PLUS 12 PAGES MAGAZINE KOTTAYAM l SUNDAY l FEBRUARY 16, 2020 l `8.00 l PAGES 28 l CITY EDITION SPIRITUALITY IS BECOMING YOU No one is injecting you with jealousy or resentment. When you feel those emotions, it’s because you’ve chosen to co-create that reality for yourself, writes Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati A DOLL’S TAKE ON LOSS Young artist Sudipta Das uses Hanji paper to speak of the agonies of crossborder migration through delicately crafted figures COVER STORY UNTOLD STORIES OF A LIT FEST Director of Jaipur Literature Fest Namita Gokhale expertly decodes the 21st century cultural phenomenon for us in her latest book Jaipur Journal EXCLUSIVE VOICES BEAUTY AND THE BEST Politically correct fashion will soon depart from “anti ageing” products to relate to specific sections, such as menopausal women who’ve not been tapped with hormone management products. We bring you a list of fashion trends to keep an eye on T J S George Prabhu Chawla ■ K Srinath Reddy ■ ■ 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 DAY AFTER SC WHIPLASH MERCURY BREACHES RECORD Fingers crossed PALAKKAD SWELTERING AT 39 C on relief, Voda agrees to pay up O EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE District @Palakkad/Kochi Sriram tried to destroy evidence: Chargesheet EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman deliberately tried to destroy evidence after the accident that killed K M Basheer, the unit chief of Siraj daily, the Crime branch has stated in its chargesheet submitted to the court. Among other charges, the chargesheet accuses the now suspended IAS officer of speeding at the time of impact. He was driving at 100 kmph, it says. It also refers to a statement of the General Hospital duty nurse which states that Sriram refused to give blood s a m p l e s when he was brought to the hospital for medical examination. This, according to the chargesheet, indicated that Sriram was intentionally trying to delay the proceedings to dilute the presence of alcohol in his blood. The IAS officer had also requested the general hospital authorities to refer him to a private hospital, the charge sheet further said. Several eye-witnesses have also testified that Sriram was drunk at the time of the accident. The general hospital doctor’s statement that Sriram was in an inebriated condition when he was brought to the hospital for medical examination has also been re● More on P6 corded. EXPRESS READ Court issues summons to Ravi Sankar Prasad T’Puram: The Chief Judicial First Class Magistrate court in the capital has issued summons to Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a case filed by Shashi Tharoor, MP, alleging defamation. P4 Rifles of Spl Armed Police to be checked T’Puram: The Crime Branch will inspect all rifles of the Special Armed Police on Monday. The inspection will be carried out under ADGP (crimes) Tomin Thachankary. The Crime Branch decided to inspect the rifles after a CAG report said 25 rifles were missing. P5 Kochi The normal temperature during February was 33 degree Celsius till recently. However, it has now breached the 35 degree Celsius threshold across the state February 15 January 20, 29, 31 and February 1, 3, 6, 12 and 13: February 14 39.0 38.5 orological Department (IMD), the maximum temperature has been soaring from January, which is unusual. The IMD has issued an alert that the maximum temperature will remain 2 to 4 degree Celsius above normal for a couple of days. Meanwhile, experts said the state may get a good spell of summer rains by the end of February as the humidity is increasing. “Kerala is climate-sensitive due to the peculiarity of our topography. Apart from global 38 Palakkad 39.0 35.5 Punalur (Kollam) 35.5 Alappuzha 36.6 32.6 Kannur 35.4 33.6 Thrissur 36.5 34.0 Harsh summer on cards? IMD director K Santhosh said though the temperature in the state has increased, we cannot say it is an indicator of a harsh summer warming, the albedo effect also has contributed to the changing climate in Kerala. The state is experiencing rapid urbanisation, which has led to an increase in concrete buildings and black-topped roads. Concrete surfaces reflect radiation which leads to an increase in temperature. The loss of tree cover is another factor, said Centre for Water Resources Development and Management Groundwater Division scientist C P Priju. According to him, 15 14.1 12.9 12.34 12.69 11.28 10.81 10.43 10 6.16 5 15.9 8.74 8.59 2019 2020 10.20 6.32 7.31 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 in candidates interested to get into engineering colleges since 2014 while there has been a surge of about 140 per cent in those who are keen on medical courses,” pointed out Prerna Samarth, a Mumbai based higher education consultant. Change in trend Statistics show that the engineering vs medical trend began to change in the last six years. In 2014, the number of students who took entrance tests for admission in engineering colleges was 12.90 lakh while medical No of students registered for JEE (Main) Number of students who took NEET (AIPMT before 2016) Numbers in lakhs aspirants numbered only 6.16 lakh — more than double. In subsequent years the gap began to narrow and