CHENNAI WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 28, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 20 LATE CITY EDITION KERALA FIRST STATE TO FIX FLOOR PRICE FOR VEGETABLES Sixteen vegetables will have ﬂoor price that would be 20% above their production cost, with effect from November 1 NO PAIN FOR FARMERS EVEN IF MARKET CRASHES PRICE TO BE REVISED ON A REGULAR BASIS Even if the market price went below this, the produce would be procured at the floor price from farmers, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday. The vegetables would be graded as per the quality and the floor price fixed accordingly, he said. “Farmers across the country are not satisfied... but for the last four-and-half years, we have supported them,” he added The 16 vegetables include potato, tomato, beans, tapioca, lady’s finger, bitter gourd, carrot, beetroot, banana among others ■ Farmers with a maximum of 15 acres of vegetable cultivation per season will be eligible for the scheme. The state government will revise the floor price on a regular basis, the chief minister said ■ 15L tonnes KERALA’S ANNUAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION, ACCORDING TO STATE GOVT 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 Floodgates now opened for anyone to buy land in Jammu & Kashmir IN a move that can have longterm political and economic implications for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre on Tuesday notified several laws, including major amendments to the Jammu and Kashmir Land Revenue Act to allow any Indian citizen to buy land in the Union Territory . Agricultural land will be an exception to the law as it can only be transferred or sold to an agriculturist in J&K. However, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs can authorise an agriculturist to ‘alienate’ the HATE CONTENT Five accords, including the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement, at 2+2 dialogue indicate US solidarity against Chinese aggression S A N A S H A K I L A N D F AYA Z W A N I @ New Delhi/Srinagar Under-fire FB official Ankhi Das calls it quits EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi CONTROVERSIAL India policy head of Facebook, Ankhi Das, who had opposed blocking of right-wing hate content on its platform, put in her papers on Tuesday . She was outed by US media reports that criticised Facebook for its skew in regulating hate content. The resignation to pursue her interest in ‘public service’ also came close on the heels of her grilling by a parliamentary committee on data protection. She had joined Facebook in 2011. “Ankhi has decided to step down from her role in Facebook to pursue her interest in public service. Ankhi was one of our earliest employees in India and played an instrumental role in the growth of the company and its services over the last 9 years,” said Ajit Mohan, vice president and managing director, India in a statement. In August last, articles in the Wall Street Journal had said Das had intervened in internal review of the communal posts of BJP’s Telangana MLA T Raja Singh. Das, the reports said, had argued that penalising BJP workers’ posts would hurt the social media company’s business prospects in India. The reports soon lit a political fire with the Congress alleging a nexus between Facebook and the BJP . HIZBUL CHIEF SALLAHUDIN IN NEW TERROR LIST The Centre on Tuesday designated 18 more individuals as ‘terrorists’, including Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Sallahudin, taking the total number of such proscribed persons to 31 | P9 land to a non-agriculturist for sale, gift or exchange. The new amendment implies domiciles of J&K would now effectively get protection only in government jobs. The Union government had earlier hinted that some protection on land-rights on the lines of Himachal Pradesh will be Sharp message to Beijing from India-US pacts 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 and the US on Tuesday signed five pacts, including the long-negotiated Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) on geospatial data during the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at a time when New Delhi and Beijing are engaged in a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. BECA will give India access to accurate US satellite data, which will help in navigation and pinpoint accuracy for weapons. “We are happy that we’ve completed the BECA, which will open new avenues in the information sharing. We are eager to discuss further issues with US,” Singh said after the meeting. Experts say BECA will usher in a new era in ties, especially in defence cooperation. “IndiaUS are looking at geo-spatial intelligence and greater cooperation in all fields. Further, a fair amount of congruence has been achieved in terms of the idea of an inclusive Indo-Pacific. The wider Indo-Pacific sweep includes freedom of navigation, use of global commons and the sea lanes of communication,” Major General (Retd) S B Asthana said. Kriti Upadhyaya of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies said that signing of BECA in the backdrop of the India-China tensions definitely sends a message to China that the US stands by India in improving its defences against China. Discussions in the meeting involving US Secretary of State granted to domiciles of J&K. Before the reading down of Article 370 and Article 35-A last year, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir. But the new order titled the ‘Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, Agriculture land Agricultural land will be reserved for farmers and it can only be sold another agriculturist. However, the land can be transferred for non-agriculture purposes with the Centre’s permission Chennai: A 24-year-old doctor who was under self-quarantine at a hotel in T Nagar was found dead in his room on Monday night. The deceased, Lokesh Kumar of Mettur in Salem district, had been posted in Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. After inquiries with his parents, the police said he had been distressed about working in the Covid ward. Investigations are underway | P3 against it. The MHA has also amended the domicile law declaring the “spouse of a domicile shall also be deemed to be a domicile”. This earlier pertained to children of central government officials posted in J&K for 10 years who are also eligible as CONTINUED ON: P9 domiciles. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addresses the media after the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (R), US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2L) and US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper (L) look on, at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tuesday | PTI Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, External Affairs Minister S Jaishnakar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh focused around a plethora of regional and global issues, including coronavirus, trade, free and fair Indo-Pacific and enhancing bilateral ties. Earlier in the day, Pompeo and Esper paid tributes at the National War Memorial and had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. “Warm conversation today with Indian Prime Minister @narendramodi. Our close relationship, which is rooted in our vibrant democratic traditions and fostered by the free and open exchange between our peoples, is beneficial for the world,” Pompeo later tweetCONTINUED ON: P9 ed. Rajnath raps reckless China aggression P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi WHILE US belligerence against China was on expected lines, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh sharp rebuke of the neighbour for its “reckless aggression on our northern borders”, in his opening address at the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on Tuesday, became one of the day’s talking points. “Excellencies, in the area of defense we are challenged by reckless aggression on our northern borders,” a State Department release after the bilateral dialogue quoted Singh as saying. However, a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence made no such mention. Predictably, visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was more upfront while slamming China. “We paid our respect to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the Galwan Valley recently. The US will stand with India in its efforts to defend its sovereignty and its liberty Our nations are com... mitted to working together into expanding our partnerships across many fronts,” Pompeo India and the US are taking all steps to strengthen cooperation against all threats and not just those posed by the CCP Mike Pompeo US Secretary of State said after the talks. India and China have been involved in a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control with tensions peaking after 20 Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese troops in Galwan Valley of Ladakh on June 15. Pompeo said a robust discussion has been set off about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) due to the pandemic ‘that came from Wuhan’. “Our leaders and our citizens see with increasing clarity that the CCP is no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency nor the freedom of navigation, the foundation of a free and open and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” CONTINUED ON: P9 he said. Allahabad HC to monitor CBI’s Hathras probe Chennai Covid cases below 700, after May EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi / Lucknow THE Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Allahabad High Court to monitor the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged Hathras gangrape and murder case. The apex court also ordered CRPF protection for the victim’s family and witnesses in the case as a ‘confidence building’ measure. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked the CBI to submit its status report to the high court, which shall look into all the aspects of the case, including providing security to the victim’s family . The court, while hearing a batch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the case, said the plea to transfer the case out of Uttar Pradesh MANUSMRITI ROW: KHUSHBU DETAINED, FREED has been left open. The petitions sought an independent probe and for the case to be transferred out of Uttar Pradesh, preferably to Delhi. The petitioners argued a fair trial was not possible in UP . Another prayer was made to ensure adequate witness protection for the victim’s family . Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the apex court that a three-fold protection mecha- Taking cheap shots at opponents before polls is not new, but the Bihar discourse is getting particularly snarky. Nervousness or overconfidence? You decide E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai BJP leader and actor Khushbu Sundar and a few BJP cadre were taken into preventive custody at Muttukadu near Chennai on Tuesday when they were enroute to Chidambaram to take part in a demonstration against VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan for his remarks on Manusmriti. They were let off in the evening. Khushbu’s detention sparked off protests across the State during the day In Madurai, State BJP president L Murugan . staged a road roko, while the BJP national general secretary CT Ravi condemned police action. However, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar clarified that Khushbu was taken into preventive custody to avoid any law and order problem. P4 BSNL flayed for refusing appointment Chennai: The Madras High Court on Tuesday censured BSNL for refusing a compassionate appointment for a deserving candidate. “The death of a sole breadwinner will cause a huge imbalance in any family, especially when the family is in the low-income group,” the twomember bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha observed, while passing the order on a plea | P2 nism was in place for the family and witnesses. Reacting to the Supreme Court order, the victim’s family said they welcome it. “We had demanded monitoring of the CBI probe by a sitting or retired SC judge. But now that the apex court has decided it should be done by the high court, we hope justice will be ensured,” the victim’s brother P10 told TNIE. Below-the-belt punch Does anybody care? They produce 8-9 kids. They have no faith in daughters. They had 7-8 daughters before a son. If this is their ideal, what will happen to Bihar? Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s barb on Lalu Yadav who has 9 children When Lalu Yadav was in power, the poor used to walk before ‘Babu Saheb’ with their head held high. However, we will take everybody along RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. He claimed his Babu Saheb phrase denoted the bureaucracy, but the Opposition saw it as a slur against the forward castes EXPRESS READ Doc in self-quarantine found dead 2020’ changed this status. The order issued by the Union home ministry evoked sharp reactions from J&K political parties, ranging from ‘unacceptable’ to ‘betrayal’. Several regional parties, under the umbrella of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, vowed to fight “on all fronts” Nitish’s Saat Nishchay (seven resolves) scheme will be probed after LJP government is formed. If found guilty, the CM will also go to jail LJP chief Chirag Paswan P10 deaths recorded on Tuesday took the toll to 10,983 in the State. FOR the first times since May , Chennai’s neighbouring Covid cases in Chennai went districts Chengalpattu recordbelow the 700-mark on Tues- ed 144 cases, Kancheepuram day, with 695 testing 98 and Tiruvallur 115 Downtrend positive. cases. in Kovai Meanwhile, Rajiv Five districts in Gandhi Government the State recorded Coimbatore has General Hospital been witnessing a fresh cases in single (RGGGH) in the city downtrend in the digits. Ariyalur and recorded zero deaths number of cases. Tenkasi recorded due to Covid in 24 The positivity rate five cases each, Perhours, for the second fell to 6.2 per cent ambalur and Ramtime in a span of anathapuram three as against last four days. The first week’s rate of 8.1 c a s e s e a c h a n d time it achieved this per cent. A month Dindigul two cases. feat was on the 24Meanwihile, a priago, the district hour stretch between had recorded over vate lab – Molecular 8 am on October 23 Virology Lab of In500 fresh cases and 8 am on October dira Medical College 24. and Hospitals in Tiruvallur – The Statewide declining has been approved as Covid trend continued with 2,522 testing facility recently . positive cases reported on the On the day 4,029 people were , day The total number of cases discharged. The State now has . P2 rose to 7,14,235. Twenty seven 27,734 active cases. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai FRESH CASES DEATHS TOTAL CASES 2,522 27 7,14,235 END TO CONTROVERSY After political outrage, IBPS adds 115 more reserved seats B A N B U S E LV A N @ Chennai THE Institute of Banking of Personal Selection (IBPS), in its revised notification on Monday, increased the number of posts earmarked for OBC, SC and ST categories to 700, as against the previous allocation of 585. This decision comes after an Express report that the IBPS had reduced the number of seats for these categories in filling up bank vacancies had sparked an outrage. The New Indian Express, on October 14, had published a news report, titled ‘EWS quota eats into OBC, SC/ST share in banking jobs’, flagging the cut in reservation of posts for OBC, SC and ST applicants in an IBPS recruitment notification for SCs and STs was cut to 13 issued on August 3. It also high- and 6 per cent respectively, lighted that Economically against the mandatory Weaker Section (EWS) of quota of 15 and 7.5 per forward communities Express cent. according to the were given 10 per cent Now, impact revised notification, the quota. The report noted that OBCs were given 21 number of posts earper cent quota instead of marked for OBCs has been the 27 per cent of statutory resincreased from 300 to 381, for ervation. Also, the allocation SCs from 196 to 214 and for STs from 89 to 105. The 115 posts which were earmarked for the General category have been transferred to reserved categories, thereby ending the row. The notification called for filling 1,417 posts of probationary officers and management trainees in Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Punjab and Sind Bank and UCO Bank. P4
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