CHENNAI TUESDAY OCTOBER 22, 2019 `5.00 PAGES 22 LATE CITY EDITION COLONEL CHEWANG RINCHEN BRIDGE J&K YOU CAN NOW VISIT WORLD’S HIGHEST BATTLEFIELD Siachen Glacier is now open for tourists, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday in eastern Ladakh A WINDOW TO APPRECIATE ARMY’S TOUGH WORK STRATEGIC BRIDGE FOR FASTER ACCESS The Defence Minister said the government has decided to open the entire area from Siachen Base Camp to Kumar Post for tourism. It is meant to boost tourism in Ladakh and give people a window to appreciate the tough work done by Army jawans and engineers in extreme weather and inhospitable terrains, Rajnath said ■ ■ In Ladakh, Singh inaugurated Col Chewang Rinchin Bridge over Shyok River that would facilitate faster military movement Since 2017, the Army has conducted civilian treks from Siachen Base Camp to Kumar Post. So what’s new? Opening it up to tourists appears to be the forward movement 20,000 ft ABOVE SEA LEVEL IS WHERE SIACHEN GLACIER IS PERCHED 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 Infy whistle-blowers accuse CEO of hiding critical info to show profit EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad / Bengaluru TROUBLE struck Infosys once again with whistle-blowers alleging wilful misstatements, material accounting deviations at the company such as revenue recognition, irregularities in large deals involving Verizon, ABN, Intel, and Japan JV during the past two quarters. Anonymous individuals, calling themselves ethical employees, waged a battle against Infy’s alleged unethical practices by stealth, dispatching an email and two separate letters (one to the board on September 20, an email to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on September 27, followed by a letter on October 3). The complaint accessed by TNIE claims to have provided voice recordings and password-protected emails as evidence. While suspicions of skulduggery aren’t proven yet, investors are calling the company to account with Infy’s Nasdaq-listed American Depository Receipts suffering their biggest intra-day fall in six years crashing as much as 15% in early trade on Monday. Domestic BSNL to take on Jio, Airtel with live TV, video content J O N AT H A N A N A N D A @ New Delhi RELIANCE Jio’s Jiofiber and Bharti Airtel’s Xstream will soon have a formidable rival to worry about in the converged high-speed InternetTV-Voice segment. On Monday, state-run telecom major BSNL signed an MoU with internet-based live streaming platform YuppTV to offer customers bundled live TV and video content via broadband mobile and fixed line connections, including BSNL’s highspeed Bharat Fiber. Depending on the price point, the entry of the BSNLYuppTV combine into the ‘triple play’ space is poised to have a significant impact on broadband internet penetration in the non-metro and rural markets, which are significantly underserved in this respect. According to TRAI, while wireless broadband subscribers numbered 596.55 million as of the end o f Au g u s t t h i s y e a r, wired broadband connections stood at just 18.32 million of which BSNL alone accounted for 8.79 million. “BSNL’s reach in these tier2 and 3 markets is unrivalled and the partnership will give us significant value,” said Uday Reddy, Founder and CEO, YuppTV to TNIE, adding that while the commercial aspects of the pact have to be thrashed out, the offering is fully ready as far as technical factors are concerned. As for BSNL, it will be able to provide customers with YuppTV’s library of both licensed and original content exclusive to the Indian market, alongside live TV broadcasts. “Such marriage between infotainment and telecom players will happen... Content is key to drive data consumption and original content is the name of the game,” agreed BSNL’s chairman and MD P K Purwar. CONTINUED ON: P15 traders, too, expect bedlam on the BSE and NSE on Tuesday . “Very serious news indeed. This equates to a corporate governance issue. Deputy CFO has also quit. This in itself is an indirect admission something is rotten. Stock will now languish 10-15% lower in the near term,” said Harit Shah, Research Analyst, Reliance Securities. While Infy referred the complaint to its audit committee, the move brought back memories of recent corporate governance issues and how it courts controversies from time to time. If in 2017, whistle-blow- ‘Victim of personal grudge’ Parekh’s close aides claim he is being targeted for the churn in the top team after he became CEO. Seven executives heading finance, consulting, healthcare and manufacturing and divisions left after he took over | P15 er allegations drummed Infy’s then CEO Vishal Sikka out of office, in 2013, it agreed to pay $34 million in settlement over allegations of misusing US H1-B visas. Such instances diluted the strongman image of Infosys, and though the company fought back, its credibility could take a knock for the worse this time, analysts say . The letter accuses CEO Salil Parekh and CFO Nilanjan Roy of indulging in unethical practices to boost short-term revenue and profits, besides grossly undermining the company’s board. “CEO told us, ‘no one in ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS Actress Madhuri Dixit-Nene shows her inked finger in Mumbai on Monday | PTI MAHARASHTRA POLLSTER BJP+ Cong+ Oth News18-Ipsos 