TIRUCHY THURSDAY AUGUST 27, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION CHINA SPRUCING UP MILITARY INFRA IN EASTERN SECTOR China has begun construction of huge habitat for large troop formation in the Eastern Sector, sources said on Wednesday Indian Army trucks move towards Ladakh on Wednesday | PTI PLA BUILDING A BRIGADE-SIZE GARRISON The Peoples Liberation Army is building a brigade size garrison at Gyantse in Tibet, which appears to be meant for the ground forces, sources said. Its construction reportedly began after January. Also, satellite images from June and July confirm that China is building and connecting roads to the border areas at multiple points in the Eastern Sector | P7 ■ 2021 STRATEGIC MISSILES ALSO DEPLOYED ■ ■ The new garrison includes six battalion headquarters and more than 600 sheds for vehicles and equipment It will be strategically positioned in Gyantse, which is not far from the Indian border states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim Sources say China has also moved strategic missiles to the area WHEN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE GARRISON IS EXPECTED TO BE FINISHED 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 Opposition to move SC to postpone JEE, NEET West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee suggests joint review petition by all CMs in the Supreme Court EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi AMID rising chorus against holding JEET/NEET in the midst of a pandemic, the Chief Ministers of seven Oppositionruled states met on Wednesday to discuss the prospects of filing a joint petition in the Supreme Court to postpone the exams. The development comes a day after the Centre decided to increase the number of examination centres for JEET and NEET to ensure social distancing. Both the exams are scheduled to be held in early September. During a virtual meeting called by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to discuss issues faced by the Opposition-ruled states, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee mooted the idea of filing a joint petition before the apex court seeking a review after it rejected a plea on August 17 to postpone the exams. The SC had EXPRESS READ 2 shot dead amid US anti-racism protests Kenosha: Two people were shot dead on Tuesday night in the US city of Kenosha, reportedly by armed militia members, as protests over the shooting of a black man by a white police officer raged. Cellphone video of at least two of the shootings that was posted online shows what appears to be a white man with a semi-automatic rifle jogging down the middle of a street as some police officers follow him | P9 Phase II human trial of Oxford vaccine begins Pune: The Phase II clinical trial of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, being manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), began at a medical college and hospital in Pune on Wednesday. Two male volunteers were administered the vaccine at Bharti Vidyapeeth’s Medical College and Hospital. According official sources, in all, 25 candidates will given the vaccine in the next seven days | P8 Swara: S-G refuses nod for contempt action New Delhi: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Wednesday refused consent to a plea seeking initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against Bollywood actor Swara Bhasker for her alleged “derogatory and scandalous” statements against the Supreme Court on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid verdict. The SG’s denial came within days of Attorney General K K Venugopal declining the go-ahead said, “Life cannot be stopped and the career of students cannot be put in jeopardy .” “Let us go to the Supreme Court and talk about this matter. This is a mental agony for students and with limited trains and flight operations, I don’t know how they will commute to sit for the exams. The situation is very serious with cases rising, we have to speak up for the children,” said Banerjee. Supporting Mamata’s suggestion, the other CMs present in the meeting said they should approach the court keeping in mind that the JEE (Main) is scheduled to be held from September 1-6 and NEET on September 13. Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren said a delegation should also meet President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter. Keeping in mind the urgency of the matter, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Students protest Centre’s move to hold JEE, NEET exams amid Covid | PARVEEN NEGI 6.8L NEET students downloaded admit cards: Govt New Delhi: 6.84 lakh NEET candidates downloaded their hall tickets within five hours after its allocation began on Wednesday, the Centre said. A total of 15.9 lakh students have registered for the exam tweeted after the meeting: “I have asked Advocate General, Punjab to coordinate with his counterparts in other States and to file a review petition in Supreme Court on NEET/JEE issue. In the midst of the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, it is not safe for lakhs of students to appear for these examinations.” Addressing the Chief Minis- E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai TAMIL Nadu has registered a 12.4 per cent dip in enrolment this year for National-Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2020, compared to the previous year. According to data issued by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on