tirupati l saturday l October 31, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l anantapur EDITION EC axes kamal nath from list of star campaigners The poll body said on Friday it acted in view of the Congress leader’s “repeated violation” of the model code of conduct Action over ‘Item’, ‘mafia’ comments now, show similar resolve in bihar The EC order referred to Kamal Nath’s recent misogynistic remarks against Scindia loyalist and BJP candidate Imarti Devi, calling her an “item”. It also mentioned his use of adjectives like “mafia” and “milawat khor” (adulterator) against Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan as a violation of the model code. The EC found Nath’s explanation unsatisfactory ■ ■ Elsewhere, there is complete mockery of the model code as Covid protocols like masks and personal distancing are being frowned upon in huge Bihar poll rallies despite EC whip Will the poll body show equal resolve as in the Nath case by taking impartial action against all violators? The nation is watching Nov 3 date for by-polls to 28 madhya pradesh assembly seats 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 Govt directs pvt schools to cut tuition fee by 30% GO issued to reduce burden on parents just ahead of reopening schools; managements say they can’t pay salaries to teachers E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Based on the recommendation of the Andhra Pradesh School Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission (APSERMC), the State government on Friday issued orders directing the managements of private unaided schools and junior colleges to reduce 30 percent of the tuition fees for the current academic year (2020-21). In other words, managements of private unaided schools and colleges have been asked to collect only 70 percent of the tuition fee collected in the 2019-20 academic year. The government made it clear that the present arrangement was necessitated and being implemented in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and must not be construed as an affirmation of the fee structure being collected by the respective institutions. The APSERMC had earlier proposed to review and determine the fee structure for private unaided schools and junior colleges for 2020-21 and issued a notification on May 26 this year, directing the schools and colleges to submit Costs down but revenues too down? Following the recommendation by APSERMC, the government took the opinion of health department, director of school education and commissioner of intermediate education. Citing lockdown and unlock restrictions since March, which affected the middle class and the poor, all of them endorsed the recommendation for a fee cut. The private schools and colleges have been closed since March last week, which means their operational costs have come down. But the managements claim they are in no position to even pay salaries relevant data. However, KAY VEE ORR Education, Mailavaram (Krishna district) filed a petition in the High Court objecting to the same. The court had issued a stay order on the notification for six weeks initially and extended it thereafter. Recalling the same, the State government, in its GO, said the appropriate fee structure among other things will be subject to the decision of the APSERMC as also the high court. Elaborating further, the government recalled it had directed the schools not to increase fees in view of Covid pandemic and P4 its economic fallout. Five die on spot, two more succumb later The deceased were identified as Yalla Sridevi (35) and Yalla Naga Srilakshmi (10) of Diwan Cheruvu, Kambala Bhanu (35) of Gokavaram, Chaganti Hemali Srilatha (12) of Gadarada, Simhadri Prasad (25) of Takurpalem, S Gopala Krishna (65) of Tadepalligudem and Narasimha Dora (35) of Gangampalle. The injured are undergoing treatment at hospitals in Rajahmundry and Kakinada. A case was registered. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bengaluru Embattled city-based startup Devas Multimedia got a billion dollar lifeline as a US court ordered Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) commercial arm Antrix Corporation to shell out $1.2 billion (`8,952 crore) as compensation for the messy scrapping a satellite deal six years after it was struck in 2005. However, the order may not enforceable as Antrix does not 5.94 lakh active covid cases in country For the first time in nearly three months, the active caseload in the country came down below six lakh and comprises only 7.35% of the total cases recorded page 7 express read 12 killed as 6.9 magnitude quake rocks Turkey Istanbul: A powerful earthquake hit Turkey and Greece on Friday, killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 400. The 6.9 magnitude quake knocked down several buildings. Rescue works were on when reports last came in. The epi centre of the earthquake was centered in the Aegean northeast of Samos at a depth of 16.4 km. It was also felt across the Greek islands and as far as Greek capital, Athens. have any assets in the US, a senior official informed on condition of anonymity. “There is nothing which the (US) court can attach. However, any decision in India’s Supreme Court will be binding,” the official said. The Devas-Antrix case is still in the Supreme Court, which had earlier directed a tribunal to hear it. The 2005 deal pertained to Antrix launching and operating two satellites and making 70 MHz of S-band spectrum available to Devas to enable it to provide communication services across India. However, in 2011, Antrix issued a termination notice to Devas, invoking force majeure (unforeseeable circumstances that prevent fulfilling a con- Matter of jurisdiction Two years ago, Antrix sought the dismissal of the suit citing jurisdiction as the agreement and its termination occurred in India. But Devas said the US court had jurisdiction as Antrix conducted business across the US tract) and justifying it saying that it was a policy decision of the Union government in its sovereign capacity . The order of the US district judge, Wester n District of Washington, Seattle, which came on October 27, directed Antrix to pay $562.5 million (`4,196 crore) plus interest to Devas, totaling $1.2 billion. When contacted, Antrix Chairman and Managing Director Rakesh Sashibhushan refused to offer any comment. AICC session soon as process begins to restore Rahul raj E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi With chorus growing for former Congress president Rahul Gandhi to come back, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) will soon call a session to elect a new chief. All state units have been asked to send details of members who are eligible to vote. “This is to inform you that AICC intends to convene its meeting as soon as possible, and you will be intimated as soon as dates and venue are finalised,” said a note sent to state units by Congress’ Central Election Authority