16072020-TTB-01.qxd 7/16/2020 12:01 AM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.140 no.196 | 12 pages | ~4.50 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 RUSSIA EASES QUARANTINE RULES FOR ARRIVALS WORLD /thetribunechd GOOGLE PICKS 7.7% STAKE IN RELIANCE JIO BUSINESS KERALA OFFICER QUIZZED IN SMUGGLING CASE BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com thursday, july 16,2020 Speaker sends notice to Pilot, 18 others NSA reviews outcome of Rajasthan former Dy CM says not joining BJP I Doors open for rebels’ return: Surjewala Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service New Delhi, July 15 The Congress government in Rajasthan appeared to have successfully weathered the desert storm today as the party moved for disqualification of 19 rebel MLAs, including Sachin Pilot, prompting the sacked Deputy CM to say that he was not joining the BJP . Speaking for the first time after being divested of his charge as Deputy CM and state Congress president, Pilot today said, “I am not joining the BJP I have worked hard to . defeat the BJP in Rajasthan. This speculation is being fuelled to tarnish my image.” Pilot’s comments came hours after Congress chief CM Ashok Gehlot accused Sachin Pilot of horse-trading while speaking to the media in Jaipur. PTI whip in Rajasthan Assembly Mahesh Joshi petitioned Speaker CP Joshi to disqualify 19 dissident MLAs under the anti-defection law and the Speaker issued notices to all of them. The rebels have been asked to respond by Friday. The Congress, through disqualification of the rebels, seeks to bring down the Assembly strength from the current 200 and secure an edge in the power game to thwart any potential future threat to its government. As of today, CM Ashok Gehlot-led state dispensation looked comfortable claiming the backing of 102 MLAs in the 200-member Assembly. Three dissident lawmakers from the Pilot camp had also returned to the party by the evening. The Congress, meanwhile, offered Pilot another chance with party leader Randeep Surjewala saying, “We heard Sachin Pilot say he is not joining the BJP If . that is the case, he should decline the hospitality of the BJP… and come back to the Congress family.” Vasundhara mum, BJP treads cautiously Vibha Sharma Tribune News Service DONALD TRUMP US annuls order sending back F-1 visa students Tribune News Service New Delhi, July 15 In a huge relief to nearly 10 lakh overseas students, the US government has cancelled an order that would have sent them back to their home countries if their classes had moved fully online because of the Covid pandemic. The US government had announced a guidance on July 6 that caused widespread panic in the overseas student community on F-1 and M-1 study visas. Not only were the students to be sent home, but those who had left when Covid struck were not to be readmitted into the US. The announcement was conveyed by Washington to the District Judge in Massachusetts, who was hearing a case filed by Harvard and MIT that said the new rules had caused chaos in academia. “The government has agreed to rescind the decision as well as any implementation of the directive,” said the judge. New Delhi, July 15 The BJP appears to be treading cautiously in the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan, continuing with the “wait and watch” policy. Sources say it is keeping in mind the all-important Vasundhara Raje factor and the difference in situation of rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia, SAFFRON PARTY’S CONCERNS ■ If the BJP uses Pilot to topple the Gehlot govt, the next question will be: “Who will be the CM?” ■ Ex-CM Raje is yet to comment on the Rajasthan crisis ■ Other senior BJP leaders are also not upbeat over another CM candidate joining the queue or the party supporting a third party who helped the BJP topple the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh in March. Political observers believe if the BJP uses Pilot to topple the Gehlot government, the next question will be “who will be the CM?”— former CM Vasundhra Raje, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat or someone else. After the exit of Scindia in Madhya Pradesh, it had become impossible for Kamal Nath to survive. The same has not happened in Rajasthan where Gehlot is not just still in command, but also gunning for Pilot. Vasundhara is yet to comment on the political crisis in Rajasthan, which is believed to be a “central BJP-sponsored programme”. marathon 15-hr LAC meet Fiscal powers for forces to meet urgent needs Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service New Delhi, July 15 The outcome of the marathon 15-hour meeting of the commanders of India and China was discussed by the China Study Group (CSG) headed by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval here on Wednesday. The CSG comprises the Cabinet Secretary, the Secretaries of Home, External Affairs and Defence as well as representatives of the Services. It will take a call on the ‘further course of action’ on the graded, mutual de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh — which may be a longdrawn process stretching into several weeks. The Northern Army Commander, Lt Gen YK Joshi, is expected