two years ago, those wanting admission in medical colleges surpassed engineering hopefuls. Data for this year shows the change in preference has turned a full circle, with close to double the number of medical aspirants. “This is because the engineering sector has probably gone bust,” said Amit Gupta, who trains students to crack NEET in Kota. HEALING TOUCH With Tokyo in mind, Bajrang turns to Sadhguru Bajrang might have won gold in Rome but I am not satisfied. With only five months remaining for the Games, he needs to work on those aspects to fulfil dreams of crores of Indians F I R O Z M I R Z A @ Chennai CONCENTRATION is not something athletes can afford to lose. With more than a billion hopes resting on his shoulders to help India earn their first-ever Olympic gold in wrestling, medal hope Bajrang Punia is bound to feel the pressure. With the Olympics less than five months away, Bajrang’s foreign coach, Shako Bentinidis, is taking no chance and has turned towards Sadhguru’s meditation technique to improve his concentration. “Bajrang is a world-class wrestler but tends to lose concentration during bouts, conceding points,” Bentinidis told this daily from Greece. “During our training camp in Azerbaijan, I Shako, on how he is working on Bajrang’s leg defence Bajrang Punia follows Isha Kriya, a form of meditation, to improve concentration started teaching him meditation. He practises Isha Kriya meditation taught by Sadhguru every day before the morning and evening training sessions. He also meditates during spare time and it has started reflecting in his performance. He has become a lot more calmer and composed now.” The Greek-born Georgian coach has been learning this form of meditation for the last two years. Bajrang’s ultimate test 35.4 Kottayam 36.5 33.4 HOW THE WORMS MOVED S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi 32.2 32.0 Kozhikode 35.0 32.6 JANUARY WAS HOTTEST IN 140 YEARS PALAKKAD K SURENDRAN, poster boy of the second generation of leaders in the Kerala BJP known for his aggressive brand of politics, will be the new chief of the state unit. The 50-year-old’s appointment to the top party post -- nearly four months after then incumbent P S Sreedharan Pillai was made Mizoram Gover nor -- is expected to unite the factionalism- ridden state unit. Born into a peasant family to Kunnummal Veetil Kunjiraman and Kalyani at Ulliyeri near here, Surendran entered politics through the ABVP He later . became a full-time ABVP worker after graduating from Zamorin’s Guruvayurappan College here. He had held various posts in the Yuva Morcha, includi n g t h at o f Waya n a d district chief, before becoming BJP state general ● More on P6 secretary . Medical-engg aspirant ratio since 2014 close to inverse IF the number of students aspiring for engineering seats in India is any indication, then the great Indian fetish to become an engineer is on the downswing. The dream to become a doctor is the new fad. Data compiled by the National Testing Agency that organises entrance tests for engineering and medical colleges shows that while 8.69 lakh students had registered for the first JEE Main this year, the number was nearly 16 lakh for NEET, scheduled to be held in May . The JEE (Main), which is the entrance test for admission to most of the country’s engineering colleges and the first test for securing admission into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology, is organised twice a year while NEET, the test for admission into medical colleges, is held once a year. “Despite the JEE-Main being conducted twice, there has been a decline of nearly 33 per cent EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kozhikode (In degree celsius) make any payments so far. “(VIL) is currently assessFACED with show cause no- ing the amount that it will be tices from the Supreme Court able to pay to DoT towards the and a hasty reversal of posi- dues calculated based on AGR tion by the Department of Tel- (Adjusted Gross Revenue), as ecom (DoT), beleaguered interpreted by the SC in its orVodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) on der dated October 24, 2019. The Saturday said it will pay self- company proposes to pay the assessed AGR dues “in the amount so assessed in the next few days,” VIL next few days”. However, the company resaid in an exchange iterated its survival filing. depends on relief, However, the telecom major said its without which it may ability to operate as a well find itself winding down operations going concern “is essentially dependent or approaching the inRBI boss solvency court. on a positive outcome buys time If that happens, it of the application for RBI Governor would have far reachmodification” of the Shaktikanta ing consequences, SC’s order asking telDas said the cos to pay around considering VIL’s subcentral bank stantial debt exposure `1.47 lakh crore in would hold to banks and the jobs pending AGR dues by internal of nearly 10,000 emJanuary 23. Of the 15 discussions if ployees. According to companies affected by SBI Chair man Ra- any issues arise the order, only Relijnish Kumar, banks out of the AGR ance Jio had complied crisis will “have to pay the o n t i m e, p ay i n g price” in