VILLUPURAM THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 10, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION OXFORD VACCINE HALTED IN US, UK, S. AFRICA AND BRAZIL AstraZeneca Plc said it has paused global trials of the Covid-19 vaccine due to an unexplained illness in a study participant VOLUNTEER GOT SICK AFTER VACCINE SHOT WATCHDOG STINKER TO SERUM INSTITUTE On Tuesday, a participant in the UK who was administered the vaccine had to be hospitalised after developing transverse myelitis — an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and can be caused by viral infections. However, it is not clear whether the syndrome was related to inoculation. It will be confirmed only after a detailed medical review ■ ■ Serum Institute (SII), which has partnered with AstraZeneca to make the vaccine for India, said Indian trials will continue Meanwhile, the Drugs Controller General of India has issued a show-cause notice to SII asking why the permission to conduct trials be not suspended till patient safety is established | P7 1 billion DOSES OF THE VACCINE WILL BE DEVELOPED BY SERUM INSTITUTE 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 SC orders interim stay on Maratha reservation law in Maharashtra E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Supreme Cour t on Wednesday passed an interim stay on reservation for the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions in Maharashtra. A three-judge bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao referred the matter to a larger bench, to be set up by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, for final adjudication. However, the bench said those who have availed the reservation shall not be affected. The SC is seized of a batch of petitions challenging the SEBC Act, which provides for reservation to Marathas. The court heard detailed arguments of senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Mukul Rohatgi and Gopal Sankaranarayanan for various parties. The Maharashtra Assembly had passed the SEBC Act, 2018 granting 16% reservation to Marathas beyond the 50% ceiling imposed in the Supreme Court’s 1992 verdict in the Indra Shawney case. The Bombay High Court had on June 27, 2019 upheld reservation for Marathas in the state but quashed the 16%, terming it “not justifiable”. The high court had ruled that it should not exceed 12% for education and 13% for government jobs as recommended by Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission. The HC had said the 50% cap on total reservations imposed by the SC could be exceeded in exceptional cases. It had accepted the Maharashtra government’s argument that the Maratha community was socially and educationally backward, and the state was duty-bound to take steps for its upliftment. The high court’s decision was challenged before the Supreme Court. SKYROCKETING 47 new cases at ISRO, AP ramps-up testing S V K R I S H N A C H A I TA N YA @ Chennai THE Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota (SDSCShar) finds no respite from Covid-19, as another 47 fresh cases have been reported on Wednesday taking the tally to , over 100 in just the last four days. Considering the gravity of the situation, the Nellore district administration has deployed Sanjeevani buses to beef-up the testing there. Add i t i o n a l l y, t h e A n d h r a Pradesh government has also converted the State transport cor poration’s (APSRTC) Garuda buses into testing facilities. Even as the Shar administration conducts the regular RT-PCR tests, the district administration has also ramped up Rapid Antigen tests, through Sanjeevini. A total of 3 3 c a s es were detecte d through RT-PCR tests, and 14 through antigen tests done on Wednesday . Meanwhile, the district administration has assured that there was nothing to panic about the situation. “Through Sanjeevini, we have screened over 600 people at Shar in the last three days, of which 61 tested positive, of which most are asymptomatic. The tests are still in progress,” District Collector KVN Chakradhar P4 Babu told TNIE. TN COVID COUNT FRESH CASES DEATHS 5,584 78 The Health Dept invited volunteers from Chennai to enrol for Oxford University Covishield vaccine for phase II human clinical trials Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami visiting an exhibition put up at the Tiruvannamalai collectorate on Wednesday Revised guidelines to be blamed for PM-Kisan scam: EPS EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Tiruvannamalai IN the wake of the financial irregularities committed in PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday blamed the Centre’s revised guidelines on beneficiary registration, released last year, for giving room to commit such ir re gularities. This comes as the State BJP has raised a clamour to probe the alleged irregularities. “The reason is the Centre’s (revised) guidelines on beneficiary registration. It said that farmers can enrol themselves using Aadhaar or ration card, and this paved way for the problem,” the CM said, while speaking to media after chairing a review meeting here. The CM pointed out that it was the State government that detected the irregularities and came forward to order a CBCID probe. “The beneficiary registration rose to 46 lakh from 41 lakh in just four months. This led to doubts in the minds of officials, who decided to probe it,” he said. Echoing Agriculture Secretary’s statement on Tuesday, the CM said that over five lakh ineligible farmers were found to have enrolled under the scheme. He added, 18 persons were arrested, 81 contract staff sacked, and action taken against 34 officers. BJP leaders in the State had recently submitted a memorandum to the Chief Secretary and District Collectors, demanding an impartial probe, besides raising questions on the way the scheme was implemented here. On Wednesday, CPI as well demanded a thorough inquiry into the scam. Meanwhile, refuting charges levelled by DMK president MK Stalin that murders in the State were under-reported by the government, Palaniswami flayed him for “peddling lies”. “We have nothing to hide on the number of murders that occurred in the State,” he said. On Centre’s guidelines on reopening educational institutions, the CM said, “We will take a decision taking into account parents’ sentiments.” On the Chennai-Salem expressway he said: “It is a Cen, tral government project. Our role is just to acquire land.” He also said the gover nment would never compromise on State’s water rights, when asked about Karnataka’s move to divert water from the Thenpennai river. Luncheon meeting between foreign ministers of Russia, India and China today in Moscow before Sino-Indian talks in the evening; analysts downbeat on outcome of the interactions Trilateral before bilateral P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi in Moscow. Russia being a close ally of both India and China, HOURS before the India-China certainly would like to see a bilateral meeting amid the on- peaceful resolution of the isgoing tension along the Line of sue, therefore Putin