DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 PICKUP IN GVA FOR MANUFACTURING, CONSTRUCTION SECTORS Recoverybefore 2ndwavehit THE GRADUAL unlockdown since the end of 2020 had spurred business activity. Data suggests that Gross Value Added in Q4, 2020-21, was 3.7 per cent, much higher than 1 per cent in Q3. The impact of the second wave may, however, be felt in Q1, 2021-22. GDP contracts 7.3% in FY21, but uptick in Q4 with push from manufacturing Rise in govt spend helps economy fare better than expected ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU NEW DELHI, MAY 31 BEFORETHE secondwave of the Covid-19pandemichitthecountry, India's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.6 per cent in the fourth quarter (JanuaryMarch) of 2020-21. This comes on top of a 0.5 per cent growth in the previous OctoberDecember quarter. In January-March last year, the economy had grown 3 per cent. For the full financial year 2020-21, however, the GDP contracted 7.3 per cent — a record low. This is nevertheless a mar- ginalimprovementfromtheearlier estimate of 8 per cent contraction in the second advance estimates released in February, largely because of a sharp rise in government expenditure. Theuptickinthefourthquarter was driven mainly by the manufacturing sector even as NATIONAL INCOME ESTIMATES INDUSTRY Agriculture, forestry and fishing Manufacturing 2019-20 2020-21 Q4 FY21 Q4 FY20 4.3 3.6 3.1 6.8 -4.2 -2.4 -7.2 6.9 1.0 -8.6 14.5 0.7 Trade, hotels, transport 6.4 -18.2 -2.3 5.7 Construction *All figures in per cent Source: NSO, MoSPI CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SC: Sedition HEARING ON COVID-19 MANAGEMENT law needs relook, especially for media SC tells Govt: Wake up and smell the coffee, let vaccine policy be flexible EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MAY 31 RESTRAINING THE Andhra Pradeshpolicefromtakingcoercive action against two TV news channels charged with sedition, the Supreme Court Monday said itisof theviewthatsection124A of the IPC, which deals with the offence, will need interpretation — especially on its application with regard to freedom of the press. “Having heard learned counsel, we are of the view that the ambit and parameters of the provisions of Sections 124A, 153A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code would require interpretation, particularly in the context of the right of the electronic and print media to communicate news, information... even those that may be critical of the prevailing regime in any part of the nation,” a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud ordered. “Till the next date of listing, there shall be a stay on the respondentsadoptinganycoercive proceedings in pursuance of FIR...against the two television channels whichare thepetitioners before the Court, namely, TV5 and ABN, as well as their personnel,”thebench,alsocomprisingJustices L NageswaraRao and S Ravindra Bhat, ordered. Earlier, during the hearing, Justice Rao, while translating some of the vernacular terms in the FIR, remarked that “it is like muzzling the media”. Justice Chandrachud said that if a TV channelsayssomething,itcannot be termed as sedition, and that “some guidelines must be set”. Turning to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Justice Chandrachud saidthathehadthiscasein Bench flags dual pricing, digital divide; Govt says no policy is cast in stone Decks cleared for Covaxin facility at Bulandshahr ANANTHAKRISHNAN G KAUNAIN SHERIFF M WONDERING IF the mandatory registration requirement on the CoWIN portal for people to accessCOVID-19vaccinesispractical given the digital divide in the country, the Supreme Court Monday asked the government to “wake up and smell the coffee” and ensure that its vaccine policy is flexible enough to accommodate changes to address concerns. The Centre, in reply, said that it is not oblivious to ground realities and since this is a dynamic situation, no policy is cast in stone. It also said it hopes to vaccinate all eligible persons by the end of 2021. THE CENTRAL public sector undertaking Bharat Immunologicals & Biologicals Corporation Limited (BIBCOL), amongthethreePSUssupported by the Centre to increase the capacity of production of Covaxin, has approved a consultant to help it build the critical BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) high containmentfacilityat Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, The Indian Express has learnt. Over the next six months, officials said, the consultant will help set up the manufacturing and fill-finish facility for the Covaxin developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR. BIBCOL and Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), Hyderabad, a facility under National Dairy Development Board, are being backed by the Centreforafacilitytoprovide1015 million doses per