KOCHI l THURSDAY l AUGUST 20, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE CITY EDITION ADANI GETS TO RUN T’PURAM AIRPORT, 2 OTHERS FOR 50 YRS The Union Cabinet has okayed leasing of Jaipur, T’Puram and Guwahati airports to Gautam Adani-led Adani Enterprises COOPERATION WILL BE DIFFICULT: PINARAYI 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, in a letter to the PM, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said it would be difficult for Kerala to cooperate with the Centre’s decision. P4 ■ A1,070 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 Singh 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 Union govt gives nod for common recruitment tests Eligibility tests to be conducted in 12 Indian languages with centres in each district 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 non-technical 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 herald transparency in recruitment, while doing away with multiplicity of recruitment agencies. “The historic move will benefit nearly 2.5 crore aspirants every year,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted. The NRA will initially 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 number of attempts by candidates. The scores will be the basis of screening for the second and the third level of tests to be con- COVID TREATMENT TO GET EQUAL FOCUS AS PREVENTION A N I L S @ T’Puram WITH the state’s daily Covid-19 tally crossing the 2,000-mark for the first time on Wednesday since the outbreak and the number of active cases inching closer to 20,000, the government is tweaking its strategy by giving the same prominence to treatment as it did to prevention. For this, the state will convert a number of Covid First -Line T reatment Centres (CFLTC) into Second Line Cen- tres (SLC) having more facilities, including sufficient ICU beds and ICU-trained nurses. Medical examinations will be ramped up too. “Category A patients (asymptomatic) will be treated in the CFLTCs while Category B patients (those with mild symptoms but not seriously ill or with no comorbidities) will be treated in the SLCs. Category C patients (vulnerable and those requiring critical care) will be treated at Covid hospitals,” SC hands Sushant death case to CBI Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar speaks to media. ducted 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 agencies on board. Also on the cards is 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 official told TNIE. The Cabinet has allocated a sum of `1,517.57 crore for NRA. 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 SC told the Maharashtra government to comply and assist with the investigation. It also directed the Mumbai Police to hand over all evidence collected so far 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. Manmohan offered PM post, Rahul Gandhi refused: Cong Pranab’s condition worsens, docs say New Delhi: The health condition of former president Pranab Mukherjee has worsened. “There has been a decline in the medical condition of Hon’ble Shri Pranab Mukherjee as he has developed features of lung infection,” said an Army Hospital statement. 16 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi 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 family, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the family has served the party unmindful of the trappings of power. Surjewala said former PM 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 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 comes at a time when several party leaders have demanded that either Rahul take over the reins or the party elect a new chief. P7 Millions of Congress workers & leaders have seen that Rahul Gandhi has led the fight tirelessly Randeep Surjewala MURDER OF HUSBAND Yemen upholds Nimisha’s death sentence E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Palakkad MALAYALI nurse Nimisha Priya’s death sentence — for the murder of her husband, a Yemen national — was upheld on Tuesday evening by an appeals court in Sana’a. Belonging to Kollengode in Palakkad district, Nimisha, 30, is lodged in a prison there. She was sentenced to death in 2018 after being charged with cutting her husband, Talal Abdu Mahdi, into pieces and concealing his mortal remains in a sack inside the water tank of their flat in Al Deydh. She was arrested after local residents called in the police citing a stench from their house a few days after the incident. A n a dvo c at e w i t h t h e N R I (Keralites) Commission, K L Balachandran — who had assisted Nimisha in the case — told TNIE that the murder took place in 2017. “Nimisha, who was working as a nurse in a hospital, wanted to set up a clinic on her own. As only Yemen nationals were allowed to do so, she arranged a fake certificate showing her marriage to Mahdi, who was already married. The certificate enabled the clinic to get a license from the government in 2014,” he said. However, after the certificate was registered, Mahdi forced her into marriage according to the religious customs there and they stayed along with his first wife. “Mahdi used to take all the money received at the clinic and subjected Nimisha to all sorts of torture. He seized her passport and prevented her from leaving the country He also . took away all her ornaments. Nimisha stated she was threatened with a gun several times,” Balachandran ● More on P4 said. said a senior health official. With 2,333 new cases on the day, confirmed cases touched 50,231. The active cases rose to 17,382. Nearly 10,000 cases are expected daily in September. Health Minister K K Shailaja told TNIE: “SLCs are being set up to ease the pressure on hospitals. Equal importance is being given to treatment aspect too. The focus should be on saving maximum lives. Even at this stage, the state’s mortality rate is only 0.36%.” ● More on P2 DAILY COUNT CROSSES 2K, ACTIVE CASES CLOSER TO 20K 2,333 new cases reported on Wednesday 540 fresh cases in T’Puram 92% of the new patients contracted the virus through local transmission 17,382 are currently under treatment 1,217 recovered on Wednesday 10,523 cases reported in the past six days 26,618 new patients so far this month It is reported that the surge will continue. Efforts are on to deal with it — Health Dept official EXPRESS READ Use only local flowers for pookkalam, says CM UAE Consulate did not approach protocol dept Bodies of three missing fishermen recovered T’Puram: Fearing the use of flowers from other places could increase the spread of Covid-19, the chief minister has asked people to use locally sourced flowers to arrange pookkalam. P4 Kochi: The protocol department has informed the NIA probing the gold smuggling that UAE Consulate did not approach it for Customs duty exemption to import any goods. P4 Kollam: The bodies of the three fishermen, who went missing in two separate incidents after their boats capsized in the Arabian Sea off Paravur here, were recovered on Wednesday. P4
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