headed by Madhusudan Mistry . According to party sources, the session will be held by the end of the year or early next year. It would be a day-long affair, they added. “Rahul is most likely to take over the reins of the party and Party revamp There is, however, no clarity on when elections to the Congress Working Committee, the party’s powerful decision-making body, would be held his coming back has been planned ahead of the Assembly election in five states, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, next year. He is already part of all key deci- sions made by the party and it will be just an official comeback for him,” said a leader. In August, Congress’ interim president Sonia Gandhi had said a new president would be elected by February 2021. The move came after 23 senior party veterans including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Shar ma, Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor wrote to her seeking organisational elections. Leaders such as Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel, several state Congress chiefs and all MPs belonging to the party had beseeched Rahul to take over the reins if Sonia wants to step down. RTC plans to develop Maddilapalem station The van which tumbled down at Thatikonda hill shrine on Friday | EXPRESS 7 of marriage party die as van tumbles down E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Rajamahendravaram Seven people were killed and eight others injured in a ghastly road mishap at Thatikonda Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy temple in Gokavaram mandal of East Godavari district in the small hours of Friday . A marriage party of 15 people was returning home in a van after the wedding at the temple when the accident happened. Giving the details of mishap, Gokavaram police inspector Pavan Kumar Reddy said a youth from Takurpalem married a woman from Velugubanda in Rajanagaram $1.2 billion blow to Antrix in nixed Devas deal An injured person undergoing treatment in hospital | EXPRESS mandal at Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy temple. After the bride and bridegroom left the temple in a separate vehicle, their relatives boarded the ill-fated van to return home. The driver lost control while reversing the vehicle from the parking place at the hill shrine, and the van tumbled down the stairs from a height of 20 feet as its brakes reportedly failed. Further, the condition of the van involved in the accident was very bad. Van driver Narasimha Dora tried to jump from the vehicle when he lost control, but he suffered a head injury and died. Four others also died on the spot in the mishap, while two more succumbed to injuries after being admitted to hospital, the Gokavaram police inP4 spector said. Visakhapatnam:RTC has proposed to develop an integrated bus station cum commercial complex under public private partnership model at Maddilapalem. The complex will have all infrastructure facilities to meet future needs for the next 30 years. AP Urban Infrastructure Asset Management Ltd has been appointed as the consulting agency to prepare a detailed project report for the integrated complex. Working with dexterity An artisan makes clay diyas ahead of Diwali festival in Tirupati on Friday | Madhav K AP retains third place in best governed States E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh retained its third place among the four best governed States in the country , as ranked by the Public Affairs Centre (PAC) in its Public Affairs Index (PAI) 2020. It scored 0.531 points, but the gap between it and the first two best performing States - Kerala and Tamil Nadu - continues. PAI is an annual report prepared on the State’s governance on three broad parameters- equity growth and , sustainability- in two categories- large States (with population of more than two crore) and small States (with less than two crore). According to the report, Kerala topped the list in the large States category where its PAI was 1.3888, followed by Tamil Nadu and AP Karnataka . ranked fourth with PAI of 0.468. In the small States category Goa topped the list with PAI of 1.745, followed by Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Releasing the report, PAC Chairman K Kasturirangan said, “Real obstacles stand in the path of a fuller un- derstanding of persistent intergenerational deprivation and loss of opportunity challenges, that appear to reproduce themselves, especially in parts of some States. The evidence that PAI generates and the insights that it provides must compel us to reflect on the economic and social transition that is underway in India; and what its implications for future developP5 ment praxis might be.” passenger woes Private travel agencies cash in on demand as no RTC bus services to Telangana D S u r end r a K u m a r @ Nellore In the absence of APSRTC services from Andhra Pradesh to Telangana, private bus operators have been fleecing passengers by increasing the fare exorbitantly on Nellore - Hyderabad route. They are charging a bus fare ranging from `1,500 to `3,000 depending on the demand against the normal ticket price of `800. Though the RTC has been running bus services up to Telangana borders keeping in view the festival rush, people are preferring to travel in private buses to their destinations in the neighbouring State. Normally, students and private employees hailing from Nellore, visit their hometowns on weekends from neighbour- ing States. Students studying in junior residential colleges and medical colleges in Nellore from other parts of Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring States also visit their hometowns frequently. Several people belonging to other States are working in SEZs and industrial areas in Nellore. RTC bus services are the chief mode of their transport. 200 pvt buses operate from Nellore, Tirupati According to an estimate, there are 85 private buses in Nellore and 120 in Tirupati which make trips to cities such as Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and other cities. Bus is the chief mode of transport for students, private employees and workers in SEZs to visit their hometowns regularly. In Nellore city, Vijayamahal gate on mini-bypass road is a hub of private travel agencies. It witnesses huge rush in the evening hours during the festival season. “We are forced to choose private buses for travelling to Hyderabad as there are no RTC bus services to Telangana,” said a traveller. Denying the charge of collecting exorbitant fares, private operators have claimed that they suffered severe loss during lockdown. “We did not operate buses for more than three months. After the end of lockdown, we started operating the buses with minimum occupancy Now, the demand for private . buses has increased. We hope that it will help us overcome losses,” said N Sesha Reddy, a private bus operator.
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