TIRUCHY SATURDAY APRIL 13, 2019 `6.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION FACTORY OUTPUT GROWTH AT 20-MONTH LOW IN FEBRUARY Industrial output growth slowed to 0.1 per cent in February, primarily due to contraction in the manufacturing sector HUGE FALL FROM 6.9% GROWTH LAST YEAR MANUFACTURING ACTIVITY SHRINKS Factory output, as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), had grown by 6.9 per cent in February 2018, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office. During April-February 2018-19, industrial output grew at 4 per cent as against 4.3 per cent expansion in the same period of the previous fiscal ■ ■ The manufacturing sector, which constitutes 77.63 per cent of the IIP, contracted by 0.3 per cent in February as against 8.4 per cent growth in the same month a year ago However, 10 out of 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth in February 2019 2.86% RETAIL INFLATION INCHES UP IN MARCH ON COSTLIER FOOD, FUEL PRICES | P13 CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI In a first, 9 experts from private sector appointed as joint secretaries EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE CEO of a renewable energy firm, a civil aviation specialist with KPMG and an environment professional at a top PSU were among the nine domain experts appointed on Friday as joint secretaries through lateral entry . Dinesh Dayanand Jagdale, Amber Dubey and Sujit Kumar Bajpayee will join the ministries of New and Renewable Energy, Civial Aviation, and Environment, respectively, as joint secretaries. While Jagdale is director and CEO at Panama Renewable Energy Group, Dubey heads the aerospace and defence vertical at KPMG in India. Bajpayee is an environment professional with NHPC. The others are Arun Goel (commerce), Rajeev Saksena (economic affairs), Saurabh Mishra (financial services), Suman Prasad Singh (road transport and highways), Bhushan Kumar (shipping), and Kokoli Ghosh (agriculture, coopera- Will convince AIADMK, NEET should stay: Goyal EPS POSER TO STALIN, RAHUL Responding to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of AIADMK and the BJP, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami asked DMK chief MK Stalin if he agreed with Rahul’s promise to Karnataka voters on implementation of the Mekedatu scheme on Cauvery, which is opposed by TN farmers Piyush Goyal, BJP in-charge for TN Tiruchy heats up in a triangular fight | P4 Who will win Vaigai heartland this time? | P4 EXPRESS READ Collegium recommends 2 judges to SC The Supreme Court Collegium on Friday recommended Jharkhand HC Chief Justice Aniruddha Bose and Gauhati HC hief Justice A S Bopanna for elevation to the SC. PMO steps in as Jet crisis deepens The PM’s office on Friday called a meeting of aviation officials to take stock of the situation arising from Jet cancelling flights and the rise in air fares. P13 Of the shortlisted candidates, 14 each are for the posts of JS in Agri cooperation and farmers welfare, and Shipping; 13 for Aviation; 10 for Financial Services; 9 each for Revenue, and New and renewable energy, 8 for Road, 7 for Environment, 3 for Economic affairs, and 2 for Commerce Campaigning across TN on Friday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said his party would make NEET optional if voted to power | EXPRESS E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai/Salem AT a time when the general public mood in the State is tilted against the national common medical entrance examination — NEET, and almost every major regional party and the Congress have promised to try and abolish the system, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Piyush Goyal raised a few eyebrows on Friday by stating that NEET “need not be scrapped”. “I don’t think NEET should be scrapped,” said Goyal, who is BJP’s in-charge for Tamil Nadu, in Chennai. When asked about their ally AIADMK’s promise in its manifesto to “urge the Centre” to scrap NEET, Goyal said: “We will talk to them and convince the AIADMK leadership.” Goyal also said the Centre had already agreed to AIADMK’s request for NEET to 2019 be conducted in Tamil. Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who was campaigning across four districts in the State on Friday reiterated in Salem , that his party “was committed to abolishing the NEET”. “We do not want anymore suicides in the State because of NEET, which is why we have mentioned in our manifesto that States will have the freedom to opt for or out of NEET,” Gandhi said. Rahul was referring to the suicide of S Anitha, allegedly over NEET. When Goyal was asked about the Congress’ stand on NEET, he said: “The issue has already been settled. Rahul Gandhi is promising to revive an old system which benefits college managements that take large capitation fees. I am sure people of Tamil Nadu want seats to be given Rahul campaigns in TN: P5 based on merit.” CONFUSION OVER ARMY VETERANS’ LETTER TO PREZ M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi A controversy has broken out over a letter purportedly written by 156 Armed Forces veterans, including nine retired chiefs, to the President, against politicisation of the armed forces. The letter, which hit the social media on Friday morning, included names of nine former chiefs, besides several veterans. However, Air Chief Marshal NC Suri and General SF Rodrigues denied they ever endorsed it, while other signatories said they had given their individual consent. Sources in the Rashtrapati Bhawan, too, said the President’s office had not received the letter in question. “We have received only one letter which is from ex service chief NC Suri who has conveyed to us that he has not signed any letter on the issue. We have not received any other letter”, the sources said. