OVERALL RANKING KOCHI l FRIDAY l JUNE 12, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE CITY EDITION IIT-M retains top slot in NIFR rankings 1 Indian Institute of Technology Madras 2 Indian Institute of Science 3 Indian Institute of Technology Delhi 4 Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur 5 Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur 6 Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati 7 Jawaharlal Nehru University 8 Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee 9 Banaras Hindu University 10 Calcutta University ENGINEERING UNIVERSITY MEDICINE MANAGEMENT LAW The IIT Madras continues to be the best among India’s engineering colleges, according to the HRD Ministry’s 2020 ranking of educational institutions under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) The Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc) retained its place at the top, in the university category. Jawaharlal Nehru University (2nd) and Banaras Hindu University (3rd) were among India’s top three universities No surprises here. The top spot goes to AIIMS, Delhi. The Chandigarh-based Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) came second followed by the Christian Medical College, Vellore IIM Ahmedabad dislodged IIM Bangalore—now ranked 2nd—to reclaim the top spot. IIM Calcutta is 3rd. Xavier Labour Relations Institute, and the Management Development Institute are among the top 10 The National Law School of India University in Bengaluru remains the best institution in India to pursue a degree in law, as per the HRD Ministry’s ranking. The National Law University in Hyderabad stands next to it 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 Reservation not a fundamental right, says SC Rejects pleas to implement OBC quota in Tamil Nadu’s share of all India medical seats EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Thursday said reservation is not a fundamental right as it refused to admit a batch of petitions seeking the implementation of 50% reservation for other backward classes (OBCs) for statesurrendered seats in the allIndia quota for undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses in Tamil Nadu. “We appreciate the concern of all the political parties for the welfare of backward classes. But reservation is not a fundamental right,” a three-judge bench led by Justice L Nageswara Rao told the lawyers appearing for various parties including the AIADMK, DMK, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, CPI and CPI(M). All withdrew their petitions with a liberty to approach the Madras High Court. In a ruling in February, the SC had held there is no fundamental right to claim reservation in public jobs and no court can order a state to provide for reservation to SC/STs. The petitions were filed by the CPI, DMK and some of its leaders asking for 50% OBC reservation in seats surren- dered by Tamil Nadu in the All India quota for under graduate, post graduate medical and dental courses in 2020-21. They said that in Tamil Nadu, there is 69% reservation for OBCs, SC and ST and within this, OBC reservations are about 50%. The petitions said 50% of OBC candidates must get admissions in the medical colleges out of seats surrendered under the all India quota, except f o r c e n t r a l g o ve r n m e n t institutions. “Denial of admissions to OBC candidates is a violation of their fundamental right,” stated the pleas, asking for a stay on the counselling under NEET till the reservation is given. The bench observed verbally that no case was made out for the petitioners to approach the top court directly under Article 32 — a remedy available under the Indian Constitution if there is violation of a fundamental right. “Whose fundamental rights are being violated? Article 32 is available only for violation of fundamental rights. We assume you are all interested in fundamental rights of the citizens of Tamil Nadu. But right to reservation is not a fundamental right,” observed the bench. EXPRESS READ ‘COVID CRISIS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD A SELF-RELIANT INDIA’ Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged the people to turn the Covid-19 crisis into an opportunity to secure a brighter future by building a self-reliant India. “It is time for bold decisions and bold investments, and not for conservative approaches. This also is the time to move from command and control economy to plug-and-play and to build a competitive global supply chain,” he said adding, “In the last five-six years, India’s goal of self-reliance has been paramount in the policy and practice of the government. The Covid19 crisis gave us lessons on how to speed up efforts in that direction.” | P7 16 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS No community transmission yet in India, says ICMR S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi REITERATING that India has not reached the community transmission stage of Covid-19 spread yet, the Centre on Thursday said the first serosurvey revealed just 0.73% of the population in non-hotspot districts had been infected. “The prevalence has been found to be less than 1% in small districts. In urban and containment areas it may be slightly higher. But, India is definitely