Tuesday, the number of applicants in the State has come down from 1,34,714 in 2019 to 1,17,990 this academic year. The dip across the country stood at 5 per cent — 15,19,375 applicants this year against 15,97,433 last year. Even as Opposition CMs were mulling to move the SC for postponement of NEET, Health Minister C Vijayabaskar on Wednesday shot off a letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan requesting him to cancel NEET examinations, considering the risk of infection to students, and instead offer admission based on Standard XII marks. Tamil Nadu is still one among the six States which has an enrolment of over a lakh candidates. The number of examination centres has also been increased from 188 last year to 238 this year, the data showed. Meanwhile, the enrolment of candidates from Bihar has shown an increase from 56,907 across 84 centres in 2019 to 78,960 192 centres this year. There is also a marked increase in Uttar Pradesh with 1,66,582 candidates planning to take the test this year against 1,39,497 last year. Tamil Nadu has shown an increased JEE (Mains) application — from 45,440 in January P4 to 53,765 for the September exam. Clear the mess you created, SC tells Centre Stormy GST Council meet today, states not keen on mkt borrowing GOVT TO MAKE STAND ON MORATORIUM CLEAR BY SEP 1 A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh – all BJP-ruled Thursday’s GST Council meet- states – too have conveyed their ing is likely to be stormy as displeasure over the Centre’s many states, including BJP- s t a n d o n d e l ay i n g G S T ruled ones, are miffed at non- compensation. payment of GST compensation Another sticky point is that to states. most states are not in favour of While Kerala and West Ben- opting for market borrowing. gal have been very vocal on They say the Centre should the delayed payout, many use the Consolidated Congress-ruled states Fund of India to pay have also accused the states or allow them to Centre of denying their levy some tax. rightful dues. According to the 101st Almost all states are Constitution Amendgoing through a rough ment, states will be patch as revenues have compensated for a peMeet to fallen drastically due to discuss all riod of five years from t h e c o r o n av i r u s the implementation of options pandemic. GST in July 2017. Under Punjab Finance Min- “Revenue fall is this provision, states a known fact. ister Manpreet Singh will have to be compenIn the last Badal said the state has sated till July 2022 for meeting, the received compensation any losses. Centre had only till March 2020 and The compensation shared the the Centre is sitting would meet the shortrevenue over `4,400 crore unfall in revenue to the situation. This states, assuming a 14% paid dues. meeting will Chhattisg arh has growth annually in complained the state discuss all the GST revenues. options,” a has not received a sinHowever, the GST gle penny since April senior official revenue growth was from the 2020 as compensation. less than anticipated. finance Last month, Kerala Even after three years ministry told Chief Minister of GST rollout, mop-up Pinarayi Vijayan had The New Indian has mostly remained Express also flagged the matter under `1 lakh crore per terming the Centre’s month. non-payment of GST compensaVapid GST collections and the tion to states unconstitutional. proportionately lower payout to Recently, Bihar deputy CM states have been a matter of disand state finance minister Su- cord between the Centre and shil Modi said the Centre has a states. Meanwhile, finance moral commitment to paying ministry sources said all soluthe states. tions will be discussed at ThursAccording to sources claim day’s GST Council meeting. P8 NEW ASI CIRCLE A ‘monument’al day for Tiruchy J AYA K U M A R M A D A L A @ Tiruchy The Union gover nment on Wednesday acceded to the longpending demand of archaeologists. politicians and public by announcing bifurcation of the Chennai ASI circle to create a new circle with Tiruchy as headquarters. Prahlad Singh Patel, MoS Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Government of India announced the decision on Twitter. Home to 251 monuments and ters, Sonia said the government is indifferent to the difficulty students will have to endure if they have to write the exams amid Covid-19 induced restrictions. She also accused the government of handling the whole issue in a careless manner. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray cited a US report that said 97,000 children there were infected when schools reopened and expressed concern what will states do if such a situation arises here. He noted that schools could not be even opened in June when the number of cases was relatively less. How can, then, the situation be considered conducive now to hold examinations, he asked. