DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2021, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 ISC EXAMS ARE SCRAPPED TOO Centre cancels CBSE Class 12 exams, will have ‘objective criteria’ for results Those who want to appear will get chance when situation is conducive; decision likely to influence state boards too 1,032 lactating women get jab, turnout of pregnant women zero TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA MUMBAI, JUNE 1 MUMBAI HAS immunised more than 1,000 lactating women, but sofartherehasbeenzeroturnout of pregnant women at Covid-19 vaccination centres for a jab. MumbaiisthefirstcityinIndia toallow vaccination forpregnant women, with a caveat that pregnant women give a consent form andgetagynaecologistcertificate that they are fit for vaccination. A combination of hesitancy by gynaecologists to issue certificates, lack of awareness among pregnant women, and in some cases refusal to immunise by vaccination centres has led to zero turnout so far. Mumbai has immunised 1,032 lactating women after the Centre issued a notification on May 19 to start their vaccination. Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner, said lactatingwomenhavetoproduce the birth certificate of their newborn to get a jab. BMC decided to go a step further and also allow pregnant women if they get a gynaecologist'scertificateandconsentform. "We have instructed all our centres to allow pregnant women, but so far it seems no pregnant women has come," he said. Eachvaccinationcentrehasto create a separate queue for pregnant and lactating women. NESCO vaccination centre, however, said they opened up vaccination for only lactating women. Some gynaecologists have refrained from issuing certificates over fear of accountability. Gynaecologist Dr Nikhil Datar said a few pregnant women approached him but he did not issueacertificate."Whydoesthe CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INSIDE SEPARATE CAPS FOR COVID TREATMENT RATES IN CITIES, RURAL AREAS P 4 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, JUNE 1 CITING “UNCERTAIN conditions due to Covid and feedback obtained from various stakeholders”, the Central Government Tuesday announced the cancellation of this year’s CBSE Board examination for Class 12 students following a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The results will be compiled as per “a well-defined objective criteria”, the Government said. However, if a student wants to appear for the examination, the CBSE will provide an option once the situation becomes conducive. Following the CBSE decision, the Council for Indian School CertificateExaminations(CISCE) followed suit and scrapped the ISC Class 12 examination. The CBSE, sources said, will set up a committee to decide the alternative scheme for tabulating results. A student’s performance in internal school assessments, in all likelihood, will be a crucial part of the scheme. To keep inflation of marks in check, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E E X P L A I NE D MUMBAI ● Challenge forunivs CLASS 12 is a milestone exam in the life of a student, and the gateway to higher education. Given that different state boards compete with the CBSE and ISC, the challenge for universities will be to evolve a level playing field to screen candidates for admission. Maharashtra govt, students welcome decision: ‘health, safety above everything’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, PUNE, JUNE 1 CHIEFMINISTERUddhavThackeray on Tuesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the decision to cancel CBSE Class 12 examsinviewoftheCovid-19situation. In his address to the state through social media on Sunday, ThackerayhadurgedModitotake anappropriatedecisionatthenational level on Class XII and other WEEKLY POSITIVITY IS NOW UNDER 5 PER CENT IN 344 DISTRICTS Terms of unlock: positivity below 5%, 70% of vulnerable groups vaccinated No change in two-dose schedule, no mixing of vaccines: Paul CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Old have lived their lives, says HC, pushes for priority in jabs, drugs to young SOFI AHSAN NEW DELHI, JUNE 1 KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, JUNE 1 POSITIVITY RATE of less than 5 per cent for a week, vaccination of 70 per cent of the vulnerable population, and community ownershipof Covid-appropriate behaviourand care — the Centre on Tuesday laid down key unlockdown criteria for districts to ward off a possible third wave. On Tuesday, Dr Balram Bhargava, ICMR Director General and amemberofIndia’sCovid-19task force, underlined that while “gradual lifting [of restrictions] willnotwitnessamassivesurge”, districtshaveto“ensurethatvaccination has to be prioritised...” “In terms of preventing the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 important examinations. Covid infection is still on the rise and there was a demand by parents to cancel Class 10 and 12 exams,saidastatement fromthe CM's office. The CM has already takenadecisiontopromoteClass 10studentswithoutexamsonthe basis of the evaluation criteria, it added. State Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad also welcomed theCentre'sdecisiontocancelthe exam. “Considering the rise of Thane’s Jambhali Naka market Tuesday, after shops were allowed to open for longer. Deepak Joshi Pfizer, Cipla demands pending, DCGI relaxes norms for clearing vaccines PRABHA RAGHAVAN NEW