KOLLAM l WEDNESDAY l SEPTEMBER 02, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION JEE (MAINS) HELD AMID STRINGENT PRECAUTIONS VIGIL TO KEEP THE DEADLY VIRUS AWAY National-level entrance exams for admission to engg colleges began on Tuesday with strict social distancing measures Staggered entry and exit for candidates, sanitisers at the gate, distribution of masks and maintaining social distancing as candidates queued up, were among the scenes witnessed at the exam centres across the country. The exam, which has been postponed twice in view of the Covi-19 pandemic, is scheduled to be held from September 1 to 6 ■ 9 lakh FLOOD-HIT STUDENTS TO GET 2ND CHANCE ■ Flood-hit Maharashtra and West Bengal said many students could not take the exam. The Nagpur bench of the Bombay HC said those who could not reach exam centres can seek re-test The exam was amid protests from Opposition parties and a section of students against holding it in the midst of a pandemic THE NUMBER OF CANDIDATES WHO HAVE REGISTERED FOR JEE-MAINS 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 Amid talks, China made fresh bid to alter status quo Indian Army foiled the second aggression; brigade commander meeting inconclusive P U S H K A R B A N A K A R & M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi INDIA on Tuesday said the Chinese side resorted to aggression on Monday at the south bank of the Pangong Tso along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) even as commander-level talks were on to resolve the fresh face-off. “On August 31, even as the ground commanders of the two sides were in discussions to deescalate the situation, the Chinese troops again engaged in provocative action. Due to the timely defensive action, the Indian side was able to prevent these attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said. Amid fresh tensions, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a meeting with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and the Army top brass. The meeting chaired by Singh went for about two hours. Jaishankar, Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Genral Bipin Rawat and Army Chief M M Naravane participated. The Director General Military Operations, the operations head of the Army too, attended , the meeting, according to an officer. “The meeting was held to analyse the current situation and discuss the future course of all military and diplomatic options,” he said. India has consolidated its position by occupying the heights on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso. “It was a preemptive move after we observed Chi- GST mop-up down, auto & mfg sectors up E X P R ESS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THREE sets of data released on Tuesday offered a glimpse into the state of the country’s economy . GST collection for August fell both on a year-on-year basis as well as sequentially On . an annual basis, the August mop-up at `86,449 crore was 12% lower compared to `98,202 crore recorded in the same month last year. Experts, however, say the drop in indirect tax collection is due to reduced imports and that the latest revenue figure is actually impressive as it shows domestic economic activity is on the mend. GST collections have faltered since the beginning of the current fiscal as Covid19-induced lockdown disrupted economic activity. The revenue collected in April was `32,172 crore, `62,151 crore in May `90,917 crore in , June and `87,422 crore in July . Meanwhile, India’s manufacturing sector activity reentered the growth territory in August. The IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose from 46 in July to 52 in August, signalling an improvement after four consecutive months of contraction. With economic activity picking up pace, energy use is also gradually going up across the country . FULL COVERAGE: P10 Appropriate defensive measures taken: MEA In response to provocative military maneuvers by China in the late night of August 29 and 30, “the Indian side took appropriate defensive measures along the LAC in order to safeguard our interests and defend the territorial integrity,” MEA spokesperson Srivastava said Amid tensions along the LAC with China, an Army convoy moves on the Srinagar-Ladakh highway at Gagangeer in Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on Tuesday | PTI nese movement towards the area accompanied with the heavy machinery to create infrastructure,” sources said. The second brigade commander-level meeting in as many days on Tuesday was inconclusive with China accusing India of entering Chinese territory, an allegation the Indian side rejected. Chinese Embassy spokesperson Ji Rong accused India of flagrant provocations on August 31. “India’s move has grossly violated China’s territorial sovereignty the official said. ,” FAREWELL, STATESMAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays his last respects to former President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Tuesday | PIB Twin murder: 7 arrested, CPM points fingers at Adoor Prakash E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram SEVEN persons, including a woman, were arrested a day after the murder of two DYFI workers at Venjaramoodu near here on Monday in a suspected fallout of political rivalry between the CPM and Congress. And on Tuesday, senior CPM leader and Industries Minister E P Jayarajan gave the case a new political spin by