TWITTER CHENNAI l WEDNESDAY l FEBRUARY 05, 2020 l `5.00 l PAGES 26 l LATE CITY EDITION TOUCHDOWN AT KOLKATA AFTER MID-AIR DELIVERY A Qatar Airways flight made an emergency landing at Kolkata on Tuesday after a Thai woman delivered a baby boy mid-air RULES FOR PREGNANT TRAVELLERS WHAT HAPPENS TO THE ‘SKYBORNS’ The incident happened around 3 am when the Doha-Bangkok flight was flying over Kolkata. While there is no universal rule for pregnant fliers, airlines don’t allow those in late stage of pregnancy. Indian airlines allow travel up to 35th week of pregnancy, with a ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate from the obstetrician. Qatar Airways’ rules are also similar to that of Indian carriers ■ Usually, the child will receive parents’ citizenship. Countries like the US grant passport if the baby was delivered in its airspace. In some cases, the airline’s country of origin will also decide it ■ There is no rule to grant free air travel to ‘sky babies’, but airlines usually do so as it gives them good publicity 60 ESTIMATED NUMBER OF MID-AIR BIRTHS, THOUGH NO OFFICIAL DATA IS AVAILABLE 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 CHINA VISAS CANCELLED, DEFEXPO TEAM AXED No infection in evacuees In all, 534 suspected cases have been tested in 12 labs in India. 160 of them are in quarantine centres in DelhiNCR for those evacuated from Wuhan; all of them tested negative for virus 20,522 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Lucknow The first group of patients being taken to the Huoshenshan temporary field hospital in China’s Wuhan on Tuesday | AP AND COUNTING IS THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE INFECTED SO FAR, 3,235 ON TUESDAY ALONE. THE CONDITION OF 492 OF THEM IS SERIOUS TN scraps board examination for class 5 & 8 kids Parents, teachers welcome move; schools will follow system currently in place SUSHMITHA RAMAKRISHNAN @ Chennai IN a welcome move, the State government on Tuesday announced it would not conduct board examinations for Classes 5 and 8 students. The news has brought much relief to parents, students, and teachers. A circular issued by School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan said the department had withdrawn the order passed on Sept 13, 2019 to conduct the exams from this academic year. Ef fectively, this means schools will continue to follow the examination system already in place. “We received a lot of feedback and comments from various stakeholders in the education sector about the exams. Taking all this into consideration, we have decided to stop the board exams for Class V and VIII students,” the circular said. Educationists and activists had argued that such an examination system would put undue pressure on young children. It would curtail their ability to ask questions, prevent them from being curious, and promote rote learning while taking the fun out of schooling, they had said. A few days ago, it was reported that a Class 8 student from Peerkankaranai in Chennai committed suicide. While the exact reason is not known, parents suspect it might have been due to exam stress. Activists across the board have welcomed the government’s deci- sion. “Rural students would have suffered tremendously,” said PK Ilamaran, leader of Tamil Nadu Government Teachers’ Association. “Parents who send their children to government schools are largely labourers who do not have enough literacy or knowledge to assist their wards with learning. So, the decision on withdrawal is welcome,” he Political parties welcome decision Even political opponents like the DMK, CPI(M) and VCK, apart from allies such as PMK, have welcomed the government’s decision. said. “It would have been a major step in the retrograde,” said educationist Prince Gajendrababu. “Tamil Nadu is a pioneer in several progressive policies, including free education for all and nutritious meal programme. The withdrawal is a welcome move,” he said. S Arumainathan of TN Students-Parents Welfare Association, said, “Since young kids do not understand the importance of board exams, parents were getting extremely stressed.” We received a lot of feedback from stakeholders. Taking all this into consideration, we have decided to stop the board exams - KA Sengottaiyan WITH the novel coronavirus toll zooming past 425, India on Tuesday cancelled all visas granted after January 15 to Chinese nationals and foreigners travelling from that country . “It is clarified that existing visas are no longer valid. Intending visitors may contact Embassy in Beijing (email@example.com) or the Consulates in Shanghai (Ccons.firstname.lastname@example.org) and Guangzhou (Visa.email@example.com) to apply afresh for an Indian visa,” the Indian embassy in Beijing tweeted. The embassy also directed all persons who have arrived from China after January 15 to contact the ministry of health and family welfare. “All those who are already in India (with regular or evisa) and had traveled from China after January 15 are requested to contact the hotline number of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Government of India (+91-11-23978046 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org),” the embassy tweeted. The virus scare also hit the Defence Expo 2020, to be held in Lucknow from Wednesday, with the Uttar Pradesh administration dropping the Chinese delegation WRITTEN REPLY No decision on nationwide NRC, Lok Sabha told S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi ECHOING Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s position that there has been no discussion on a nationwide National Register of Citizens, the government on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that “till now, the government has not taken any decision to prepare NRC at the national level.” In a