MADURAI THURSDAY AUGUST 20, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 14 LATE CITY EDITION ADANI GETS TO RUN THREE MORE AIRPORTS FOR 50 YRS The Union Cabinet has okayed leasing of Jaipur, T’puram and Guwahati airports to Gautam Adani-led Adani Enterprises ADANI HAD WON THE BIDS LAST YEAR In all, the Adani Group had won the rights to operate six airports through the Public Private Partnership model. Last year, the Union Cabinet had cleared the leasing out of Ahmedabad, Mangaluru and Lucknow airports. However, the leasing of Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram and Guwahati airports got caught up in legal hurdles and the Cabinet nod was pending ■ `1,070 cr FURTHER PRIVATISATION ON THE CARDS ■ The PPP model has helped the Airports Authority of India increase its revenue and focus on developing more airports and aviation infrastructure in Tier-II & Tier III cities Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri said on Tuesday that his ministry will place proposals for further privatisation of airports UPFRONT PAYMENT THE A.A.I. WILL GET FROM HANDING OVER THE AIRPORTS 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 EXPRESS READ 10K troops from J-K to withdraw New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday ordered immediate withdrawal of 10,000 paramilitary personnel from Jammu and Kashmir. This is the biggest de-induction of these forces after additional troops were rushed to the UT after the abrogation of the Article 370. The decision was taken after the Home ministry reviewed the deployment of the Central forces in the UT WB may lower India projection New Delhi: The World Bank on Wednesday indicated it may further lower its growth projections for India and said critical reforms in key areas such as health, labour, land, skills and finance are needed to come out stronger from the Covid-19 crisis. The World Bank had in May projected Indian economy would contract by 3.2% in FY21 and rebound slowly in the next fiscal | P10 8L Covid tests for 2nd day in a row New Delhi: Focusing on the ‘test, track and treat’ strategy, India has tested more than 8 lakh samples for Covid-19 for the second consecutive day in a row, taking the cumulative tests to 3,17,42,782 so far, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday. To increase the number of tests per day to 10 lakh, as many as 8,01,518 samples were tested in a span of 24 hours on Tuesday SC hands Sushant death case to CBI Says probe by premier agency will improve public confidence and ensure justice K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi TO boost public confidence in the ongoing probe into the unnatural death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and to ensure complete justice, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to take over the probe. The top court told the Maharashtra government to comply and assist with the investigation. It also directed the Mumbai Police to hand over all evidence collected to the CBI. Justice Hrishikesh Roy, who gave the verdict, invoked the powers of the SC under Article 142 of the Constitution to ensure ‘complete justice’. The judge turned down the objection by senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who represented the Maharashtra government, that a single judge bench cannot exercise the powers under Article 142 and that it must be a bench having strength of at least two judges. “When truth meets sunshine, justice will not prevail on the living alone but after Life’s fitful fever, now the departed will also sleep well. Satyameva Jayate,” read the 25-page judgment. “Equally importantly, when integrity and credibility of the investigation is discern- BJP hails order, Cong calls for proper probe The BJP hailed the order as a “triumph of justice”. The Congress said the agency should carry out a “proper probe”, and asserted justice won’t be delivered by the BJP-JDU making statements for “political gains” ible, the trust, faith and confidence of the common man in the judicial process will resonate,” it added. It also held that the Bihar government had the right to refer the Patna FIR lodged by Rajput’s father to CBI. The bench said the CBI will be competent to probe not only the Patna FIR but also any other FIRs related to the case. The judge noted that the tug of war between Bihar and Maharashtra over the case and allegations of political interference has cast a cloud over the legitimacy of the probe. Common recruitment test gets Cabinet’s nod EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to constitute a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to conduct standardised online examinations for group B and C nontechnical posts in the Central government. The NRA will hold common eligibility tests (CETs) in 12 Indian languages with centres in each district. Hailing the decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who presided over the Cabinet meeting, said the move would NEET ASPIRANT KILLS HERSELF EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Coimbatore A day after the corridors of the apex court reverberated with the words “career of students cannot be put under jeopardy for long”, a 19-yearold NEET aspirant ended her life fearing the prospect of facing the gruelling exam in three weeks. The Supreme Court had made the observation on Monday while dismissing a petition seeking postponement of NEET and JEE. R Subashri had been preparing for the NEET for the past two years. Her last year’s tally of 451/700 could fetch her a seat only in a dental college. She joined a private coach- @ New Delhi AIIMS STUDY SAYS LIVER DISEASE FATAL FOR COVID PATIENTS M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi Highest mortality rate due to Covid-19 is among those with pre-existing chronic liver diseases | P7 THE Congress on Wednesday rallied behind Rahul Gandhi saying workers want him to come back as party president. Downplaying talks of bringing a leader not connected to the Nehru-Gandhi f a m i l y, C o n g r e s s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the family has served the party unmindful of the trappings of power. Surjewala said former prime minister Manmohan Singh had offered to resign and make way for Rahul to take the top post but the latter declined the offer. On Priyanka Gandhi’s comments about a non-Gandhi party chief, as mentioned in a new book, he said those were made a year ago and in a different context. “Millions of Congress workers & leaders have seen that Rahul Gandhi has led the fight tirelessly, undaunted by the setbacks and vile attacks by the Modi government. It is this fearlessness that the Congress requires, Workers respect and Nation needs,” he added. His statement is significant as it comes at a time when several party leaders have demanded that either Rahul take over the reins or the party elect a