log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday MONDAY JANUARY 3, 2022 Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday 8 pages PRICE ` 6 The Goan (Playstore) PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VII, NO. 196 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday FC GOA PLAY 2-2 DRAW AGAINST KERALA >>P8 RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 Promise - 2 DON FULANCHO KAAL GOENCHI NAVI SAKAL Sign-Up at www.yuvashakticard.in GOA TRINAMOOL CONGRESS Daunting task ahead; vaccine for kids today GOVT SETS TARGET OF FOUR DAYS FOR INOCULATION THE GOAN I NETWORK IN SHORT >> Babu Ajgaonkar on way to MGP? PANAJI: With Pravin Arlekar set to be inducted into BJP on Monday, it is now likely that Tourism Minister Babu Ajgaonkar will not get a BJP ticket from Pernem. >> See pg 5 Nitin Gadkari arrives today PANAJI: Ahead of the elections Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari is arriving on a day’s visit to Goa. He will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of various highway projects. >> See pg 5 Stampede caused by scuffle: Officials JAMMU: The Saturday stampede that killed 12 people occurred ‘due to a scuffle between two groups of pilgrims’, the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board said in a statement Army foils Pak’s BAT action in J&K JAMMU: A Pakistani national was killed by the Army while trying to infiltrate into Kupwara district. In a complete breach of the ceasefire across LoC, an infiltration or BAT action (Pakistan Army’s Border Action Team) was foiled, an official said. WEATHER >> Max: 34.2 C Min: 22.1 C Humidity: 88% TIDES Low: 05.05 High: 10.15 17.03 ---- PANAJI Vaccination teams from the health department will from Monday go about the challenging task of administering the first dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 to 15-18 year old students in the over 500 high schools and higher secondary schools across the State. The vaccination drive -- a target of which four days has been set -- in the educational institutions is being co-ordinated by the Education Department which has already issued instructions to school managements to prepare the logistics including providing manpower to assist the teams and arranging a room on campus. Education department offi- Covid cases gallop, 388 infections; positivity rate rises to over 10% PANAJI: Goa’s Covid curve shot up sharply on Sunday with 388 new cases being recorded. The daily positivity rate stood at 10.76 per cent with 3,604 samples tested in the last 24 hours. One more person succumbed to the virus raising Goa’s cumulative death toll to 3,523. Goa has recorded 1,520 Covid cases since December 26. The numbers began rising over the last week and presently, the state’s active Covid count stands at 1,671. cials however are less than optimistic that the drive will take off from day one given that Monday is the first day that students will return to schools after the Christmas vacation. “A consent form is required to be signed by parents. Monday is the first working day for schools after the vacation. So it is likely that we may not achieve satisfactory numbers from the start,” said a senior official from the education department. The actual vaccination programme is fixed to commence in the schools from 9 am. The State government, meanwhile, has set a target of inoculating all of the approximately 72,000 children in the 500-odd educational institutions. Health Minister on Sunday said, the target is proposed to be achieved in four days once the drive begins on Monday. He made the claim at a meeting of health ministers which was chaired by the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. According to him, 72,000 doses of vaccine for the drive to inoculate 15-18 year olds have already been received by the State government. “We have already received the stock of doses to vaccinate children between 15 to 18 years. It will be >Continued on P6 Power dept presents `360 cr deficit biz plan for 2022-25 NO TARIFF HIKE PROPOSED; T&D LOSSES STAGNANT THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI There will be no power tariff hike in Goa until March 31, 2025, if the business plan presented for approval to the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) by the Goa electricity department envisaging a deficit of Rs 360 crore is approved. Approval for the business plan from the JERC however requires a long-drawn process including the mandatory holding of a public hearing wherein stakeholders are permitted to file objections and scrutinize the plan minutely. With assembly elections due and the Model Code of Conduct expected to come into force, the JERC may be in a quandary to schedule the public hearing and the process to approve the Electricity department’s business plan may get delayed beyond the March 31 deadline. The proposed business plan, meanwhile, justi- The proposed business plan justifies