written reply junior home minister Ni, tyanand Rai told Nageswara Rao of the TRS that the question about a timeline for implementation of the NRC in the country and taking state governments into confidence for the purpose “does not arise”. Addressing a rally in Delhi in December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, “I want to tell the 130 crore citizens of India that ever since my government came to power, there has been no discussion on NRC anywhere. Only after the SC order, this exercise was done for Assam. Lies are being spread. When NRC was being formulated, the Congress was in power. Was the Congress sleeping then? We haven’t made this law (NRC), it has not come in Parliament, nor the Cabinet, nor have any rules been formulated.” Union Home Minister Amit Shah has in the past stated in Parliament and outside that NRC will be carried out across the country . More than a dozen questions were posed to the Union home ministry on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), NRC and NPR, which triggered countrywide protests. The ministry also told Parliament that no specific detention centre is being built in Assam to house those who don’t have documents to prove their citizenship under the NRC in the state. CONTINUED ON: P11 EXPRESS READ Tamil Nadu Cabinet discusses key proposals for Budget 2020-21 Chennai: The Cabinet on Tuesday discussed key proposals for Budget 202021 which are likely to be presented soon. Being the last full-fledged Budget to be presented by the AIADMK government in its current term, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has been paying special attention to it. Later, the Cabinet also held a discussion on coronavirus, which has been reported in the neighbouring State of Kerala. ‘NO INDEFINITE WAIT’ SC poser to TN Speaker on disqualification plea EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Tuesday sought to know why Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal had not decided on the disqualification petitions filed against 11 AIADMK MLAs, including Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, for close to three years. The bench gave the Speaker time till February 14 to respond. “Tell us whether you are going to take action. If yes, then when and how,” it said. The bench harped on a recent Su- preme Court judgment on a disqualification petition in Manipur, which laid down a three-month time frame under normal circumstances for taking the call, saying it “holds the ground”. The Madras High Court had, in April 2018, dismissed the DMK’s petition seeking disqualification of the MLAs for having voted ag ainst the Palaniswami government. “A Speaker cannot have disqualification petitions pending on his desk indefinitely,” the bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde said. It pointed out that the Speaker had not even issued notices to 11 MLAs for voting against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami during a confidence motion in 2017. The bench made the observation while hearing a petition filed by the DMK. While senior advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for the DMK, Mukul Rohatgi represented the 11 AIADMK MLAs. P7 Dhanapal given time till Feb 14 The apex court has given the Speaker time till February 14 to apprise the bench of what he proposes to do about the petitions. The Madras HC, in April 2018, dismissed the DMK’s plea on disqualification. from the event. To be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the expo is expected to draw leaders of 40 countries like Mexico, UAE and South Korea. Sources said the Chinese delegates for an Auto Expo — to be held in Greater Noida between February 7 and 12 — could also be dropped. Meanwhile, Air India suspended its Delhi-Hong Kong flight from February 8 till March 28 after Hong Kong reported its first case of coronavirus death. With this, all Indian airlines have suspended their flights to China. In all, 16 foreigners have been infected with the virus in China. P8,13 ‘Foreign airlines keen on Air India buy’ J AYA N TA R O Y C H O W D H U R Y @ New Delhi Potential buyers had sought clarity on Air India’s situation... We are giving access to the data room and putting up the draft sale purchase agreement Tuhin Kanta Pandey FOREIGN airlines are keen to acquire Air India, Disinvestment Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey told TNIE on Tuesday . “We have seen sufficient interest from potential foreign buyers, some of them airlines. We can’t name them because of confidentiality clause,” he said. Under existing norms, foreign airlines can acquire only up to 49% in the national carrier. So, foreign carriers wish- ing to bid will have to be part of a consortium (with Indian partners), Pandey added. According to sources, the government may relax the rules to allow higher FDI in aviation. Meanwhile, there are reports that the Tatas may bid for Air India, the airline they founded, in partnership with Singapore Airlines. Aviation analysts say Gulfbased airlines, too, are eyeing Air India, which flies to 41 international destinations and has several scores of unused rights to fly to other foreign destinations with a total of 800 slots for landing at major airports globally . “Our interactions with prospective bidders were helpful as we understood why many of them did not bid the last time. High debt and continued government shareholding appeared to be the reasons,” said Pandey . This time around, the government is offering 100% equity to potential buyers and has also promised to pare down debt drastically to `23,286 crore.
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.
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05022020 of The New Indian Express-Chennai
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