log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday TUESDAY MARCH 2, 2021 NEW DELHI: In another major blow to the common man, LPG cylinder prices were again hiked by Rs 25 on Monday. Just three days ago, the prices were hiked by Rs 25. The increase has now taken the price of a 14.2 kg household gas cylinder to Rs 819 in Delhi. The new prices have been implemented from March 1. On February 25, the prices for cooking gas were hiked by Rs 25. It was the third hike in the month of February. Earlier, the prices were increased on February 4 and February 14. IN SHORT >> Religious structure defiled in Assagao MAPUSA: An unknown person has been booked for desecrating a religious structure (‘ghumti’) near the Dattaraj temple at Munagwado in Assagao, Anjuna Police informed. According to police, one Vishnu Talkatkar has lodged a complaint that some unknown persons damaged the religious structure of marble stone. Anjuna Police have registered an offence against unknown persons. Canacona on alert with 17 Covid cases CANACONA: Authorities in Canacona have on alert with 17 active Covid cases being recorded till Monday. The sharp rise in active Covid cases is evident as Canacona had just one active Covid case barely a week ago. Canacona health officials said active Covid cases had risen to 17 on Monday. >> See pg 5 Ex-French president Sarkozy jailed PARIS: A French court on Monday convicted former president Nicolas Sarkozy on charges of corruption and influence peddling, handing him a three-year prison sentence of which two years are suspended. >> See pg 9 Covid Jabs for SC judges from today NEW DELHI: Judges of the Supreme Court will get Covid-19 vaccine shots from Tuesday. Those eligible for the vaccine in the drive starting tomorrow also include the families of the judges and retired judges. The Supreme Court registry has arranged a vaccination facility at the court complex. WEATHER >> Max: 34 C Min: 23.6 C Humidity: 90% TIDES Low: High: 06.52 24.39 18.58 13.06 The Goan (Playstore) 10 pages PRICE ` 6 PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VI, NO. 251 When Golden Globe nominees brought the red carpet home LPG price hiked by ` 5 again 2 Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday GOA 8 Congress-Goa Forward bracing up to wrest control of MMC 3 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 N EWS No impact on power operations due to malware attack: Centre 7 SPORTS Vijender’s next pro bout on rooftop deck of casino ship in Goa 10 QUOTAS IN 5 MUNICIPALITIES SET ASIDE HC ASKS DMA TO ISSUE FRESH NOTIFICATION WITHIN 10 DAYS WANTS RESERVATION FOR WOMEN NOT LESS THAN ONE-THIRD OF TOTAL SEATS THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Bombay High Court at Goa has struck down and set aside the notification of reservations of five of the 11 municipalities that are scheduled to go to polls later this month asking the Director of Municipal Administration to instead issue a fresh notification keeping in mind High Court’s observations. Pronouncing a joint judgement on the nine petitions that were filed before the High Court challenging the notified reservations “the impugned order dated 04/02/2021 in so far as it concerned the Municipal Council of Sanguem, Mormugao, Mapusa, Margao and Quepem is quashed and set aside,” the High Court division bench of Justices M S Sonak and Bharati Dangre, said. “We direct the Director and ex-officio Additional Secretary, Municipal Administrator/ Urban Development, Goa to issue fresh Notification within a period of 10 days from today, thereby ensuring inter alia, reservation for women of not less than one-third of the total number of seats reserved for direct elections to the Municipal Councils,” the High Court said. “While exercising the pow- er afresh and rectifying the gross illegalities pointed out in our judgment and order, the Director shall give due weightage to our observations made therein. The State Election Commission of Goa is directed to expeditiously notify the election programme, on the order for reservation of seats in the Municipal Councils being issued by the Director (of Municipal Administration) and the State Election Commission shall align the schedule of election in a >Continued on P5 ON PAGES 2&3 BJP downplays court verdict, says will have no bearing in Margao Digambar Kamat says it’s beginning of the end of BJP Jumla Raj in Goa Vijai guns for CM, says has no moral right to continue AAP terms verdict as a slap on the State govt Goencho Avaaz says SEC must own responsibility and resign KEY HIGH COURT OBSERVATIONS The constitutional Courts cannot be reduced to mute spectators when the right to contest or to vote at a election, though a statutory right is said to be scuttled on the basis on uninformed reservation policy The Director after having admitted that there was no policy based on which the reservation has been made or rotation policy implemented, appears to have regarded the absence of such policy as a licence to make reservations based on his whims and caprices Different yardsticks have been applied in respect of different Municipal Councils There is no uniform policy even for the implementation of the rotation mandate in the same councils The entire exercise of making reservations to no less than 11 councils was completed by the Director in a single day and even the impugned order was issued on the same date Democratically elected nations burgeon on absolutely free and impartial elections and India being a colossal democracy demands such a process Election disputes are not just private civil disputes between two parties. Though there is an individual or a few individuals arrayed as parties before the Court but the stakes of the constituencies as a whole are on trial The pertinence of free and fair election stems from participation of all and sundry and as well as representation from the entire societal strata Absence of such a policy would transgress upon the fundamental rights of certain class of