not in community transmission. I would like to emphasise it,” Indian Council of Medical Research directorgeneral Dr Balram Bhargava said, without sharing the data for containment zones. The serosurvey’s findings were based on samples from 83 districts across 21 states, categorised on the basis of zero, low, medium and high case loads. Over 26,000 randomly selected blood serum samples were tested using ELISA antibody testing kits developed by the National Institute of Virology Pune, Bhargava added. , “That means, a large chunk of population in the country is PWD projects L21,000 cr Water works L800 cr Health sector (labs, specialised blocks etc) L2,200 cr Education L2,000 cr MAJOR PROJECTS Azhikkal port Gail City Gas distribution Vizhinjam port Smart City projects Kochi, T’Puram, Kozhikode Semi High-Speed Train Thalassery-Mysuru rail project R A J E S H A B R A H A M @Kochi THE LDF government has decided to give a renewed thrust to its efforts to complete multib i l l i o n r u p e e s wo r t h o f infrastructure projects, as it enters the final year of its term in office. As a precursor, the government has made additional chief secretary and Kochi Metro Rail Ltd managing director Alkesh Kumar Sharma the special officer-infrastructure with 0.73% of the population in non-hotspot districts had been infected, reveals first serosurvey Findings were based on samples from 83 districts across 21 states, categorised on the basis of zero, low, medium and high case loads KERALA CASE DIARY 83 cases reported on Thursday 2,244 cases have been confirmed so far DARSHAN WITH A DISTANCE Devotees of Lord Venkateswara entering the famous Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district, which reopened its doors to the public on Thursday after remaining closed for about 80 days due to the pandemic, following strict precautionary measures such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance | MADHAV K Sabarimala to open without devotees, annual fest off too EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram A meeting chaired by Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran here on Thursday decided not to allow devotees to enter the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple when it reopens for monthly poojas on June 14. The annual festival will not be conducted this year either. The meeting was scheduled in the wake of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the temple, and thantri Kandararu Mahesh Mohanararu expressing conflicting opinions on the matter. The board observed that restricted entry of devotees could be allowed and the festival conducted with certain restrictions. TDB had made arrangements for devo- tees to enter the temple through a virtual queue system, with the temple set to reopen on the eve of the Malayalam month of Mithunam. Soon after TDB president N Vasu’s announcement in this regard, Mahesh Mohanararu wrote to the board’s commissioner, B S Thirumeni, seeking a rethink on allowing devotees. He also wanted to postpone the annual festival which was scheduled to be held from June 19 to 28. The Devaswom Minister then convened a meeting with Vasu and Mahesh Mohanararu in which the final decision was taken. Kadakampally later told mediapersons that the thantri’s demand was just and, hence, approved. “The thantri said a rethink was needed in the backdrop of the increase in the number of Covid patients. The government views it as the right suggestion. Except on administrative matters, the government takes decisions on temple matters on the basis of the thantri’s decision,” he said. The minister said the government decision to allow restricted entry to all religious shrines was based on the Centre’s direction. “Or else, the opposition parties would have incited religious sentiments,” ● More on P4 he said. Into the final stretch, LDF govt gives infra projects a push KIIFB funded 650 projects worth L51,000 cr still very susceptible to the infection,” he adding that the nationwide lockdown and containment measures prevented a rapid rise in infections. The ICMR has now estimated that the infection fatality rate due to the infection is very low at 0.08%. Experts, estimated the present infection in the country at 2 crore against the official figure of 2.86 lakh. a mandate to put some of the ongoing key infrastructure projects on the fast track. This is the first time that the state government has created a post with special focus on infrastructure. Shar ma, who has proved his credentials in executing big projects as the head of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, will have the authority to see that there are no hiccups in the smooth execution of high-pro- file projects. Sources said Sharma will monitor 650 projects worth `51,000 crore, funded by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). They include `21,000-crore PWD projects, `800 crore water projects, `2,200 crore health projects and education sector projects worth `2,000 crore. “The task before Sharma is to clear all the bottlenecks in land acquisition and get clearances from the forest and the environment departments,” said an official. Sharma was not available for comments. After taking over as the special officer, Sharma had his first meeting with the new Chief Secretary . Sources said 10-15 nodal officers will be reporting directly to Sharma on the progress of various projects at least once a month. 