to brief the CSG on the developments along the LAC. Similar discussions are reported to have been held by the Chinese side after Tuesday’s meeting in Chushul. The meeting of Lt Gen-level commanders ended at 2 am on Wednesday, indicating a partial progress. Details are awaited as to what timeline the two sides have agreed upon for pulling back troops and war-waging equipment. It is highly possible that there RAJNATH SINGH TO VISIT LADAKH TOMORROW Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will visit eastern Ladakh on Friday. Sources said he would carry out a comprehensive review of the security situation with Army Chief Gen MM Naravane, Lt Gen YK Joshi, Commander of the 14 Corps Lt Gen Harinder Singh and other senior officers. Singh will travel to Srinagar where he will review the LoC situation. CLEAR MESSAGE: FOLLOW ALL BORDER PROTOCOLS New Delhi: India has conveyed a “very clear” message to the Chinese army that status quo must be restored in eastern Ladakh and that China will have to follow all mutually agreed protocols for border management, government sources said. PTI may be another round of commanders’ meeting besides the one by the India-China Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination. The two nuclear-armed neighbours are locked in a bitter standoff since early May. BJP man abducted in Human trials of Indian ‘vaccines’ J&K saved within hrs start as count reaches 9.36 lakh Sopore, was abducted by Tribune News Service unidentified men near his Srinagar, July 15 house in Baramulla district Hours after unidentified on Wednesday morning. men suspected to be mili- Soon, a massive hunt was tants abducted a BJP worker, launched to trace him. Mehraj Din Mallah, in BaraMallah’s elder son Junaid mulla district, the J&K said his father was Police said it had reskidnapped in his cued him on Wednesnative village Maraziday evening. “The gund by four men in a police rescued him,” car around 10 am. said Inspector General The abduction of the of Police (Kashmir) BJP’s Mallah BJP leader comes Vijay Kumar said. barely a week after milThe officer, however, did itants shot dead BJP leader not divulge details of the res- Wasim Bari along with his cue. A family member of father and brother, who were Mallah confirmed he also office-bearers of the returned home around 8 pm. party in Bandipora. The Mallah (48), who is also vice- police had blamed president of the Watergam the Lashkar-e-Toiba for municipal committee in the killings. Majid Jahangir Tribune News Service New Delhi, July 15 Human trials on two Indian indigenous Covid-19 vaccine candidates began today even as the disease load reached 9,36,181 after a record daily surge of 29,429 cases. The ICMR-Bharat Biotech Covaxin candidate and Zydus Cadila’s vaccine candidate both have entered phase one and two of the human trials, respectively, at various clinical trial sites, with each enrolling 1,000 volunteers. ICMR DG Balram Bhargava had yesterday said it was every country’s moral duty to speed up the vaccine development process. The toll from the disease COVID-19CASES INDIA COUNT RECOVERED 5,92,031 FRESH FATALITIES 582 TOTAL DEATHS 24,309 9,36,181 TOTAL RECOVERED DEATHS WORLD 1,35,68,578 79,27,248 5,83,619 INDIGENOUS VACCINE FOR PNEUMONIA India on Wednesday got its first indigenous pneumonia vaccine with the Drug Controller General of India granting market approval for Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India. TNS has reached 24,309 with 582 people dying in 24 hours. Over the same period, 20,572 people recovered, taking the number of the cured to 5,92,031. The recovery rate is now 63.24 per cent with the actual caseload being 3,19,840. “The norms and standards for home isolation along with use of oximeters have helped keep a check on asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients without putting pressure on the hospital infrastructure,” said the Health Ministry. The gap between recovered and active cases has been growing and is now 2,72,191. The recovered cases exceed active ones by 1.85 times. New Delhi, July 15 In view of the prevailing situation along the northern borders, a special meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday, delegated financial powers for urgent ‘capital acquisition’ projects up to Rs 300 crore to the armed forces to meet urgent operational needs. These include acquisition of weapons and equipment under the ‘capital head’ of the defence Budget. Till now, financial powers up to Rs 500 crore under the ‘revenue head’ were vested with the Vice-Chief of the Army. The move will shrink procurement timelines, ensure placement of orders within six months and deliveries within a year. ‘Invalid pension’ The Defence Ministry has decided on pension for armed forces personnel with less than 10 years of service who have been rendered invalid. This includes physical and mental infirmity neither attributable to nor aggravated by service. —TNS Leave without pay for up to 5 years at A-I NEW DELHI: Air India has started Lavasa set to join as ADB vice-prez New Delhi, July 15 Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, who is known for his dissenting views in the poll panel, is all set to join Asian Development Bank (ADB) at