DELHI, JUNE 1 INDIA’S APEX drug regulator Tuesdaywaivedtherequirement forforeigncompaniestoconduct post-launch bridging trials and test the quality and stability of their Covid-19 vaccines here if theyhaveapprovalsfromspecific countries or health bodies. The move, which would makeit easier for companies to bring their vaccines to India, follows similar demands raised by, among oth- ers,PfizerandCipladuringnegotiations to supply imported vaccines to the country. Therequirementof conductingpost-approvalbridgingclinical trials “can be exempted” for Covid-19vaccineswithrestricted CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EMPHASISING THAT the country needs to invest in the future, the Delhi High Court Tuesday said that the Centre’s policy did not prioritise youth in the Covid vaccination drive. It said that younger patients may also have to be prioritised in distribution of the drug to treat mucormycosis or black fungus. The division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh directed the Government to come out with a policy on the distribution of the drug, Liposomal Amphotericin-B, for treatment of black fungus. “The administration of the drug to patients who have better chances of survival may have to be prioritised. Similarly, patients who are younger and who CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Tejpal’s acquittal: Goa BJP’s face in NE, its new CM in says order ‘coloured by Assam, at Express Adda today prejudice, patriarchy’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MAYURA JANWALKAR PANAJI, JUNE 1 CHALLENGING THE acquittal of formerEditor-in-Chief of Tehelka TarunTejpal inacaseof rapeand sexual assault, the Goa government has, in its amended appeal filed in the High Court of Bombay at Goa on Tuesday, said the finding of the trial court was “coloured by prejudice and patriarchy”. The Goa government stated that in its judgment on May 21, the trial court had disbelieved the woman who had accused Tejpal of the offence “on the basis of a conception of how a victim is expected to behave while being sexually assaulted”. This Former editor of Tehelka Tarun Tejpal Express finding of the court, the state government said, was “unsustainable in law …” The state government has urgedtheHighCourttosetaside thetrialcourt'sverdictacquitting Tejpal. The point of retrial mentioned in the amended grounds for appeal will, however, be kept open, according to the state government's legal team. On May 27, the High Court hadallowedtheGoagovernment CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 GUWAHATI, JUNE 1 NEWLY SWORN in as Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma is the BJP’s most influential leader in India’s Northeast. He is the man credited with helping the party establish itself in a region where it had no presence till not so long ago. Holding important portfolios in the last state government, including Finance, Health and Education, Sarma’s claim to the top post in the state was accepted by the BJP ahead of incumbent CM Sarbananda Sonowal, after a large majority of the BJP MLAs sided with him. On Wednesday evening, Sarma will be guest at The Indian Express e-Adda. The session will be moderated by National Opinion Editor, The Indian Express, Vandita Mishra. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Himanta Biswa Sarma BENGAL-CENTRE ROW INTENSIFIES For 15-min ‘delay’ at PM’s meet, Centre throws rulebook at Bengal Chief Secy MHA invokes Disaster Act to serve show-cause; TMC says act of revenge DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & ATRI MITRA NEW DELHI, KOLKATA, JUNE 1 DEEPENING THE row between the Centre and West Bengal, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a show-cause notice to Alapan Bandyopadhyay, who retired as the state Chief Secretary Monday, for reporting 15minuteslatetoPrimeMinister Narendra Modi’s cyclone review meeting on May 28. Bandyopadhyay was with Chief MinisterMamataBanerjee when she decided to skip the Cyclone Yaas meeting in Kalaikunda. Sources said the notice was issued late Monday under the Disaster Management Act and, if converted to a statutory case, couldresultinimprisonmentextending up to two years. A reply has been sought from Bandyopadhyay within three days. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Bandyopadhyay (left) with successor H K Dwivedi. CMO ‘UNPRECEDENTED AND DISTURBING’ FORMER CABINET Secretary B K Chaturvedi, former DoPT Secretary Satyanand Misra, and former Home Secretary G K Pillai said the Centre’s actions against Alapan Bandyopadhyay set a bad precedent and would frighten and demotivate civil servants. PAGE 7 137 saved on barge, its chief: ‘Asked to stay put during cyclone, refused’ JAYPRAKASH S NAIDU MUMBAI, JUNE 1 THE MASTER of Gal Constructor, an accommodation barge involved in ONGC's operations off Mumbai, has said that the company which hired the vessel, AfconsInfrastructureLtd,wanted him to keep his vessel in the operational area at sea during Cyclone Tauktae -- and told him that the Master of P305, another accommodation barge, had already agreed to such a plan. Barge Master Agnelo Socorro Rebellosaidthathehad,however, insisted on getting a tug boat to steer the vessel towards shore, and reached outer anchorage on May16.OnMay18,thevesselran agroundinPalghar,andall137onboardweresaved.P305remained in the operational area and sank in the storm, killing 75 of the 261 people