month. The Bulandshahr unit expects to beginproductionof Covaxinwithin the next six months. “The appointment of a consultant is a very important aspect because this is a very specific job and this has been done in discussion with Bharat Biotech. We cannot take any risk because it has to be flawless, zero-error production. We have NEW DELHI, MAY 31 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 VARIANTSLABELLED WHO on Monday announced “easy to pronounce” and “nonstigmatising” labels for SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest (VOI) and variants of concern (VOC) ALPHA: VOC B.1.1.7, first documented in UK BETA: VOC B.1.351, first documented in S. Africa GAMMA: VOC P.1, first documented in Brazil DELTA: B.1.617.2, first documented in India P9 NEW DELHI, MAY 31 Drive-through vaccination in Noida’s Sector 137 on Monday. Abhinav Saha ‘Perfect policy changed under states’ pressure, CMs should appeal to PM’ IRAM SIDDIQUE BHOPAL, MAY 30 WITHTHEOppositioncriticising the Centre for putting onus on states to procure a big part of their Covid-19 vaccination requirement, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said the Government had a “perfect policy” regarding immunisation, but had to change it under demands fromvariousstates.Heappealed that all chief ministers should “come together and approach thePrimeMinistertoformacentralised policy for Covid vaccination”. “The Prime Minister will also consider it,” he said, adding that he was willing to talk to the Chouhan at the Idea Exchange session CMs in this regard. Speaking at an Idea Exchange session of The Indian Express, Chouhan said the Centre had found it difficult to come out with a uniform policy due to the conflicting opinions as well as demands of states, and hence it left vaccine procurement to them. “Chief Ministers should speak to the Central government... Milke faisla karna chahiye ki kendra sarkar kare (We should decide together that the Centre should do it). See, if there are differences, we speak in different voices, an atmosphere gets created that the Centre too finds it difficult to work... And if we differ, think only about political interests, it leads to these kind of visangatiyan (inconsistencies). Mein toh sabhi mukhyamantriyon se ye appeal karta hoon ki hum sab saath milen aur kendra sarkar se appeal karen... Pradhan Mantri se ye appeal karen. Pradhan CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 KERALA CM WRITES TO NON-BJP CMs FOR JOINT FRONT ON VACCINES PAGE 4 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 After 5 years of two-child policy, Vista work of national importance, says HC; rejects plea, imposes fine China lets couples have three SUI-LEE WEE MAY 31 CHINA SAID Monday that it would allow all married couples to have three children, ending a two-child policy that has failed to raise the country’s declining birthrates and avert a demographic crisis. The announcement by the INSIDE HC LETS SCHOOLS COLLECT FEE, QUASHES DELHI ORDER PAGE 4 TWITTER HAS TO COMPLY WITH NEW IT RULES: HC PAGE 7 THE WORLD NETANYAHU RIVALS STEP UP PRESSURE TO UNSEAT HIM P14 ruling Communist Party represents an acknowledgment that its limits on reproduction, the world’s toughest, have jeopardised the country’s future. The labour pool is shrinking and the population is greying, threatening the industrial strategy that China has used for decades to emerge from poverty to become an economic powerhouse. But it is far from clear that re- PAGE 1 ANCHOR laxing the policy further willpay off. People in China have responded coolly to the party’s earlier move, in 2016, to allow couples to have two children. To them, such measures do little to assuage their anxiety over the rising cost of education and of supporting ageing parents, made worse by the lack of day care and the pervasive culture of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SOFI AHSAN NEW DELHI, MAY 31 HOLDING THE Central Vista Project to be of national importance, the Delhi High Court Monday dismissed a petition which had sought a stay on construction on it in the midst of a pandemic, calling it “motivated” and imposing on the petitioners a cost of Rs 1 lakh. “The construction of Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment Project cannot be seen in isolation. In fact, the whole Central Vista Project is an essential project of national importance, wherethesovereignfunctionsof Parliament are also to be conducted. Public is vitally interested in this project,” said a Division Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh. Thechallengetotheon-going construction of one particular project is “a pointer to the ill-intent and lack of bona fides of the petitioners in filing the present CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 VISTA NOT A VANITY PROJECT: MINISTER HARDEEP PURI PAGE 3 Senior BJP leader in UP for ‘feedback’, meets