case any telaround `190-odd crore e c o m f i r m f i l e s f o r before the deadline. bankruptcy . “If there is a negative impact on any enterprise, it imWhile the DoT had shot off notices to all affected compa- pacts a larger ecosystem, nies following the SC’s out- whether it is banks, whether rage on Friday asking them to it is employees, whether they , clear the dues by midnight, it are vendors, consumers, so was an impossible deadline everybody gets impacted,” for the non-compliant telcos. warned SBI’s chairman on the None of them managed to sidelines of an event here. J O N AT H A N A N A N D A @ New Delhi Normal temp T’Puram 33.2 32.7 FEBRUARY 15 If it folds up, both lenders and telco’s 10K staffers would take the hit, warns SBI chief BLAME it on climate change or the fallout of Kerala’s rapid urbanisation; the summer has set in early and the mercury is rising at an alarming pace baking the state with intense heat. According to meteorologists, Kerala encountered the hottest January in 140 years and the prevailing conditions indicate that February also may break the record. On Saturday, the mercury touched 39 degree Celsius in Palakkad, making it the hottest day of the year. According to a source with the Integrated Rural Technology Centre (IRTC) in Mundur, the maximum temperature was 39 degree Celsius and humidity level touched 43 per cent the same day . Palakkad had recorded 38.5 degree Celsius on Friday and the humidity level was 41 per cent. The lowest temperature showed was 22.5 degrees on both days. According to experts, the mercury has been soaring since January 20 and the district had recorded 38 degree Celsius on January 20, 29 and 31 and February 1, 3, 6, 12 and 13. However, no cases of sunburns have been reported in the district so far. According to the India Mete- Max temp Surendran at the helm of state BJP will come in August, when the wrestling events in Olympics begin. Bajrang, and 74kg weight category wrestler Jitender, headed to Azerbaijan soon after pocketing a 65kg gold in the Rome Ranking Series last month. The duo underwent a three-week training programme in the country under Bentinidis ahead of the Asian Championships in New Delhi from February 18 to 23. Madden–Julian oscillation, the largest element of the intraseasonal variability in the tropical atmosphere, which triggers extreme climatic events, has also influenced Kerala’s climate. “The normal temperature during February was 33 degree Celsius till recently. However, the temperature has breached the 35 degree Celsius threshold across the state. This is unusual,” said Cusat Department of Atmospheric Sciences assistant professor S Abhilash. ISRO espionage case comes to an end, but questions remain D H I N E S H K A L L U N G A L @ T’Puram THE three-decade-old ISRO espionage case that shocked the conscience of the nation in the 90s has now come to an end with former scientist S Nambi Narayanan, who is at the centre of the case, unconditionally withdrawing his petition against the state and Union gover nments after state agreed to pay him `1.3 crore compensation. Nambi had filed the suit seeking a compensation of `1 crore. Though the sensational case finally came to a close, it has left too many loose ends hanging as the state’s out-ofcourt-settlement to pay `1.3 crore is apart from the `50 lakh compensation set by the Supreme Court. In a written memo submitted before the Subordinate Judge’s Court, Thiruvananthapuram, Nambi Narayanan claimed the compensation agreed to be paid to him by the defendants 1 to 5 (state government) is agreeable to him and hence he is withdrawing the suit seeking `1 crore compensation unconditionally . According to the court order, no personal liability can be fixed on defendants 6 to 111 (officials accused of falsely implicating him) and no recovery will be effected from the defendants to realise the amount. Just as the espionage case, even the denouement has raised many questions. Nambi had filed the case against SEC TO MOVE SC AGAINST HC ORDER ON LSG POLL ROLLS Nambi Narayanan ‘I HAVE ACTED AS PER THE LAW’ Asked if he has decided to stop his fight against the officials, who according to him falsely implicated him in the spy case, after accepting the out-of-thecourt settlement compensation amount, he refused to comment on the issue. “I have acted as per the law and don’t want to comment on this issue any more,” he said. the state government, including commissioner and secretary to Kerala, DGP (crimes), DIG of police, Inspector of police, Vanchiyoor, and officials like Sibi Mathew (then Vigilance IG), T P Senkumar (then state police chief), then DySPs S Vijayan, Jogesh, Mathew John, Joint director (IB), and R B Sreekumar, deputy director (IB) and the Union of India. Following the out-of-thecourt settlement, he has decided to withdraw the case against the officials who, according to him, had falsely implicated him in the case and Union Gover nment. All through the years, he has been demanding action against ● More on P6 these officials. State Election Commission’s (SEC) decision to go in for an appeal was due to the practical difficulties in using the 2019 voters’ list P4
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