voters/aspiring candidates HC raps SEC for abdicating duty PANAJI: The Bombay High Court at Goa has come down heavily on the State Election Commission for abdicating its duty towards ensuring that the constitutional mandate was being followed in the Goa Municipal Elections saying that the SEC was very inappropriate in pushing all the blame on the Municipal Administration for the reser- vations. “The action of the Director and on the conduct of the Election Commission as a mute spectator, which in fact was expected to act and live up to its role conferred by the constitution, ensuring free and fair elections, we are not expected to be oblivious to the situations which have been drawn to us. We do not appreciate the helplessness expressed by the State Election Commission, which is supposed to be an authority independent of the Government. If the illegality has been noticed,” the High Court said. “We expect it (State Election Commission) to act with promptitude and issue >Continued on P5 State to move SC for stay on HC order THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Responding to the setback in the Bombay High Court at Goa, the State government has announced that it would approach the Supreme Court to seek a stay on the order. “We have decided that we will file an SLP in the Supreme Court against this order. We are of the view that no sooner was the election process imminent, the Court should not have interfered. Cases can be filed after the election process is complete,” Advocate General Devidas Pangam told the Court. “There are many precedents from the Supreme Court which have ruled that when the elections are near, courts should not interfere. We are going to the Supreme Court on this principle. We will file it as soon as possible,” he said. Opposition political parties have however said that the Goa government’s decision to challenge the order of the High Court was on expected lines. Earlier the Bombay High Court at Goa refused to keep its order in abeyance allowing the State Government to approach the Supreme Court. “We have also clarified that by interfering at this stage, not accepting the argument of the >Continued on P5 2 petitioners file caveat in SC MARGAO: Anticipating that the government will challenge the High Court order in the Apex Court, a couple of petitioners in the ward reservation case in the High Court has moved the Supreme Court by filing a caveat on Monday noon. Goa Forward Chief Vijai Sardesai in a tweet has confirmed that the petitioners have already filed a caveat before the Supreme Court on Monday at 3 pm. In his tweet, Sardesai said “we always knew that this government led by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, which has scant regard for law will never respect verdict of the High Court. >Continued on P5 Chinese hackers target Confusion, chaos reign as second Indian vaccine makers phase of vaccination drive begins SII, BHARAT BIOTECH SERVERS EXPOSED LACK OF CLARITY ON ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA, TECH SNAGS HIT OPS PTI THE GOAN I NETWORK NEW DELHI A Chinese state-backed hacking group has in recent weeks targeted the IT systems of two Indian vaccine makers whose coronavirus shots are being used in the country’s immunisation campaign, cyber intelligence firm Cyfirma said. China and India have both sold or gifted Covid-19 shots to many countries. India produces more than 60 per cent of all vaccines sold in the world. Goldman Sachs-backed Cyfirma, based in Singapore and Tokyo, said Chinese hacking group APT10, also known as Stone Panda, had identified gaps and vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure and supply chain software of Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine maker. “The real motivation here is actually exfiltrating intellectual property and getting competitive advantage over Indian pharmaceutical companies,” Register for vaccination through CoWIN portal, not app: Govt NEW DELHI: The Union Health Ministry said on Monday that the CoWIN app on Play Store is meant for use only by administrators, and that registration and booking for appointment for Covid-19 vaccination has to be done through the portal. This was clarified by the ministry amid reported glitches in doing registrations as India opened up vaccination for senior citizens and those aged 45 and above with co-morbidities. ‘Registration and booking for appointment for #COVID19 vaccination is to be done through #CoWIN Portal: www.cowin.gov.in. There is NO #CoWIN App for beneficiary registration. The App on Play Store is for administrators only,’ the ministry tweeted. said Cyfirma Chief Executive Kumar Ritesh, formerly a top cyber official with British foreign intelligence agency MI6. He said APT10 was actively targeting SII, which is making the AstraZeneca vaccine for many countries and will soon start bulk-manufacturing Novavax shots. “In the case of Serum Insti- tute, they have found a number of their public servers running weak web servers, these are vulnerable web servers,” Ritesh said, referring to the hackers. “They have spoken about weak web application, they are also talking about weak content-management system. It’s quite alarming.” PANAJI A total of 1,220 senior citizens and persons between 45 and 59 years of age received the first dose of Covid vaccine in Goa on the first day of Phase II of the ongoing vaccination drive which was marked by chaos, confusion and technical snags. There was complete lack of clarity about the eligibility criteria for beneficiaries. Confusion was also witnessed in several centres across the State due to procedures that were to be followed. Technical snags were also the order of the day. The vaccination centre at Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim also reportedly fell prey to technical issues owing to the updation of Co-WIN portal from Co-WIN 1.0 to Co-WIN 2.0. Reports also suggested that the CoWIN portal kept shutting down intermittently while processing