onboard. Rebelloalsosaidthatalthough Afcons sent a tug vessel after he insistedongettingthebargeback to port ahead of the cyclone, the companyallegedly“didnotsecure permission to take us inside the inner anchorage of the (Princess) dock despite my asking them to do so”. “Instead, they asked us to stayinouteranchorage,sayingit's a safe location,” he said. As the cyclone neared Mumbai, both vessels lost their anchorsintheearlyhoursof May 17 and went adrift. At 6 pm that day,thetugvessel,MVVaraprada, sank with 11 of its 13 crew, after battling severe winds and waves, andwaterintheengineroomthe whole day. In the early hours of May 18, Gal Constructor ran aground. SpeakingtoTheIndianExpress over phone from Margao, his hometown in Goa, Rebello said that he submitted an oral statement detailing these charges on videoconference from his home at3.30pmonMay29tothehighlevel committee set up by the UnionMinistryof Petroleumand NaturalGastoprobetheincidents triggered by the cyclone at the ONGC facility. “Whatever I have toldyou,Ihavetoldthem,”Rebello said. ONGCconfirmedthatit“facilitatedtheEnquiryCommittee”by providing “technical support in settingupthevideoconferencing facility”. SpeakingtoTheIndianExpress from Kalimpong in West Bengal, Gal Constructor's Deck Officer AllwinNishanthbackedRebello's chargethatanAfconsrepresentative asked them to stay in the operational area citing the example CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Gal Constructor was stationed near an oil rig in the south field of Bombay High. File Express 15 days after cyclone, people of Amreli’s lion country stumble on without power PAGE 1 ANCHOR GOPAL KATESHIYA RAJULA (AMRELI), JUNE 1 PAVAN KHUMAN, a farmer of Mota Agariya village in Rajula taluka,hassenthissonsRajvir,17 and Vijay, 14, to his niece’s home in Dhari. Since Cyclone Tauktae reduced their home to rubble andsnappedthepowerlines,the family has been spendingnights outdoors,inthedark,infearof lions on the prowl nearby. Amreli is one of the four Gujarat districts across which Gir, the home of the Asiatic lion, spans.Thedarknesshasemboldenedthelionsandleopards,says Khuman. “Lions roar outside the damaged wall of my house. My family, my five cows, my bullocks, we live in terror.” A fortnight after the cyclone struck on May 17, 191 of 619 villages of Amreli district are still without power, as per a release byPaschimGujaratVijCompany Limited (PGVCL), the stateownedcompanythatdistributes electricity in Saurashtra region. The cyclone left 10,447 villages in the state without power, with 23,800 km of transmission lines, 1.16 lakh electric- ity poles, and 45,039 transformers damaged. Says Mota Agariya village sarpanch Hathi Khuman, “Lions avoid illuminated areas. But our streetlights have been out since Tauktae.” With piped water supply also hit due to lack of power, he and his brother have been usingadiesel-firedgeneratortoprovidedrinkingwatertothevillage. Thelackof electricityhasalso forced other changes. Kanchan Savaliya, 60, says it is after many years that she is using a ravaiya (a wooden churner) regularly to skim milk. “We have an electric skimmer... I had to search the house to locate this one.” Tauktae damaged electricity lines and poles. Gopal Kateshiya The family’s home and cattle shed were damaged in the cyclone. Kanchan’s brother-in-law Ramesh says one of the first adjustments they had to make was figuring out how to ensure milk didn’t spoil without a refrigerator. “Eventually, my mother turned to the old way, of keeping the milk container in water." In neighbouring Vavdi village, Mukta Sarola, 45, uses a charpoyasshadeagainstthesun as she cleans some dented kitchen pots. These are among the only things the family of dailyagriculturallabourersmanaged to salvage from the rubble of their home, the rest of the be- longings bundled up in bedsheets. “I run to the road with the pots when we hear a water tanker has come. I also fetch water from a nearby stone quarry that is currently filled with rainwater,”saysSarola.Afewhouses in the village have piped water connections, apart from a common hand pump. In Hindorna village of Rajula taluka, women use bowls to scoop water out of holes dug in the bed of Dhatarvadi river and fill their pots -- a practice that dates back generations. Amreli District Collector Ayush Oak said, "Some villages have water distribution issues but as on today (Monday), 99 tankers are making 374 trips to supply water to affected villages." Bachu Sankhat, 65, who runs ageneralstoreinMitiyalavillage, 5kmfromJafrabadtown(where the cyclone made landfall), says he has never seen this long power outage in three decades. Even urban areas are hit. Sanjya Dafda, who lives in Jafrabad town and runs an Ayurveda clinicin Mitiyala,worries for his children. “Our daughters, 9 and 2, are forced to sleep on the terrace." As the sun slips under the horizon, Dahiben stands wiping hertearsontheJafrabadharbour bridge. As her son-in-law Manji Vansh tugs at the remains of his fishing trawler with the help of a tractor, Dahiben cries, "Kain nikalyu nahi, bhai, kain nikalyu nahi! (Nothing is there to salvage, nothing)!" Eventually, the tugging rope snaps,andVanshgivesuphisbid to salvage the trawler. It is the fifth day this has happened. Vansh hadthoughthis woeshad ended when he had found the trawler after five days of search following the cyclone. “We had paid Rs 10 lakh to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.