Manila, as the multilateral financial agency has appointed him its vice-president to look after private sector operations. The ADB said, “He has a long and distinguished career in the Indian civil service. He is currently one of the election commissioners.” — TNS the process of identifying employees, based on various factors like efficiency, health and redundancy, who will be sent on compulsory leave without pay for up to five years. The airline has authorised its Chairman and MD Rajiv Bansal to send employees on leave. — PTI Seven addl judges made permanent CHANDIGARH: The Supreme Court Collegium has approved the appointment of seven additional judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court as permanent judges. They are Justices Manjari Nehru Kaul, Harsimran Singh Sethi, Arun Monga, Manoj Bajaj, Lalit Batra, Arun Kumar Tyagi and Harnaresh Singh Gill. — TNS 90% plus scorers dip in CBSE Class X results Haryana warned of more vicious locust attacks Pb to recover ~223.75 cr from 7 pvt sugar mills New Delhi, July 15 The harsh conditions posed by the Covid pandemic notwithstanding, the CBSE Class X pass percentage improved marginally to 91.46 this year compared to 91.10 in 2019. The proportion of students scoring 90 per cent and above, however, dipped to 9.84 per cent as against 12.78 per cent in 2019. Likewise, the proportion Chandigarh, July 15 Haryana could witness locust attacks of higher intensity in coming days as Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district, which shares boundary with five districts of the state, has turned into a major breeding centre of the insect. The attacks, particularly after July 22, could be of much higher intensity, the Union Government’s Locust Warning Organisation has warned. Sanjeev Kaushal, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, said the earlier attacks could merely be 16 per cent of the future attacks. “We have been informed about the large-scale locust breeding in Jhunjhunu,” he said. Locusts have attacked fields in Nuh, Mahendragarh, Rewari, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri and Sirsa over the past several days, resulting in widespread damage to crops. INSIDE Ruchika M Khanna and Rajmeet Singh of 95 per cent plus scorers climbed down from 3.25 per cent in 2019 to 2.23 per cent this year. The “compartment” cases increased from 7.88 per cent last year to 8.02 per cent this year. With pass percentage of 93.31, girls outperformed boys (90.14 per cent) by 3.17 per cent. No student was marked “fail” and the term “essential repeat” was used instead. — TNS Students in Gurugram celebrate after the CBSE announced results for Class X on Wednesday. PTI Life an ordeal in Punjab CM’s ancestral village Mehraj Sameer Singh Tribune News Service Bathinda, July 15 Mehraj — Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s ancestral village in Rampura block of Bathinda — presents a picture of utter neglect these days. Streets are inundated with sewer water and residents have to wade through it to move in and out of their Water from a drain overflows in a street of Mehraj village. TRIBUNE houses. Interestingly, the foundation stone for the sewerage was laid by Capt Amarinder himself in 2002. It worked fine for initial few years, but started developing problems due to lack of proper maintenance. The situation becomes terrible during the rainy season. Villagers have repeatedly brought the matter to the notice of the authorities con- cerned, but to no avail. A villager said: “Nagar panchayat members tried to put things in place, but nothing much could be achieved. Many residents blame the present situation on the replacement of drainage pipes during the SAD-BJP regime, but there has been no improvement even after the Congress returned to power in 2017.” continued on back page Tribune News Service Chandigarh, July 15 The Punjab Government today decided to recover Rs 223.75 crore from seven private sugar mills, most of them owned by politicians. This recovery is to be made as land revenue arrears for the largesse extended to them by the previous SADBJP government. A subsidy of Rs 50 per quintal on the State Advised Price (SAP) of Rs 280-Rs 295 per quintal of sugarcane was extended not only to the seven private mills, but also the nine cooperative mills in the state in November 2015 as the sugar prices in the market plummeted to a record Rs 2,400 per quintal. However, within months the sugar prices in the market rose to Rs 3,800-Rs 4,300 per quintal, but the then Subsidy given even when sugar rates soared after fall in 2015 FARMERS AWAIT DUES ■ 5 pvt mills yet to release to farm- ers dues amounting to ~305 cr ■ Coop mills owe ~130 crore to cane growers for past 2 seasons ■ Senior Agri Dept officials say notices had been sent to pvt mills SAD-BJP government continued to give the cash assistance to the mills. The issue of this largesse to private mills owned by a former Congress minister, Akali leaders, the family of a deceased liquor baron and an adviser to the previous government was raised by The Tribune following which a committee was set up. The committee concluded that the seven private sugar continued on back page
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).