the inocula- Paid jabs at 16 Pvt hospitals A senior citizen receives the Covid jab at the Urban Health Centre in Panaji on Monday. tion exercise. A total of 1,220 senior citizens and persons between 45 and 59 years of age received the first dose of Covid vaccine in Goa. While 1,031 people above 60 years of age received the vaccine, 189 persons within 45 and 59 years of age with comorbidities were administered the first dose. The turnout was almost similar in both the districts with 630 persons >Continued on P5 PANAJI: Paid Covid vaccination will commence from the first week of March at 16 private hospitals empanelled under Deen Dayal Swashtya Seva Yojana (DDSSY) in Goa for people above 60 years and people between 45 and 59 years with co-morbidities. These hospitals include total 13 private hospitals in Goa are listed as empanelled under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana on the National Health Authority portal for administering Covid vaccines in the State. These include Mardolkar Hospital in Bicholim, Vision Multispeciality Hospital in Mapusa, Savaikar Hospital in Warkharnem-Ponda, Usgaonkar Hospital in Sadar-Ponda, Ahirwasd >Continued on P5 Goa, 5 other States to have sweltering summer: IMD forecast Goa gets `30 cr as GST compensation LOWEST TEMPERATURE IS PTI NEW DELHI ay temperatures are likely to be above normal in north, northeast, parts of east and west India, the India Meteorological Department said Monday in its summer forecast for March to May. Pointing out the probability of sweltering heat, IMD said above maximum temperatures may be witnessed in Goa, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Gujarat, coastal Maharashtra and coastal Andhra Pradesh. The weather bureau however, has forecast a likelihood of below normal temperatures in south and adjoining central India. “During the upcoming hot weather season (March to D HIGHEST IN LAST 62 YRS NEW DELHI: The lowest temperature that was reported in January was actually the highest in the last 62 years. The temperature recorded in South India in the month of January was quite hot. It was also reported that the lowest temperature that was recorded in January was 22.3-degree celsius, which was actually the highest in 121 years. On the other hand, Central India recorded the minimum temperature of 14.82 degrees Celsius in January, which was actually the highest in 38 years. May), above normal seasonal maximum (day) temperatures are likely over most of the subdivisions of north, northwest and northeast India, few subdivisions from eastern and western parts of central India and few coastal subdivisions of north peninsular India,” the forecast said. Apart from other states, there is a high probability for above maximum temperatures in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Gujarat, coastal Maharashtra, Goa and coastal Andhra Pradesh. “However, below normal seasonal maximum temperatures are likely over most of the subdivisions of south peninsula and adjoining central India,” it added. It said above normal seasonal minimum (night) temperatures are likely over most of the of north India along the foot hills of Himalayas, northeast India, western part of central India and southern part of peninsular India. “However, below normal season minimum temperatures are likely over most of the subdivisions of eastern part of the central India and few subdivisions of extreme northern part of the country,” the IMD added. Earlier, the news agency PTI reported that the lowest temperature that was reported in January was actually the highest in the last 62 years. According to the meteorological department, the temperature recorded in South India in the month of January was quite hot. It was also reported that the lowest temperature that was recorded in January was 22.3-degree celsius, which was actually the highest in 121 years. On the other hand, Central India recorded the minimum temperature of 14.82 degrees Celsius in January, which was actually the highest in 38 years. The meteorologists also said that this year there is a high chance that people will witness scorching heat as there will be above normal temperature this year. The Meteorological Department did a comparative study of temperature data from the year 1901-2021. In the report, it was mentioned that this year in January, the average temperature was recorded at 14.78 degrees celsius, which was the warmest in 62 years since 1958. THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Goa received Rs 30.49 crore from the Centre as part of the 18th weekly instalment to meet the shortfall in Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation on Monday. A total of Rs 838.38 crore has been received by Goa so far. The Centre on Friday released a total of Rs 4,000 crore to States and Union Territories as 18th tranche through a special borrowing window setup to meet the shortfall in GST compensation. Out of this, an amount of Rs 3,677.74 crore has been released to 23 States and an amount of Rs 322.26 crore has been released to the 3 Union Territories (UT) with Legislative Assembly (Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry) who are members of the GST Council. The remaining five States, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim do not have a gap in revenue on account of GST implementation. Till now, 94 per cent of the total estimated GST compensation shortfall has been released to the States and UTs with Legislative Assembly. Out of this, an amount of Rs. 95,138.08 crore has been to States.
The new Goa, with a broader profile of people from different parts of India and the world, needs not just a strong local paper but a complete paper. The Goan on Saturday will connect to and be a viable and comprehensive read for locals, other Indians in Goa, NRI and foreigners. It will also be a bridge for Goans in other parts of India all over the world to their home land. The Goan is published by Goa's most reputed industrial houses.