alleging that the accused have close links with Congress leader Adoor Prakash. The Attingal MP, however, refuted the allegations. CPM secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan too had accused the Congress of highlevel conspiracy . DYFI workers Mithilaj, 30, and Haq Muhammed, 24, were fatally hacked while they were going to the former’s house on his two-wheeler. Madapuram native Prija is the woman nabbed, for allegedly providing hideout for the accused. Jayarajan alleged the accused had contacted Adoor Prakash over phone after the incident and added that his role in the conspiracy should be probed. Soon after he made the state- EXPRESS READ AGR dues can be cleared in 10 years, says SC New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave telecom firms 10 years to clear their adjusted gross revenue dues, estimated to be around C1.6 lakh crore. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said the firms will have to pay 10% of the dues by March 31, 2021. Thereafter, they will have to pay an installment by February 7 every successive year. IF EVERYONE WEARS A MASK, WE CAN ACHIEVE 90% EFFECT OF LOCKDOWN: DR D NAGESHWAR REDDY Can you be reinfected by Covid if you’ve recovered from it once already? How long after you notice symptoms can you afford to wait before you rush to a hospital? If the virus keeps mutating over time, will the upcoming Covid vaccine still be effective? Six months of on-again, off-again lockdowns later, the average Indian still has a whole load of basic questions about the virus. To address them, TNIE Editor G S Vasu spoke to renowned gastroenterologist and Padma Bhushan awardee Dr D Nageshwar Reddy. The Hyderabadbased Chairman of the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology sought to dial down the panic, spoke on how wearing masks can achieve 90% effect of lockdown, and why India’s numbers are likely to be 5x higher than we think. Scan the QR code or watch it on: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=lUGKK4KjyLM For transcript on TNIE site, go to https://bit.ly/3bh6fJX Kerala does away with e-pass, quarantine No restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of people and goods from today No separate permission or e-permit required for inter-state travel A crisis management panel to be convened if situation warrants change SALARY CHALLENGE: 868 JUNIOR DOCTORS TO QUIT Docs give 2 weeks’ notice to govt after request to exempt them from the challenge did not yield result En masse quitting to have adverse impact on fight against the pandemic Allahabad High Court sets Kafeel free, quashes charges N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow THE Allahabad High Court on Tuesday dropped all charges under the National Security Act (NSA) against Dr Kafeel Khan, who was detained for his speech during the anti-CAA protests on the Aligarh Muslim University campus in December last year. “A complete reading of the speech also nowhere threatens peace and tranquility of the city of Aligarh. The address gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens,” the division bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Marhur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh, said while allowing a habeas corpus writ petition filed by his mother Nuzhat Perween. While the speech was delivered on December 12, Dr Khan was arrested at the Mumbai airport by the UP Special Task Force on January 29. The petition said Dr Khan was granted bail on January 29 but was not released. Instead, the NSA was invoked against him by the Aligarh district magistrate. The bench observed: “The state authorities have failed to discharge their bounden burden to establish that the lecture delivered by Khan on December 12, 2019, has such a deleterious effect on the public order.” Dr Kafeel Khan KALITA GETS BAIL The Delhi HC ordered bail to activist Devangana Kalita, saying she was present in a peaceful agitation, which is a fundamental right | P8 ment, DYFI came out with a voice clip in which one of the accused was heard saying that it was the Congress leader who had helped them in a previous case of hacking another DYFI activist. Adoor Prakash said the CPM is trying to derail the probe and challenged the state government to prove the allegations against him. The Congress leadership had vehemently denied its party workers’ involvement in the twin murder. The Opposition claimed they would not fall for the false propaganda by the CPM and the state gover nment. ● More on P4 After ‘victory of truth’, Jose to go for the kill against Joseph A B H I L A S H C H A N D R A N @ Kottayam A DAY after the Election Commission of India (ECI) declared Jose K Mani-led faction as the official Kerala Congress (M), a reinvigorated Jose camp has decided to take disciplinary action against his rival P J Joseph to ensure a complete triumph over the latter. Addressing mediapersons here on Tuesday Jose hinted that he would consider , legal options to initiate disqualification proceedings against MLAs P J Joseph and his close aide Mons Joseph for violating party whip in the assembly while voting to elect a Rajya Sabha member and in the no-confidence motion against the LDF government. “The party will consider initiating action against KC(M) MLAs who violated the whip issued by Roshy Augustine to abstain from ● More on P4 voting on the floor,” Jose said.
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