new chief. In the book India Tomorrow: Conversations with the Next Generation of Political Leaders by Pradeep Chibber and Harsh Shah, Priyanka is quoted as saying: “Perhaps not in the (resignation) letter but elsewhere, he has said that none of us should be the president of the party and I am in full agreement with him. ing centre last year to better her results. On Tuesday, Subashri locked herself in a room and refused to come out despite entreaties by her parents. Later, her parents and relatives broke open the door only to find her body hanging from the ceiling. On information, the RS Puram police recovered the body and sent it to Coimbatore Medical College Hospital for postmortem examination. After preliminary investigations, the police said that Subashri was under stress after the verdict. “She may have taken the extreme step over the apprehensions of facing the exam in three weeks,” a police source said. Condoling Subashri’s death, DMK MP Kanimozhi in a tweet urged the Centre to cancel the NEET in view of the prevailing Covid-19 situation. * Those having suicidal thoughts can seek assistance on Tamil Nadu Health Department’s helpline 104 or Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050. Pranab’s condition worsens, has lung infection, docs say Manmohan offered PM post, Rahul refused: Cong EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE herald transparency in recruitment, while doing away with multiplicity of recruitment agencies. The NRA initially will hold the CET for the Railways, PSU banks and the Staff Selection Commission. The CET score will be valid for three years and there will be no bar on the nu m b e r o f at t e m p t s by candidates. The scores will be the basis of screening for the second and the third level of tests to be conducted by the RRBs, SSC and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection, officials said. The NRA will conduct the CET separately for graduates, those who have cleared higher secondary exams and matriculates. The government aims to bring other recruitment agen- CAPITAL MISERY Vehicles had a tough time navigating through waterlogged Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi as heavy rains lasting hours inundated most roads on Wednesday | PTI THE health condition of former president Pranab Mukherjee worsened on Wednesday after infection in his lungs was detected. “There has been a decline in the medical condition of Hon’ble Shri Pranab Mukherjee as he has developed features of lung infection. He continues to be on ventilator support and is currently being managed by a team of specialists,” read a s t at e m e n t by t h e A r my Hospital. Earlier in the day the former , President’s son Abhijit had tweeted saying his father was stable. “With All Your good Active cases going up in Chennai O M J A S V I N M D @ Chennai AFTER seeing a gradual dip in active cases over the past two months, Chennai has been witnessing a rise in the past four days. The city which recorded less , than 1,000 cases for a few days in the second week of August, has once again started reporting around 1,200 cases every day This has taken up the num. ber of active cases from 10,868 on August 12 to 12,256 on August 19. The number of active cases, which stood at a whopping 24,890 on July 5 had gradually come down owing to containment measures. While Chennai was seemingly on the road to recovery, the daily positivity rate is now close to 11 per cent again, even as the city is slowly opening up to economic activities. Chennai reported 1,186 cases and 16 deaths on Wednesday, while the State reported 5,795 cases and 116 deaths. The tally rose to 3,55,449 and toll to 6,123. Even as the city is slowly unlocking its economic activities, health experts are of the opinion that its time the Corporation improvised upon its containment strate gies. Dr Prabhdeep Kaur, Deputy Director, National Institute of Epidemiology, said testing could be ramped up in zones where there P4 is a rise in cases. wishes & sincere efforts of the Doctors, my father is stable now! His vital parameters continue to remain under control & manageable! Positive signs of his improvement is noticed! I request you all to pray for His speedy recovery!” he had tweeted. The 88-year-old was admitted to the Army Hospital at Delhi Cantonment on August 10 in a critical condition. A detailed examination by the hospital revealed a large brain clot for which he underwent an emergency lifesaving surgery. Following the surgery, he continued to remain critical and was put on ventilator support. He was also found to be Covid-19 positive. 17,285 22,610 18,969 24,890 cies on board. Also on the cards are encouraging state governments and the private sector to accept CET for their recruitments. While the government said the CET will be the stepping stone for next-level selection process, the need for subsequent tests might be done away with entirely a senior of, ficial told TNIE. The Cabinet has allocated a sum of `1,517.57 crore for the constitution of the NRA which will be an autonomous society and will consist of the members of the SSC, RRB and IBPS. Hike MSP for milling copra, EPS urges Centre EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai POINTING out that the Minimum Support Price of `99.60 per kg fixed by the Centre for milling copra would be inadequate for coconut growers in the State, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday urged the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to increase the price to at least `125 per kg for the current season. In his letter to the Union M i n i s t e r, Palaniswami pointed out that the Tamil Nadu government, while communicating its views on the price policy for Copra 2020 season on January 23, had suggested the price be fixed at `105 per kg. “Tamil Nadu is one of the major coconut growing States with an area of around 4.40 lakh hectares. At present, the market rate in Tamil Nadu and nearby States is between `100 and `110 per kg. Hence, taking the above challenges into consideration, it is felt that the present MSP for milling copra of `99.60 per kg will not be adequate to compensate their cost of production,” he added. Apart from various challenges over the past two years, the lockdown had affected the farmers and they had to incur additional cost due to scarcity of labour and challenges in transportation. City’s active cases curve on a 5-day interval 18,616 15,606 15,127 12,785 13,923 15,385 11,856 11,654 12,256 11,209 Jun 15 Jun 20 Jun 25 Jun 30 Jul 5 Jul 10 Jul 15 Jul 20 Jul 25 Jul 30 Aug 4 Aug 9 Aug 14 Aug 19 SPB on ECMO support Singer SP Balasubrahmanyam’s condition remains critical, and is on ventilator and Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) support in the ICU, a bulletin from MGM Healthcare Hospital said | P4
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