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel and Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy agreed that they are ready to approach the apex court on the matter. “The general consensus is that the government of India should approach the supreme Court on this issue so that this problem can be tackled effectively said Gehlot. ,” However, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal reiterated that both the exams would be held next month as per schedule. TN records 12.4 % dip in NEET enrolment The new ASI circle would bring more monuments under its maintenance 160 sites of archaeological importance, the Chennai circle of ASI is one of the largest circles in the country Stakeholders in . central and southern parts of Tamil Nadu have been urging the union government to create a new circle, which would result in more fund flow and better maintenance. Their untiring ef for ts bore fruit on Wednesday . “Keeping in mind that Tamil Nadu has glorious memories of Chola kings and 3 to 4 thousand year-old temples, ASI has made Tiruchy as a new circle to the state along with the Chennai P2 circle,” Patel tweeted. New Delhi: Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the petitioners, told SC the loan moratorium scheme is ending on August 31 and it should be extended. “I am only saying that till these pleas are decided, the extension should not end,” Sibal said. SC posted the matter for September 1, asking the Centre to come back with its stand on the issue EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi ASKING the Centre not to hide behind the RBI, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed it to clarify its stand on waiving interest on loans during the moratorium period. “It is your responsibility to take steps under the Disaster Management Act. You have enough powers to decide the issue of waiver. You cannot just depend on the RBI,” the bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhush- an said. The court was hearing a petetion filed by Agra resident Gajendra Sharma. Noting that the economic distress was created by the Centre’s nationwide lockdown, the SC asked the government to decide on the matter within one week. The court’s observation came after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta referred to the RBI’s affidavit, and said the banking institutions are also distressed. “The problem was created by your (Centre) lockdown. This isn’t the time to take care of only the business interests. You must also consider the plight of the people,” the bench noted. Mehta said such observations could have some repercussions for the government, which has been issuing all necessary directions under the Disaster Management Act. “Then you must take a stand. Whether interest should be charged and any interest on interest should be charged during moratorium period,” the bench noted. Can Messi leave Barca? Barcelona star Lionel Messi has asked club to release him. Here’s a brief look what transpired... Messi has told Barcelona through his lawyers he wants to leave despite a year remaining on his contract. This may lead to legal complications if both sides remain firm. Police fire tear gas shells on protesters outside the Secretariat at Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday | VINCENT PULICKAL S E C R E TA R I AT F I R E Kerala oppn sees plot, protests turn violent TN COVID COUNT EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Thiruvananthapuram A day after a mysterious fire broke out at the Secretariat here, several political parties in Kerala took out protest marches across the state on Wednesday, alleging conspiracy behind the incident. The protests turned violent at many places as workers of the main opposition party Next to the State capital, maximum number of cases were recorded in Coimbatore (484), Salem (451), Kancheepuram (329), Tiruvallur (280) and Chengalpattu (294). Health Minister C Vijayabaskar launched SMS service for sending Covid test results to those who test positive, at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. OXFORD UNIVERSITY ‘COVISHIELD’ VACCINE PHASE TWO HUMAN TRIALS WILL BE CONDUCTED IN CHENNAI FRESH CASES DEATHS TOLL Chennai reported 1,290 20 deaths new cases and The number of active cases in the city is 13,517 and toll 2,638 TOTAL CASES 5,958 118 6,839 52,362 Congress and the BJP clashed with police, who resorted to the use of water cannon and tear gas to disperse protesters. While the CPM-led government maintains it was a small fire triggered by a short circuit and all important files are safe, opposition parties allege it was a deliberate attempt to destroy crucial evidence related to the P5 gold smuggling case. The club buying Messi has to pay Barcelona €700 million as release fee, but the 33-year-old believes he can leave as a free agent. Few clubs can match his weekly salary of €1 million, but the names of Bayern Munich, Manchester City, PSG are doing the rounds. 2001 Year when Messi joined the club’s junior team 20 Major titles Messi won at Barcelona P11 Villager who fought for road safety hit by truck; wife dies EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai A 53-year-old resident of Kancheepuram, who had been campaigning to stop stone quarry lorries from plying through his village — putting peoples lives in danger— was hit by a lorry while riding his bike Tuesday His wife, who was riding pil. lion, was killed on the spot while the man was hospitalised with injuries. Even though the police claimed it to be an accident, villagers staged a protest demanding the authorities to stop lor- ries from plying through their village. Pandidurai and his wife Maheswari (45) were residents of Thirumukkudal near Uthiramerur. Police said Pandidurai was an employee of a private company in Kancheepuram. “On Tuesday the couple were on , their way to Uthiramerur. Around 7 pm, when they crossed the Salavakkam main road, a tipper lorry hit their bike and sped away. While Maheswari died on the spot, Pandidurai was rushed to the Kancheepuram GH,” a police officer said.
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