243 41 4 Times Now 230 48 10 ABP-CVoter 204 69 15 Republic-Jan Ki Baat 216-230 50-69 8-12 India Today-Axis 166-194 72-90 22-34 TV9 Marathi 197 75 16 BJP+ 212 Cong+ 62 Oth 14 POLL OF POLLS 288 HARYANA A girl leaves after casting her vote in Haryana’s Karnal district| PTI POLLSTER BJP+ Cong+ Oth News18-Ipsos 75 10 5 ABP-CVoter 72 8 10 Times Now 71 11 8 Republic-Jan Ki Baat 52-63 15-19 12-19 TV9-Cicero 69 11 10 NewsX 77 11 2 TV Bharatvarsh 47 23 20 Cong+ 13 BJP+ 67 Oth 10 POLL OF POLLS 90 Exit polls predict Oppn decimation in Maha, Haryana Indicate BJP will comfortably retain power, pollsters differ only on the margin of victory E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi WITH hardly any Opposition worth the name, pollsters predicted a walkover for the ruling BJP in Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly elections, where voters cast their ballots on Monday. While Maharashtra registered close to 60.46% turnout, the figure for Haryana was 66%. Exit poll outcomes suggested a voter brain fog on the Congress that had dominated the political space till 2014. In contrast, people in both the states appeared to have endorsed the nationalism pitch of the BJP as the Opposi, tion floundered despite pressing local issues and the economic slowdown. Exit polls indicate the BJP-led Mahayuti in Maharashtra could win between 166 and 243 of the total 288 Assembly seats. The BJP-Shiv Sena had a combined tally of 185 seats in the outgoing Assembly As for the Congress-NCP . alliance, it is predicted to get between 48 and 90 seats. If pollsters have got it right, the BJPSena alliance would win a second straight mandate after wresting it from the CongressNCP combine in 2014. The BJP and the Sena had contested the 2014 state polls separately , winning 122 and 63 seats, respectively They . then forged a post-poll pact to share power. Counting of votes in both Maharashtra and Haryana will happen on Thursday . Exit polls in Haryana suggested Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will not only retain power but the BJP will post a better tally — over 70 seats in a 90-member Assembly. When the BJP had first stormed to power in 2014 in Haryana, it managed to win 47 seats by consolidating the non-Jat vote base. It now appears to be drawing Jat votes as well, with the faction-ridden Congress and the disintegrated Indian National Lok Dal not even putting up a half-decent fight. Haryana registered 66% voter turnout till 6 pm in contrast to 76.54% in the 2014 state polls indicating P9 lesser mobilisation by the Opposition. Turnout in the Assembly bypoll to Vikravandi (84.36 pcent) had risen compared to 2016 Assembly poll (81.25 pc) but it declined from 71.92 pc to 66.10 pc in Nanguneri constituency, due to boycott by Devendrakula Vellalars protesting the TN government’s failure to rename six sub-sects of the community. Congress MP H Vasanthakumar was also arrested at Nanguneri. CEO Satyabrata Sahoo said polling in TN was peaceful. Turnout in bypoll to the Kamaraj Nagar assembly seat in Pondy was 69.44pc | P5 EXPRESS READ Day after Deepavali also holiday in TN Villupuram boy dies of dengue at JIPMER Kartarpur pact to be signed tomorrow The Tamil Nadu government on Monday issued an order declaring October 28 a holiday for government staff and educational institutions. P3 A five-year-old boy from a village near Vanur succumbed to dengue at JIPMER in Puducherry on Sunday night. The boy studied in the Union Territory. P7 New Delhi: India will sign a pact with Pakistan tomorrow for the opening of the Kartarpur corridor that will allow Indian pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib | P9 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai KEY CHENNAI MICRO-MARKETS The prominent micro-markets with generous ready unsold stock in Chennai were Iyyappanthangal, OMR and Perambur with around 4,450 unsold ready units. 31,380 unsold units in Chennai as of Sept 2019. Of this, 10,164 are ready to move in CHENNAI has 32 per cent of unsold inventory of homes which are ready to move in giving aspiring homeowners plenty of choice this festival season, according to Anarock Property consultants. Stating that over 81,300 unsold homes are ready for possession in the top seven Indian cities — Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata — this festival season, Anarock says that of the 31,380 unsold units in Chennai (as of September 2019), 32 per cent or approximately 10,164 units are ready-to-move-in. These unsold ready-tomove-in flats are exactly what the buyer is looking at, according to Builders Associa- Sedition cases climb though conviction rate is poor S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi Heavy rains hit several parts of the State, causing water-logging in places such as Nagercoil (seen here) in Kanniyakumari | SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT Red alert for parts of TN With the northeast monsoon getting vigorous over Tamil Nadu, the Indian Meteorological Department has issued a red alert for hilly areas of Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Theni and Dindigul districts. The back-to-back low pressure areas forming in the Bay of Bengal ahead of Deepavali on Sunday — which will be overcast — are iikely to choke residents of Chennai with a spike in pollution levels | P2 Can the tiny bee