KOCHI 5 august 2014 tuesday `6 pages 22 late city edition CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BANGALORE ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELGAUM ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIMOGA ■ TIRUCHY ■ www.newindianexpress.com r a da r Indian CWG Officials Let off Glasgow: IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta and wrestling referee Virender Malik were released after charges against them were dropped for lack of evidence. P16 Deadlock on Insurance Bill New Delhi: The Insurance Bill has been deferred after the government’s meeting with Opposition leaders failed to break the deadlock. P11 SyndBank CMD Suspended New Delhi: Two days after the CBI arrested Syndicate Bank MD S K Jain for allegedly accepting a `50-lakh bribe, the government suspended him. P15 Indices Sensex: Nifty: Markets 25,723.16 7,683.65 Bullion Gold Std (1 gm): 2,630 Silver (1 gm): 48.10 Currency Rate US$: 61.01 Euro: 81.80 UAE Dirham: 16.59 Saudi Riyal: 16.25 Source: BSE, NSE, RBI websites express poll of the day Do you find merit in the criticism of Justice Dave’s suggestion that the Bhagavad Gita should be taught in schools? Yes 31% no 69% Today’s question: Are you prepared to forgo your subsidy on LPG cylinders for nation building as oil companies suggest? SMS TO 54646 www.newindianexpress.com 22 pages, including 4 pages of City Express Govt relents, Drops English Skill in UPSC by Yatish Yadav & U Anand Kumar New Delhi: Facing heat over the controversial Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), the NDA Government on Monday tried to assuage the agitating UPSC aspirants by removing the “English Language Comprehension Skills” section from gradation and merit in the preliminary exam, but refused to yield to the demand of scrapping the CSAT, first introduced in 2011. In order to broker peace, MoS, Personnel Jitendra Singh also announced in the Lok Sabha that 2011 candidates will be allowed to appear in the 2015 exam as well. Students and Opposition parties rejected the changes and vowed to continue the protests till the system was scrapped altogether. In the Lower House, the attack was led by the Samajwadi Party and BJD. Protesting members received support from BJP MP S S Ahluwalia, who wanted to know the status of cases filed against agitating civil services aspirants. The government is learnt to have arrived at the decision after examining the Arvind Verma panel report. The panel was said to have recommended against scrapping CSAT but suggested that the quality of English to Hindi translations in the paper be improved as some translations were beyond comprehension. Foreign Jaunts Form Pith of the Proposed Coir Consortium by N V Ravindranathan Nair T’Puram: The Kerala Coir Marketing Consortium (KCMC), a company proposed to be set up under the state government to create market for coir products, has been found spending crores even before its incorporation. Though the incorporation expenses for the proposed company were limited at `10 lakh, till date it has spent crores on foreign tours of three officials and Coir Minister Adoor Prakash. As per the information made available under the RTI Act, KCMC has recived budgetory allocation for `6.70 crore during 2009-10 to 2012-13. In the financial year 2009-10, the Consortium received `2 crore as budget allocation. The entire amout was found to be withdrawn by K R Anil, Special officer KCMC, who is also the Director of the National Coir Research & Management Institute (NCRMI). ‘Express’ had recently reported that NCRMI was operating the treasury account (TPA/ 252) of CDOCT, a now defunct charitable society, allegedly to park the leftover funds of NCRMI. “I have no idea of us having such an account. We have two accounts, one at SBI Kudappanakunnu and another at the Statue branch,” Anil said. The information provided under the RTI Act shows that KCMC had received `2 crore as budget allocation in 2009-10. Of this, `15 lakh was spent on “various activities of the KCMC.” An amount of `7.60 lakh was spent for attending the Annual conference of International Erosion Control Association, Florida, USA. nothing amiss, says coir devpt director Coir Development Director K Madanan justified the action of NCRMI director by saying that both C-DOCT and NCRMI were one and the same there was nothing wrong in them operating the CDOCT account. But when asked about the legal validity of such an action he said he had no more comments to make. During the fiscal of 2010-11, the Consortium received (amount sanctioned to Special Officer KCMC) `2 crore as budget allocation. During this period it has been stated that an amount of `1,43,85,344 was spent for developing and establishing a marketing and supply chain system. An amount of `13.54 lakh was spent on advertisements alone. The money spent on “field visit, data collection, international exhibition at Alappuzha has been put at `20 lakh. More: P4 Onam Dampner: Rain to Set Vegetable Prices on Fire Crop loss caused by torrential downpour in the past few weeks has touched `75 crore by Athul Lal A G Kozhikode: With the late monsoon downpour damaging crops vegetable prices, which have already gone north on account of inflation, are set to burn holes in the pockets of consumers this Onam season. A rough estimate reveals that the crop loss caused by torrential rain in the past few weeks has already touched `75-crore mark. A preliminary assessment by the Agriculture Department shows that plantain farmers are the most affected lot across the state. Around 1.6 lakh plantain trees were damaged due to heavy rainfall in Kozhikode district alone. The Chill Continues heavy rainfall predicted The Meteorological Department has warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places till Thursday. It has also warned of strong onshore winds govt solace The govt has announced a solatium of `2 lakh each to the families of those killed in the torrential rain. Those who lost houses will be given `2 lakh each Rising water raises hopes Water-level in Idukki dam is inching up slowly to reach 2,346.12 ft which is 42 pc of the total volume of the dam. Full reservoir level of the Idukki dam is 2,403 ft Bodies of Kids Recovered: The bodies of the two children who had gone missing in the Tirur-Ponnani river were recovered from the premises of Kandanath bridge on Monday. Three boys had gone missing on Sunday evening The department is yet to assess crop loss in terms of money. Director of Agriculture R Ajithkumar said pric- es are likely to skyrocket. “A few months ago, a droughtlike situation prevailed in many parts of the state and it had affected crop production. Now, the flood-like situation has made it worse. There is no doubt that the prices will go up,” Ajithkumar said. Alappuzha, with an estimated crop loss of `27.54 crore, is the worst hit. More than 3,460 hectares of paddy is lying inundated in the district. The Agriculture Department has estimated crop loss in around 520 hectares due to the breach of dykes in Kuttanad. In Palakkad, heavy rain has submerged 250.78 hectares of agricultural land, damaging plantain, paddy and vegetables. The estimated loss is `498.68 lakh. More: P5
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