1,258 people under treatment 967 recovered 18 DEATHS Thrissur on high alert as 14 of the 25 new Covid cases reported in the district on Thursday got infected through local contact Four of them are sanitation workers of Thrissur corporation and four others are headload workers at Central Warehouse, Kuriachira Five health workers also contracted the disease Change in plan: Patients can opt for pvt hospitals; quarantine norms recast EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram EXPECTING a spike in positive cases in the coming days, the state gover nment on Thursday announced three major strategic changes to its Covid-19 management plan. For the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, the government endorsed the idea of bringing in the private healthcare sector for treating the patients. It also made major amendments to its quarantine strategy and fixing of containment zones. The move comes on a day when the state reported 83 new Covid cases, and 62 recoveries. Of the new cases, 64 are returnees -27 from abroad and 37 from other states -- while 14 contracted the disease through contact. Five health workers also tested positive. “At present, the transmission is under control and no Covid-19 patient has been admitted in the private sector. However, the state government is of the view that the situation might worsen any time. To deal with this, the private healthcare sector will have to get prepared,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday He said the . government trusts the people and expects their support in fighting the pandemic. He said as an initial step, a Covid-19 patient can demand to get shifted to the private sector. “For example, a patient who has an underlying condition and is under treatment at a private hospital can demand to be shifted to private healthcare system should he/she test positive. But before that, we will identify private hospitals that could be designated as Covid hospitals,” he said. The CM said, based on the recommendation of the state expert committee on Covid-19, the government is bringing in certain changes to its quarantine norms. He said returnees from abroad and other states can now seek home quarantine upon a self-declaration. “Institutional quarantine will be limited to those lacking facilities to undergo home quarantine. The local bodies concerned will check whether or not the returnee’s home is fit for room quarantine and endorse such cases accordingly. Before that, family members will be provided awareness,” he said. ● More on P4 As CPI toughens stand, CM says no move to take Athirappilly forward T’Puram: Even as the NOC for the Athirappilly hydel electric project threatens to snowball into a major tussle between CPM and CPI, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said there is no decision to take the project forward as of now. Terming the NOC as a routine procedure, Pinarayi said the project is on hold. Strengthening its stand, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said the project neither figures on the LDF agenda nor in its manifesto. It later emerged that it was Chief Minister Pinarayi himself who had signed the file on April 18 for issuing the NOC. A file noting stated that the project could be kept alive only if clearances are retained, for which the NOC is needed. P5 SUMMER VOCATION Surfing instructors turn fishermen for a living during lockdown I N D R A N E E L D A S @ Covelong Dharani Selvakumar rows the boat towards the beach as Anand Dandhapani (black T-shirt) and Ajith arrange the net after fishing in Covelong | SHIBA PRASAD SAHU THE boat was a speck in the vast expanse of the Bay of Bengal. A couple of friends bound by common threads of vocation and expectations were trying to make a living in these hard times of COVID-19 when money is hard to come by Born and brought up . in the fishing village of Cove- long, a salubrious getaway for Chennaiites during good old times, the friends were unlike others in the village. Before the lockdown, they were pursuing a profession different from their peers – surfing and yoga. Dharani Selvakumar has won a few national and international surfing awards while his friend Anand Dandhapani is a surfing enthusiast with a penchant for yoga. They were afloat a paddleboat searching the waters of the cove for livelihood – fish. Devoid of their usual jobs as surfing instructors for the numerous watersport buffs arriving from the city, the two, like a dozen others, have gone back to the profession of their forefathers. “Fishing is in our blood and comes to u s n at u r a l ly, ” s a i d Dharani. “During surfing days they could earn `15000 to `20,000 a month,” said Murthy M, who cofounded Covelong Point, a surfing school in this village. “Since the lockdown, everything has been shut — no surfing school and no training.” T he surfing instr uctors, around 15, in the village have turned into fishermen now. They paddle boats in the shallow waters or go deep into the sea on motorboats. Murthy said that the catches are good enough to survive well.
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