urging Actual Control (LAC) in both sides to disengage and deLadakh, the foreign ministers escalate in private cannot be of the two countries — S Jais- ruled out. If the situation aghankar and Wang Yi — will gravates, participating counhold a trilateral luncheon meet tries may opt out the forum,” B with their Russian counterpart R Deepak, Sinologist and Sergey Lavrov on Thursday . Chairperson of the Centre for The announcement of the Chinese and South Asian Studtrilateral was made by the Chi- ies at JNU said. nese foreign ministry on Moscow-based political anaWednesday. Both Jaishankar lyst Andrew Korybko echoed and Wang are already in Mos- Deepak’s view, adding there is cow to attend the SCO foreign nothing Russia can do to bring ministers’ meeting. China and India closer. “In the While the India-Chievent that the Chinese na bilateral is schedand Indian foreign uled to take place at ministers meet on the 5.30 pm IST, given the sidelines of the SCO Pleasure to meet fresh stand-off on the in Moscow, it would be FM Sergey southern bank of the because India did so Pangong Tso and the Lavrov... Excellent out of respect for its talks that reflect shocking firing by the Russian hosts, just our Special and PLA on Monday, the like when their DePrivileged p e rc e p t i o n i s t h e fense Ministers met Strategic meeting could end in a Partnership. Value last week. IN and PRC stalemate. Just last our exchanges on have irreconcilable week, Defence Minis- the international stances on the LAC,” situation ter Rajnath Singh and he said, adding all his Chinese counterMoscow can do is to ofS Jaishankar part Wei Fenghe’s fer a venue. meeting was Korybko was also of inconclusive. the opinion that the meeting Though Moscow had said up- would be overshadowed by the front it would not intervene be- recent gunfire on the LAC. “Intween Beijing and New Delhi, it dia and China have different had urged the two countries to interpretations of what hapuse the SCO to resolve their dif- pened and who is responsible ferences. However, experts are for violating the bilateral not optimistic of any positive agreement that hitherto preoutcome from the bilateral vented any firearm escalation. meeting. “The SCO is a multi- That escalation placed them on lateral forum where no bilat- an irreversible trajectory of soeral issues are brought for dis- called decoupling, with the cussion. However, these are ‘best case’ scenario being that discussed at the sidelines, as it it’s ‘manageable’ whereas the happened between Rajnath Sin- worst case one is a repeat of the gh and his Chinese counterpart 1962 conflict,” he said. EXPRESS READ BMC pulls down part of Kangana’s bungalow before HC’s stay order Part of actress Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow in Mumbai was demolished by the Shiv Sena-run Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Wednesday, citing illegal alterations in the building.The Bombay High Court later stayed the demolition terming it “malafide” and “deplorable”. Expressing displeasure over the incident, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, “The BMC may have taken the action as per procedure, but the timing was not right.” Medical aspirant, gripped by fear of failing NEET, dies by suicide Tiruchy: A 19-year-old youth from a village in Ariyalur died by suicide by jumping into a well, in the wee hours of Wednesday, allegedly gripped by fear of failing in the test. V Vignesh of Elanthankuzhi was supposed to take his final shot at the exam and was worried if he had prepared enough. He had scored 1,006 marks out of 1,200 in Class 12 and failed to clear NEET in two earlier attempts. His parents and relatives protested demanding that NEET be scrapped | P2 ONLINE CLASSES Min announces stress buster week from Sep 21-25 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai/Erode THE State government has suspended telecast of video lessons and online classes between September 21 and 25, said School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan on Wednesday . Speaking to reporters, the minister said that students usually get holidays after quarterly and half- yearly examinations. However, online classes were necessitated this year due to the pandemic situation and students are being given a five-day stress buster break, he said. “All schools will be monitored at block level to ensure that online classes are not conducted during the break.” It may be noted that the Centre on Tuesday had issued an SOP for reopening schools for Class 9 to 12. On the State’s decision, he said that a decision will be taken only after Covid was contained. “A committee has been formed to study the New Education Policy 2020, and the department will take necessary efforts to convert parttime libraries into full-time libraries,” said Sengottaiyan. Meanwhile, the Madras High Court on Wednesday refused to ban online classes and said that guidelines mandated by both State and Central governments should be strictly adhered to, by the schools. A small group of students requiring special attendance may be permitted to attend classes physically the court added. , Justices MM Sundresh and R Hemalatha passed orders on pleas raising various concerns regarding the conduct of online classes for students amid the pandemic. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov (left) before their bilateral meeting, in Moscow on Wednesday | TWITTER India on dominating heights in Finger 4 too M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi The Indian Army has positioned its soldiers on higher peaks in the Finger 4 area on the northern bank of Pangong Tso lake and fortified its positions using barbed wire in both the north and south banks of the lake in eastern Ladakh. “We have now repositioned our troops at dominating heights within our area around Finger 4 on the north bank of Pangong Tso,” a senior officer confirmed. The Indian side is now able to observe all Chinese movements in and around Finger 4, which was where the flareup first began in May . “We have placed barbed wires ahead of our positions all along these areas. PLA troops in the south bank tried to remove them on Monday so as to reach our positions. But we warned them sternly of strong ac- tion,” a source said. When the PLA fired bullets into the air for intimidation, “we used megaphones to convey in Mandarin that it will be dealt with sternly . After some time the Chinese went back. At present, they are about 300 metres away from Indian positions on at least three heights in south Pangong,” the source said. The Chinese have now deployed battle tanks in the Spanggur Gap. “They have around 15-20 tanks near Spangur Gap and are trying to intimidate us,” the source said. Also, the Chinese have amassed 5,000-7,000 troops in Moldo, opposite Chushul Sector. According to sources, the top leadership in China is directly in contact with its military and is coordination all action along the LAC. Meanwhile, the Brigade commanders of both sides met in the Chushul-Moldo area.
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