the Rs 360 crore deficit for the three financial years from 2022-25 arguing that the shortfall will be ‘subsidized’ by the government through budgetary allocations fies the Rs 360 crore deficit for the three financial years from 2022-25 arguing that the shortfall will be ‘subsidized’ by the State government through budgetary allocations. The State government has year after year been subsidizing the electricity department through budgetary allocations nearly to the tune of Rs 300 odd crores, a situation severally red-flagged by the JERC in the past. The plan also does not contain any serious effort to cut down transmission and distribution (T&D) losses which average a significant 10 to 11 % annually. Also, the business plan is silent on the question of corporatising the electricity department or converting it either into a Board or a Corporation indicating that the State government has shied away from taking a decision in a crucial election year. Tense moments at MPT as ship TMC unveils ‘Yuva Shakti’ card for with 2000 not allowed to dock youth; credit limit @ `20 lakh Crew member tests positive Government orders RT-PCR tests for all passengers GOVT WILL PROVIDE REQUIRED SECURITY COLLATERALS: SUDIN THE GOAN I NETWORK THE GOAN I NETWORK VASCO The Mormugao Port Trust witnessed anxious moments as a ship with over 2000 passengers which had arrived on Sunday was denied permission to dock after one of the crew had tested positive after an antigen test. Authorities swung into action and ordered RT-PCR tests for all passengers of the cruise ship MV Cordelia Empress. The government also directed that the ship will not be allowed to dock at MPT till all the passengers and crew were subjected to RTPCR tests. Senior manager of JM Baxi company Govind Pernulkar said the ship had around 2017 people on board and the vessel had arrived from Mumbai. Pernulkar, however, denied the rumours that many of the passengers on the ship were positive and added that only one crew had tested positive after an antigen test. File photo “The cruise ship arrived at MPT as per it’s normal routine every week. We got information at around 9.30 am that a crew had developed some symptoms for the last two days and was subjected to an antigen test on board and he tested positive. He was kept in isolation as a precautionary measure”, he said. Pernulkar also disclosed that the authorities refused permission for the ship to dock and kept it in anchorage. As per SOPs, authorities have decided that the ship will be got on berth and that the positive crew will be shifted to a Covid hospital”, he said. According to per government instructions, all on board will have to undergo RTPCR tests. Necessary arrangements have been made and a medical team of around 20 people will arrive on board. “We will take all the necessary precautions and only once we get the results of all the passengers and crew, we will decide on the next step of getting people off the ship”, Pernulkar said. PANAJI After the highly successful ‘Griha Laxmi’ scheme, Goa TMC on Sunday announced its second election promise a ‘Yuva Shakti Card’ for Goan youth who will have access to a collateral-free credit facility of up to Rs 20 lakh. The scheme was launched under the Navya Goeank Navi Yuti alliance in the presence of MGP leader and former Deputy CM of Goa, Sudin Dhavalikar, Goa’s first Catholic Chief Minister, Churchill Alemao, three time Curtorim legislator, Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco and Goa TMC leaders like Kiran Kandolkar, Yatish Naik, Rajendra Kakodkar, Ethel Lobo, Avita Bandodkar, Samil Volvoikar, Sandeep Vazarkar, Seoula Vas, Anand Naik and AITC national spokesperson Saket Gokhale. Addressing the media, Dhavalikar spoke of the TMC-MGP alliance paving the way for a YUVA SHAKTI: DIDI’S BOOSTER DOSE Scheme is universal and hence accessible to anyone within the age range of 18-45 years Will have a single-window clearance system Govt to provide required security ‘New Dawn’ in the State that would be based on good governance practices in the state. “Under the Navya Goeank Navi Yuti alliance, our government will implement this scheme that will help all the youth in need of funds. Our government will take it upon itself to provide the required security collaterals for this credit facility and tie up with a financial institution for the same”, he explained. collaterals for this credit facility and tie up with a financial institution for the same Scheme is a tool that will empower the youth by helping them stand on their own feet Naik mentioned that the scheme is universal and hence accessible to anyone within the age range of 18-45 years. He said, “the situation of the youth in the State is very grim in the absence of any initiative by the current government. With the government as its guarantor, this scheme is a tool that will empower the youth by helping them stand on their own feet. This scheme is the right of the Goan