MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people 2020 list, released on Wednesday Kamala Harris CEO of Alphabet Inc MADURAI THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 24, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION Megan Thee Stallion: American rapper, singer and songwriter Giannis Antetokounmpo: Greek professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association Ravindra Gupta Julie K Brown: American Indian-origin investigative journalist with the biologist Miami Herald PIONEERS TITANS Sundar Pichai CEO of Alphabet Inc Dwyane Wade: American former professional basketball player MacKenzie Scott: American novelist, billionaire, and venture philanthropist Jerome Powell: Chairman of the Federal Reserve ICONS B L AC K L I V ES M AT T E R F O U N D E RS ARTISTS Lina Attalah Bilkis Shaheen Bagh protester Alicia Garza Patrisse Cullors Opal Tometi Co-founder and chief editor of Mada Masr, an independent online Egyptian newspaper Ayushmann Khurrana Bollywood actor Michael B. Jordan: American actor and producer Selena Gomez: American singer, songwriter, actress, and producer Ali Wong: Stand-up comedian, actress, and writer Xi Jinping Chinese president Donald Trump US President Angela Merkel Chancellor of Germany Nancy Pelosi Speaker, House of Reps Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India Joe Biden US Presidential candidate John Roberts US Supreme Court Chief Justice Yousef Al Otaiba UAE’s ambassador to the US TIME’S FIVE CATEGORIES: PIONEERS, ARTISTS, LEADERS, TITANS & ICONS 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 Rly MoS dies of Covid-19 New Delhi: Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, 65, on Wednesday succumbed to Covid-19. IPL MATCH TODAY Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and other Opposition leaders before addressing the media, after a meeting with President Ramnath Kovind over the recent farm sector reform bills, in New Delhi on Wednesday | PTI RS clears 15 bills in 2 days amidst Oppn’s boycott Parliament’s nod to labour code revamp bills; 50 laws approved in both Houses; session over R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi OVER 100 per cent productivity in a truncated monsoon session. That is a landmark the Rajya Sabha could have been proud of had the situation been normal. But the target was achieved amid the absence of the Opposition, which has been boycotting the session since Tuesday over the suspension of eight members from the House for unruly behaviour. As many as 15 weighty bills were passed between Tuesday and Wednesday in the space of nearly seven-and-a-half hours in the Upper House. In other words, one bill every 30 minutes. Legislative agenda wrapped up, both Houses were then adjourned sine die. As for the Opposition, it held a silent march on Parliament’s premises over three farm sector reform bills and later met President Ramnath Kovind to request him return the “unconstitutional” legislations. Eighteen political parties had earlier written to Kovind expressing concern over the manner in which the farm bills were passed in the House of Elders. However, in view of the Covid-19 situation, only Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad got to meet the President. In just 10 sittings, the Rajya Sabha passed as many as 25 bills. An equal number of bill were passed in the Lok Sabha. “The productivity of the House during this session has been 100.47 per cent,” Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said in his valedictory address. Prominent among the eight bills cleared in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday were three on labour code reforms, despite floor leaders of 12 Opposition parties jointly urging Naidu not to let them pass without proper discussion. “These bills affect the livelihood of crores of workers across the country It will be a great blot on . our democracy to have these bills pass unilaterally today the Oppo,” sition wrote. Referring to it, Naidu cited precedents when business was taken up as per schedule and bills approved during boycott or walkout by some members. Naidu said had the letter suggested the postponement of the bill by stating the Opposition members would attend the House later, he would have discussed the request with the government. But there was no such assurance, so he decided to go ahead with the bills, he said. Replying to the debate on the three labour reforms bills, minister Santosh Gangwar said the labour reforms will provide a transparent system to suit the changed business environment. As for the Lok Sabha, it “registered 167 per cent productivity, spending 68 per cent of the time on the legislative business,” said Speaker Om Birla. BMS hits out at govt for passing labour bills E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), an RSS affiliate, on Wednesday hit out at the Centre for ignoring its objections to the labour reform bills. It accused the BJP-led government of pandering to the whims of corporates while turning a blind eye to the needs of employees. “The BMS and other trade unions had given detailed objections to the previous draft of the Industrial Relations Code. None of the objections raised by the BMS and other trade unions as well as the recommendations of PSCL (Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour) in favour of workers was considered in the revised draft,” said BMS secretary-general Vrijesh Upadhyay . He alleged the Industrial Relations Code is tilted too much in favour of employers and bureaucrats. “The last-minute mutilations will adversely affect industrial peace in the country. Some important changes like that on standing orders were not even discussed in the consultation process, which is a violation of the ILO Convention 144 ratified by Indian Parliament,” he added. The BMS said the new law is a clear attempt to diminish the role of trade unions. The Sangh said the decision to allow companies with up to 300 employees to fire workers and close down units without government permission will promote “ease of closing business, not ease of doing business”. ‘Industrial Relations Code too much in favour of employers’ BMS secretary-general Vrijesh Upadhyay alleged the Industrial Relations Code is tilted too much in favour of