PLUS 12 PAGES MAGAZINE KOCHI l SUNDAY l FEBRUARY 16, 2020 l `8.00 l PAGES 28 l LATE 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 UNTOLD STORIES OF A LIT FEST Young artist Sudipta Das uses Hanji paper to speak of the agonies of crossborder migration through delicately crafted figures Director of Jaipur Literature Fest Namita Gokhale expertly decodes the 21st century cultural phenomenon for us in her latest book Jaipur Journal COVER STORY EXCLUSIVE VOICES BEAUTY AND THE BEST “Richer, bolder pop colours with vivacious prints to match, clever accessories and a continued love affair with the neutral palette will define 2020,” says fashion designer Palak Shah. We bring you expert takes on fashion trends for the year and beyond 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 District @Palakkad/Kochi 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 company proposes to Saturday said it will pay the amount so aspay self-assessed AGR sessed in the next few dues “in the next few days,” VIL said in an days”. However, the exchange filing. company reiterated However, the teleits survival depends com major said its on relief, without ability to operate as a which it may well find RBI boss going concern “is esitself winding down buys time sentially dependent operations or approaching the insolon a positive outcome RBI Governor vency court. of the application for Shaktikanta If that happens, it modification” of the Das said the would have far reachSC’s order asking telcentral bank ing consequences, concos to pay around would hold sidering VIL’s sub`1.47lakh crore in internal stantial debt exposure pending AGR dues by discussions if to banks and jobs of any issues arise January 23. Of the 15 around 10,000 employ- out of the AGR firms hit by the order, ees. According to SBI only Reliance Jio comcrisis plied on time, paying Chairman Rajnish Kumar, banks will “have to pay around `190-odd crore before the price” in case any telecom the deadline. firm files for bankruptcy . “If there is a negative imWhile the DoT had shot off pact on any enterprise, it imnotices 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 SEC TO MOVE SC AGAINST ORDER ON POLL ROLLS State Election Commission’s (SEC) decision to go in for an appeal was due to the practical difficulties in using the 2019 voters’ list for LSG polls | P4 The normal temperature during February was 33 degree Celsius till recently. However, it has now breached the 35 degree Celsius threshold across the state 32.2 32.0 Kozhikode 35.0 32.6 Palakkad 39.0 35.5 Punalur (Kollam) 35.5 35.4 Kottayam 36.5 33.4 Alappuzha 36.6 32.6 Kannur PALAKKAD February 15 February 14 39.0 38.5 (In degree Celsius) 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. January 20, 29, 31 and February 1, 3, 6, 12 and 13: 38 35.4 33.6 Thrissur 36.5 34.0 JANUARY WAS HOTTEST IN 140 YEARS According to the India Meteorological 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 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 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 IMD director K Santhosh said though the temperature in the state has increased, this cannot be seen as an indicator of a harsh summer 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. ● More on P6 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 move comes after a CAG report said 25 rifles were missing. P5 Thykoodam-Petta Metro trial run held Kochi: Ahead of commissioning the Thykoodam–Petta stretch in March, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd(KMRL) on Saturday conducted a trial run from Thykoodam to Petta, the last stretch of the phase I of the project. P3 Surendran is state BJP chief ISRO espionage case EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kozhikode 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 state president P S Sreedharan Pillai was made Mizoram Governor -- 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 post of state party chief. Zamorin’s Guruvayurappan These, included M T Ramesh, College here. He had held vari- Shobha Surendran and A N ous posts in the Yuva Morcha, Radhakrishnan, besides K including that of Wayanad S u re n d r a n . T h o u g h t h e district chief, before becoming Krishnadas f action had BJP state general thrown its weight behind M secretary . T Ramesh, the group latThe immediate task er made a climb down, for Surendran is to paving the way for prepare the party for S u r e n d r a n ’ s the forthcoming panappointment. chayat polls and the Surendran is creditassembly polls due in ed with turning the Yuva K Surendran May 2021. Morcha into vibrant He is also expected political outfit in Kerto provide robustness to the ala, say party insiders. But it state unit which failed to effec- was the Sabarimala issue, foltively counter the anti-CAA lowing the move to allow campaign of the UDF-LDF women of all ages to enter the and various Muslim outfits. hill shrine, that pitchforked Initially there were four Surendran into political limecontenders in the fray for the light. ● More on P6 Medical-engineering aspirant ratio since 2014 close to inverse S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi Normal temp 33.2 32.7 Kochi 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 FEBRUARY 15 If it folds up, both lenders and telco’s 10K staffers would take the hit, warns SBI chief Max temp T’Puram (In degree Celsius) EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE EXPRESS READ HOW THE WORMS MOVED 15.90 15 14.10 12.90 12.34 12.69 11.28 10.81 8.74 6.16 10.20 6.32 10.43 8.59 7.31 2014 2015 2016 2017 courses,” pointed out Prerna Samarth, a Mumbai based higher education consultant. Statistics show that the engi- 2018 2019 2020 No of students registered for JEE (Main) Number of students who took NEET (AIPMT before 2016) Numbers in lakhs neering 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 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 engineering sector has probably gone bust,” said Amit Gupta, who trains students to crack NEET. 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 governments 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-of-courtsettlement 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. 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 case, after the out-of-the-court settlement, nambi Narayanan 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. Just as the espionage case, even the denouement has raised many questions. Nambi had filed the case against 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 ● More on P6 India. Sriram deliberately tried to destroy evidence after mishap: Chargesheet With Tokyo in mind, Bajrang turns to Sadhguru HEALING TOUCH 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 the mishap. 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 samples 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 chargesheet 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 the IAS officer was in an inebriated condition when he was brought to the hospital for medical examination has also been recorded. According to the chargesheet, Sriram’s vehicle had dragged Basheer to around 24.5 metres after ram● More on P6 ming into him 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 for, eign coach, Shako Bentinidis, is taking no chance and has turned towards Sadhguru’s meditation technique to improve his concentration. “Bajrang is a world-class Bajrang Punia (R) follows Isha Kriya, a form of meditation, to improve concentration wrestler but tends to lose concentration during bouts, conceding points,” Bentinidis told this daily from Greece. “During our training camp in Azerbaijan, I 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 Greekborn Georgian coach has been learning this form of meditation for the last two years. Bajrang’s ultimate test 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.
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