youth and not a freebie”. Further talking about what sets the scheme apart from any other prevalent credit scheme, Churchill Alemao said, “Unlike other schemes which tend to be very time-consuming, under this scheme, we will provide a one-window system which will help minimise tension among the youth. This is a collateral-free, universal credit assistance facility which will help get the youth to a financially secure place”. Reginaldo further vouched for the feasibility of the scheme’s implementation and appealed to the Goan youth to proactively come forward and register for the same. With over 1 lakh youth registered with the unemployment exchange in Goa, the state ranks 8th worst in the country in terms of its unemployment rate. At a credit rate of only 4% per annum, Goa >Continued on P6 NEET quota: ` 8 lakh income criteria for EWS to stay AAP exposes irregularities in PTI NEW DELHI he Centre has told the Supreme Court that it has decided to accept the recommendation of a three-member panel to retain the current gross annual family income limit for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of Rs 8 lakh or less. The government said that the panel has recommended that family income is a “feasible criterion” for defining EWS and in the current situation, a threshold of Rs 8 lakh of annual family income seems reasonable for determining EWS. In its affidavit filed in a matter related to admissions for NEET-PG, the Centre said the panel has recommended that T “only those families whose annual income is up to Rs 8 lakh would be eligible to get the benefit of EWS reservation”. “I respectfully submit that the central government has decided to accept the recommendations of the committee, including the recommenda- tion of applying the new criteria prospectively,” Secretary, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, R Subrahmanyam, who filed the affidavit on behalf of the Centre told the top court. The Centre had constituted the three-member committee, comprising Ajay Bhushan Pandey, former finance secretary, VK Malhotra, member secretary, ICSSR, and Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Adviser to Centre, on November 30 last year according to an assurance given to the top court to revisit the criteria for determining EWS. The committee in its report submitted on December 31 last year to the Centre said, “The current gross annual family income limit for EWS of Rs 8 lakh or less may be retained. In other words, only those families whose annual income is up to Rs 8 lakh would be eligible to get the benefit of EWS reservation.” The decision of the committee eventually delayed the NEET-PG 2021 counselling, which had led to wide scale protest by a large number of resident doctors under banner of the Federation of Resident Doctors’’ Association (FORDA) in Delhi and other parts of the country. They were seeking expeditious removal of legal impediments. FORDA had pointed out that due to a delay of eight months in counselling of the NEET-PG 2021 batch, there was a “acute shortage” of resident doctors across the country. Meanwhile, the three-member panel in its report said, The current limit of annual family income of Rs 8 lakhs does not seem to be over-inclusive as the available data on actual outcomes does not indicate over inclusion. It should be >Continued on P6 health sector recruitment THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI In a surprise visit to the Mapusa district hospital, Aam Aadmi Party’s Goa convener Rahul Mhambre exposed the irregularities being carried out in the health sector recruitment. Addressing the media on Sunday Mhambre said, “around 300 candidates showed up at Mapusa district hospital to collect fitness certificates for the jobs in the health department. Interestingly, all 300 candidates were from the Health Minister’s constituency. This is another example of job scams in the health sector”. “Despite unemployment being a major issue in the Mapusa, MLA Joshua D’Souza never paid attention to it. He should have raised his voice against such practices as a Mapusa MLA”, he said. “It is wrong that government jobs are being given to people from the particular constituency. This problem should be addressed by CM Sawant, Mapusa MLA and the BJP. On one hand, the BJP touts ‘Sabka saath, sab- ka vikas’, while on the other hand, their own ministers are giving jobs to specific people”, he added. He further said, “it is time for a change and that is why voters ought to give AAP a chance. The AAP has promised 80 percent reservation for locals in the private sector, employment to every household, and unemployment allowance until the unemployed get hired”. Earlier AAP leader Adv Amit Palekar had exposed a major job scam in the health sector by claiming that 95 per cent of jobs were given to people from Sawant’s Sakhali constituency and Health Minister’s Sattari constituency.
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