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharam said, “It is worrying if people’s consent is being taken and fake letters with fake allegations are being signed by some vested interest groups. It is absolutely condemnable.” The issue got confounded with Admiral Suresh Mehta, Lt gen ML Naidu, Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak, and few others, accepting they had consented to the text the letter contained. The letter addressed to President said, “We refer to the unusual and completely unacceptable practice of political leaders taking credit for military operations like cross-border strikes, and even going so far as to claim the Armed Forces to be “Modi ji ki Sena”. tion and farmers welfare). The government had invited applications in June 2018 for joint secretary-level posts through the lateral entry mode, opening a new chapter in administrative reforms. A total of 6,077 applications were received in response to the government’s advertisement. The government had in December entrusted the task of selecting the candidates for these posts to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which is responsible for conducting civil services examination to select the country’s bureaucrats, diplomats and police officers. Out of the 6,077 applications received, 89 were short-listed for interview. They were then asked to fill up a detailed applic at i o n fo r m fo r f u r t h e r processing. Government think tank Niti Aayog had also highlighted in a report that it was essential that experts in various areas be inducted into the system through lateral entry on a fixed-term contract. SC’s middle ground on electoral bonds Does not stay it but asks all parties to share information on the funds so generated with EC by May 30; assures in-depth hearing on the matter on April 15 as it involves weighty issues STRIKING A BALANCE LOK SABHA ELECTION I don’t think NEET should be scrapped. We will talk to AIADMK leaders and convince them on the issue 89 SHORTLISTED EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SC wanted to ensure that “any interim arrangement that may be made would not tilt the balance in favour of either of the parties but the same ensures adequate safeguards against competing claims” THE controversial electoral bonds, which offer anonymity to donors of political parties, will not be put on ice during the ongoing elections, the Supreme Court said in an interim order on Friday, while directing all parties to disclose details of all such funds, to the Election Commission in sealed covers by May 30. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said such “weighty issues” cannot be concluded in a short span, adding parties in the case have told @ New Delhi Cong shuts door, keeps window open EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday continued to play mind games, with the former saying it would announce its candidates for all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi in a day or two but adding it was still open to an alliance with the latter. The APP promptly said it was open to an alliance, too, but was not sure about the intentions of the senior Congress leadership. The AAP wants a package deal with three seats in Haryana, which is not acceptable to the Congress. After the AAP said it would contest all seven seats in Delhi, the Congress did likewise and held a meeting on Thursday to discuss its candidate list. While four names were finalised, the other three would be done soon. AICC in charge of Delhi P C Chacko said: “Situation in Delhi is not similar in Haryana or in Punjab or in any other state. So, it is neither practical nor feasible to have an understanding in other states the way we can have it within Delhi.” He gave vote share figures of the 2017 municipal election in Delhi to show that it translates into three seats for Congress and four for the AAP . “I want to clarify the position that we were willing, we are willing. Since they (AAP) have taken a difficult proposition, we are not able to have an alliance. The Congress is going to fight elections in Delhi on its own,” he said. But AAP leader Sanjay Singh questioned the vote share logic. “If the Congress says we do not have vote share in Punjab and Haryana, on what basis do they ask for seats in Delhi?” he said. We were willing, we are willing. Since they (AAP) have taken a difficult proposition, we are not able to have an alliance. The Congress is going to fight elections in Delhi on its own P C Chacko, Congress leader the court that electoral bonds can have tremendous bearing on the sanctity of the electoral process in the country . Political parties have been asked to submit detailed particulars of the donors, the amount of each bond and the full particulars of the credit received against each bond, namely, the bank account to which the amount has been credited and the date of each credit. The sealed covers will remain in the “safe custody” of the Election Commission till further orders. The court said the scheme has been brought after amending various laws like the the Finance Act, the Reserve Bank Of India Act, the Representation of the People Act, the Income Tax Act and the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act and it needed detailed examination. The bench also pointed to a loophole in a February 28 note issued by the Finance Ministry for purchase of electoral bonds and asked the ministry to squeeze the window for purchase of bonds. Order won’t remove the veil, feels ADR founder New Delhi: Will the Supreme Court’s interim order remove the secrecy veil on electoral bond donors? Hardly, says Prof Jagdeep Chhokar, a founder member of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). Parties can easily say they received the bonds anonymously, points out Prof Chhokar, whose ADR is one of the petitioners in the Supreme Court. “It will not make any difference to the political parties and today’s order has not helped in bringing in more transparency, he adds.
Express Publications (Madurai) Limited publishes the prestigious English language newspaper The New Indian Express from 21 centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa.
Express Publications (Madurai) Ltd. also publishes the Tamil daily Dinamani, Cinema Express (Tamil) and Malayalam Vaarika (Malayalam). Through a sister company, Kannada Prabha Publications Ltd., it publishes the Kannada daily Kannada Prabha.
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