employers and bureaucrats. “The last-minute mutilations will adversely affect industrial peace in the country. Some important changes like that on standing orders were not even discussed in the consultation process, which is a violation of the ILO Convention 144 ratified by Indian Parliament,” he said. Tender by Fit Person of Palani temple for housekeeping staff deemed unfit by court E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Madurai THE Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court quashed a tender notification issued by Executive Officer cum Fit Person of Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy temple in Palani for hiring housekeeping service for the temple. The court said that such major decisions that have financial implications ought to be taken only by the board of trustees. Justice GR Swaminathan noted that due to a change in political scenario in 2011, some of the temple trustees resigned from the boards and to fill the vacuum the government had passed a G.O. the same year, appointing Executive Officers as ex-officio fit persons. “Though it was an interim measure, nine years have gone by and the executive officers continue to be at the helm of affairs,” he said. “As per Rule 11 of Collection of Income and the Incurring of Expenditure Rules, no expenditure shall be incurred without the written order of the trustee. But, if the executive officer himself is also made the fit person so that he can discharge the functions of a trustee, and such a scenario continues for years together, it is certainly a fraud on the statute,” the judge pointed out. The judge also concurred with the contentions of the petitioner’s counsel that the executive officer for Palani temple had been appointed under the Madras Act, 1927 and no fresh proceedings were issued under Tamil Nadu HR and CE Act, 1959. Arguments made by government counsels questioning the locus standi (right to bring an action to a court of law) of the petitioner were quickly rejected by the judge. “He has filed the plea in his capacity as a devotee or worshiper,” he said. Allowing the petition, he quashed the tender notification dated August 20, 2020 and advised the State author- ities to take steps to constitute board of trustees for Palani temple as early as possible. Justice Swaminathan also quoted from TNIE’s editorial piece (published on September 22) on similar concerns pertaining to administration of temples in Andhra Pradesh that cropped up following the recent Antarvedi temple fire. “Reconstituting temple trust boards with eminent Hindus and men of impeccable character would be a good start. Leaving the temples in the care of the bureaucracy and politicians hasn’t helped,” he quoted, and said that these words are relevant to Tamil Nadu as well. The petitioner TR Ramesh had challenged the notification on various grounds which, apart from questioning the capacity of the authorities, also included that devotees are entitled to offer voluntary service known as ‘Uzhavara pani’ and that cleaning and maintenance should not be given to outsiders in the name of housekeeping contract. vs Royal Challengers Bangalore will face Kings XI Punjab in their second match in Dubai on Thursday. Bangalore have won their opening match while Punjab lost their first in a Super Over. Opener Devdutt Padikkal will be on focus again for Virat Kohli’s men, while leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi will the one to watch out for for Punjab. ODDS: KXIP 6/5 RCB 8/11 LIVE: STAR SPORTS1/ HOTSTAR @ 7.30PM CM seeks `1K-cr grant from NDRF EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai CHIEF Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to disburse an ad-hoc grant of `1,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) immediately to fight the pandemic as Tamil Nadu had completely spent the State Disaster Response and Mitig ation Fund. “The Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness package should be hiked from `712.64 crore to `3,000 crore. So far, Tamil Nadu has received `511.64 crore from the Centre as part of this package,” Palaniswami said during a video conference with Modi. Pointing out that the State has been using only RT-PCR test, the gold standard to identify affected persons, Palaniswami said, “These tests cost nearly `6.8 crore a day I re. quest the Centre to fund at least 50 per cent of the cost of the PCR tests from the PM - CARES fund as Tamil Nadu is facing financial difficulties on incurring such expenses continuously .” On controlling the pandemic, Palaniswami said, “I have personally visited and reviewed the measures in 26 districts, which have proved very effective in controlling the spread of the virus. Farming, food processing, and other industries are almost back to normal across the State,” he added. Due to effective treatment, the State has maintained a low mortality rate (1.62 per cent), one of the lowest in the country. “As many as 5,02,740 patients have so far recovered, taking the recovery rate to around 90 per cent, one of the highest in the country The positiv. ity rate has come down from a high of 10.47 per cent in July to 6.2 per cent. As on date, no district has positivity rate above 10 per P4 cent,” he said. Minister aide abduction has political link? EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Tirupur PERSONAL assistant to Minister of Animal Husbandry Udumalai K Radhakrishnan was abducted by four persons from MLA’s office in Udumalaipet at 11.10 am on Wednesday However, . the abductors let Karnan free near Vazhapadi, some 13 kilometres away from Udumalaipet, around 11.45 am. Sources said that after he was released, Kar nan reached the house of an AIADMK member in Dhali and informed the police and his party members. A case has been registered in Udumalaipet police station. Speaking to media, Karnan said that a group of men barged into the MLA’s office and forced him into a car. “I believe, I was abducted due to political vendetta,” he claimed. DSP Ravikumar said that special teams have been formed to trace the abductors. According to various reports, the group of men, who spoke in Tamil Kongu slang, snatched two cell phones, a gold chain and a gold ring from Karnan.
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.