistan reaffirmed their commitment to adhere strictly to a ceasefire along the Line of Control and the International Border, a sporting team from PakistanisinIndia to competein a multi-country event. In one of the first outcomes of the easing of tensions between the two neighbours, a seven-member Pakistani team arrived Monday to participate in the qualifying matches for the International Tent-Pegging Federation World Cup Championship. The qualifiers, jointly organised by the Indian Army-run Equestrian Foundation of India and a private company called Equiwing Sports, got underway CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘Game is on’, ‘aunty go’, ‘bring back red’... TMC to BJP, jingles bring alive Bengal’s poll season PAGE 1 ANCHOR TMC's “Khela hobe (The game is on)”; BJP's “Khelar mathe lorai hobe (The battle will be fought on the playground)” and “Pishi jao (Aunty, go)”; and CPI(M)’s KOEL BANERJEE “Tumpa, toke niye Brigade jabo HOOGHLY, MARCH 16 (Tumpa, I will take you to the Brigade) and “Laal pherao, haal IN INDIA, every election has a pherao (Bring back red, bring background score — the jingles back stability)”. of parties in the fray, with rauWith the eight-phase polls cous vocals, copycat tunes and starting March 27, the “Khela thumping beats. But in hobe” rap, penned by West Bengal this time, TMCstatespokesperson it’s the stinging lyrics and youth wing general that are drawing the secretary Debangshu crowds for TMC, BJP and Bhattacharya, was CPI(M). DECISION among the first to make Among the several a splash. 2021 jingles that have created The lyrics highlight WEST a stir this poll season are state government proBENGAL TMC state spokesperson Debangshu Bhattacharya works the crowd with his Khela hobe rap. Express grammes such as Kanyashree, which offers money to girl students, and Swasthya Sathi, a health scheme. Italsochallenges the BJP, slamming it “for poaching party leaders” and the “price rise”, and rakes up issues such as “communalism” and the HathrasincidentinwhichaDalit womanwaskilledafterbeingallegedly gang-raped. “You are disintegrating the country in the name of Ram... but know that Ram worships Durga,” goes the lyrics. According to Bhattacharya, thekeywords“Khela hobe”were coined from Rabindranath Tagore's song, “Moder jemon khela, temoni je kaaj (We work like we play).” “The soil of Bengal doesn't identify with the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan. So, I felt that Trinamool needs its own ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Besides, there was a need to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Embassy in New Delhi said: “For thepurposeof resumingpeopleto-people exchanges in an orderly manner, starting from 15 March, 2021, the Chinese Embassies and Consulates in India will provide the persons having taken Chinese-made Covid-19vaccineandholdingthe Certificates of Vaccination.” China’s state-run Global Times reported that such notices were put up by Chinese embassiesin 20countriesincluding CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, MARCH 16 BRITISH PRIME Minister Boris JohnsonwilltraveltoIndiaatthe endof Aprilinwhatwouldbehis first major overseas visit following Brexit, his office said on Tuesday. Johnson was forced to cancel his trip to India as the chief guest of the Republic Day celebrations in January following a surge in Covid-19 cases in the UK, and had then promised to visit India before theG-7summitin theUK in June. He has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the G-7 summit. Johnson’s office made an announcement of his India trip as it unveiled the “Integrated Review” of its security, defence, E E X P L A I NE D Critic, scholar Pratap Bhanu Mehta resigns as Ashoka professor Nuances standon ● China THE UK’S Integrated Review takes a measured and nuanced approach on China. It acknowledges the need to do more to adapt to “China’s growing impact on many aspects of our lives as it becomes more powerful in the world”. India appears about 15 times in the review document, where ithasbeenlocatedinthecontext of the “deeper engagement” with the Indo-Pacific. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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