keep the mighty elephant at bay? TN hopes to find out CAN bees be the ‘peacemakers’ in the human-elephant conflict in Tamil Nadu? The State forest department is in the process of putting up beehive fences to drive crop-raiding elephants away from tribal farmlands. Elephants can sense the buzzing of bees from 1km away and find the sound annoying. Taking a leaf out of Kenya and Tanzania’s success stories, the State government has sanctioned `1.15 crore to pilot this eco-friendly project in the Coimbatore forest division. The proposal was sent by the Tamil Nadu Tea Plantation Corporation Limited and an official order passed by Shambu Kallo- Project was approved during last budget The project was approved during the last budget, but as the northeast monsoon failed last year it could not be implemented. Officials plan to put up the fences in December. likar, Environment Secretary . A senior forest official said 20 tribal families were chosen as custodians for 2,000 beehive boxes to be placed at locations where elephants frequently trespass and raid crops. “The 20 families represent 29 villages falling in seven forest ranges in Coimbatore division. Although African and Italian tion of India Chair man (Southern centre) S Rama Prabhu. He said the unsold inventory is attractive as it doesn’t attract Goods and Service Tax. People are worried about delays in completing ongoing projects so they are preferring ready-to-move-in flats. The number of unsold ready-to-move-in flats are likely to dwindle during the festival season, he opined. S Sridharan, chairman of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India, Tamil Nadu, said the unsold inventory in Tamil Nadu was coming down. “The mantra is right price, right size and right location,” he said, adding that developers were now going in for plots which were less than 1500sqft. “Anything above 1,500sqft is difficult to sell,” he said. NCRB DATA PILOT IN COIMBATORE S V K R I S H N A C H A I TA N YA @ Chennai The complaint also alleges Parekh prevented employees from highlighting issues during board meets and bypassed approvals. “He directs them to make wrong assumptions to show margins. CFO is compliant and he prevents us from showing in board presentations large deal issues (sic),” the letter, accessed by wire agencies, noted. “CEO and CFO are asking us to show more profits in treasury by taking up risks and make a change to policies. This will provide short-term profits,” it added. LOTS OF CHOICE IF YOU WANT TO BUY A HOUSE 32% UNSOLD UNITS READY TO MOVE IN POLLING PEACEFUL IN PONDY, TN BYPOLL the Board understands these things, they are happy as long as share price is up’,” it noted, adding that critical information was also hidden from the auditors as well as the board. “Last quarter, we were asked not to fully recognise things like visa costs to improve profits. When auditor opposed, the issue was postponed. This quarter, there is pressure not to recognise reversals of $50 million upfront payment in FDR (first tier, downstream and related entities) contracts, which is against accounting practice,” the letter noted bees were considered, it was decided to stick to Common Indian Bee or Little Bee on the grounds of feasibility, easy maintenance and local climatic conditions,” the officer said. The Keystone Foundation, an NGO working in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve with indigenous communities, has been roped in to provide training to the tribals. Forest officials say the project’s success depends on how well the beehive is maintained. “ On an average, the queen bee lives for two years. The hive should be kept away from disturbances for the colony to thrive. It’s a good livelihood option for the tribal families as well,” an official said. THE number of sedition cases being filed each year has been steadily rising, according to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report for the year 2017. From 35 and 30 sedition cases in 2016 and 2015, respectively the number of cases , recorded under that category shot up to 51 in 2017. However, most cases reach nowhere — in 2017, there was only one instance of conviction while acquittals stood at five. Of the 228 arrested in sedition charges in 2017, three were juveniles. In all, 160 accused were chargesheeted. Assam topped the chart with 19 sedition cases in 2017, followed by Haryana with 13. According to data provided by states to the NCRB, cases of political violence and instances of promoting enmity among group have gone up. As many as 1,909 offences were committed due to political reasons in 2017 compared with 1,987 and 1,960 cases recorded in 2016 and 2017, respectively Of a . total of 1,909 cases, 980 were from Kerala. Maharashtra recorded 115 cases, while West Bengal which has lately been witnessing an uptick in political violence, recorded only 28 cases of political rioting in 2017. Acid attack cases shot up from 223 in 2016 to 244 in 2017. Cases of crime against children and women jumped 20% and 6%, respectively . CONTINUED ON: P11
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.
22102019 of The New Indian Express-Chennai
Please purchase this volume to read.
You are logged-in with following email:
We have sent the confirmation email
You will receive the acknowledgement with link to read this volume in your email shortly.