Yogi ministers MAULSHREE SETH LUCKNOW, MAY 31 IN THE first such development since Yogi Adityanath came to power in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, BJP national general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh on Mondayheldone-on-onemeetings with ministers and party leaders in Lucknow, followed by a meeting with the Chief Minister at his residence. Santhosh's two-day visit to the state comes amidst growing murmurs in the organisation regarding the handling of the Covidsecondsurge, with several BJP ministers and MLAs going public about the leadership be- BL Santhosh held meetings with ministers, met CM ing irresponsive to the people's woes. The BJP is also stinging from the poor performance in the recent panchayat polls, after the party had itself portrayed them as a semi-final before the Assembly elections next year. There are rumours in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CM Mamata Banerjee with Alapan Bandyopadhyay at a meeting in Kolkata on Monday. Express Bengal Chief Secy ignores Centre, is appointed Adviser to CM after he retires SANTANU CHOWDHURY KOLKATA, MAY 31 AMIDSTTHEtugof warbetween theCentre andWestBengalgovernment over Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay being summoned to Delhi, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that Bandyopadhyay had retired from service on Monday after declining the three-month extension given to him, and had been appointed Chief Adviser to the Chief Minister. Bandyopadhyay,whodidnot report to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) after the state government refused to relieve him, spent his last day as an IAS officer at the Secretariat in Kolkata, where he BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY attended the Chief Minister's meeting to review the Covid-19 situation and post-Cyclone Yaas relief works. The Centre sent a second letter to Bandyopadhyay on CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Covid fallout: Inmates eligible for parole but want to stay on SADAF MODAK MUMBAI, MAY 31 SOME OF them are worried abouthowtheywillsurviveduring the Covid lockdown. Others fear they will become a burden on their families in this difficult time. The rest just want to wrap up their jail time as quickly as possible. All put together, at least 26 convicts lodged in jails across Maharashtrahave refused to applyforemergencyparoledespite being eligible. They are “not interestedin beingtemporarilyreleased”, according to the min- utes of a meeting held in May of a state committee that was formed to recommend steps to decongest jails during Covid. Last month, the Bombay High Court ruled that no prisoner can be compelled to obtain release on temporary bail or emergency parole without their will. “Some of the eligible prisoners have told us that they feel apprehensiveaboutfindingajob or any other forms of livelihood during the lockdown,” a Jail Superintendent told The Indian Express. For instance, a convict in his late30s,hailingfromOdishaand with five years left in a Mumbai jail, told authorities that he fearedbecomingaburdenonhis family. “He toldus that he would rather keep earning wages for his work in prison,” the Superintendent said. Inanothercase,anundertrial released on emergency parole a few months ago surrendered in western Maharashtra last month. “After he surrendered, he called us seeking financial help for his mother,” said Ravindra Vaidya, founder-president of Varhad, which works with convicts in Vidarbha and other areas of Maharashtra. “We have provided dry rations to over 500 prisoners or Mumbai’s Taloja Jail. At least 26 convicts in Maharashtra jails have said they don’t want to be temporarily out. Narendra Waskar their families who were not able tosustainthemselvesduringthe lockdown. Many of them had just been released and were being seen as a liability by their already burdened family members,” Vaidya said. Due to depleting funds since the pandemic began, the outreach for prisoners has also reached its limit, he said. “Wehaveconstantlybeenreceiving calls from prisoners. Many have been seeking jobs, some have not been accepted by their families due to the nature of the crime or were not allowed entry in their villages due to fear of Covid. They were helped with admissionsinshelterhomes,”he said. Since the Covid outbreak last year, when the Supreme Court orderedthedecongestionof jails to ensure pandemic protocols, over 10,000 prisonershave been released on emergency parole and temporary bail from Maharashtra's 46 jails. During the second wave last month, 68 convicts were released on emergency parole, which is not counted as part of the prison term. “Those who have been released from May onwards last year, will have to return and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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