TIRUNELVELI TUESDAY NOVEMBER 17, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION WHOLESALE INFLATION SOARS TO 8-MONTH HIGH IN OCTOBER Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inﬂation rose to 1.48% last month, as manufactured products turned costlier MANUFACTURED GOODS DRIVE THE INDEX WHY WPI-BASED INFLATION IS IMPORTANT This is the highest level of WPI inflation since February’s 2.26%, govt data showed on Monday. What fuelled the inflation rate was manufactured items such as pharmaceutical products and metals, which witnessed higher demand in the aftermath of lifting of lockdown restrictions. Experts say WPI data makes the case for RBI to maintain status quo in policy rates ■ ■ Both WPI and Consumer Price Index (CPI) are used to calculate the inflation rate. WPI tells us about inflation at the business level while CPI indicates price rise at the consumer level October CPI inflation was at 7.61%. Certain WPI items, such as fuel, are closely linked to global prices, creating a gap with CPI WPI MEASURES CHANGES IN PRICES OF GOODS SOLD AND TRADED IN BULK 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 Vasan Eye Care founder AM Arun dies; relatives suspect foul play EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai THE founder of Vasan Eye Care chain of hospitals, AM Arun, died under suspicious circumstances on Monday. He was declared ‘brought dead’ at Kauvery Hospital in Teynampet after he reportedly suffered from chest pain in the morning. As a few of his relatives raised suspicion about the cause of his death, the Teynampet police registered a case of suspicious death under Section 174 of CrPC and sent his body for autopsy to the Omandurar Multi Speciality Hospital. Later in the after noon, his body was handed over to his relatives. A police officer said, “A few relatives and friends claimed that he could have killed himself and they created a ruckus at the hospital.” But another officer said, “Based on the preliminary verbal autopsy report, there are no traces of suicide or murder and it looks like a natural death. We are awaiting an autopsy report along with the viscera report.” The man, who went on to build a vast chain of eye-care hospitals, had started off from his family’s medical shop in Tiruchy He later set up an eye . care hospital in the Fort City. Years later, it grew into a huge Nitish sworn in, Bihar gets first woman Dy CM WHILE Nitish Kumar was on Monday sworn-in as Bihar chief minister for the fourth consecutive term, the bigger talking point was around his two deputies from the BJP, one of whom is a woman. Renu Devi, five-time MLA from Bettiah, also became the first-ever deputy chief minister of the state. Her appointment was perhaps meant to acknowledge the role of women as the silent voters in this Assembly elections. And Tarkishore Prasad, who retained his Katihar seat for four consecutive terms and considers Sushil Kumar Modi as his mentor, is the other deputy chief minister. Sushil Modi was Nitish’s deputy in the previous cabinet. Governor Phagu Chauhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to Nitish and his cabinet colleagues in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief J P Nadda and others. After the ceremony, Nitish chose to deflect persistent me- dia questions as to why BJP’s Sushil Modi was dropped. “It is the BJP’s discretion… better ask them,” he said. He also avoided questions on the two deputy CMs who were seated to his left during the swearing-in as per protocol. The 12 other ministers sworn in include Santosh Kumar Suman, an MLC and son of former chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha founder Jitan Ram Manjhi, and Mukesh Sahani, the f o u n d e r o f t h e Vi kassheel Insaan Party . Analysts saw in the choice of the two deputy CMs the BJP’s attempt to consolidate its extremely backward caste and trading community vote banks as Renu Devi belongs to the EBC and Tarkishore Prasad hails from the vaishya community, which Sushil Modi represented in the previous cabinet. “Renu Devi started her career as district convenor of Durga Vahini of the BJP in 1998 in West Champaran. He appointment indicated the empowerment of women in the party said a BJP leader. ,” The group was certified the ‘World’s Largest Eye Care Provider with the maximum number of stand-alone surgical centres’ in 2011 by Frost & Sullivan, a US-based research firm Five-time legislator At 62, Renu Devi represents Bettiah in the Assembly. She entered public life through the Durga Vahini, a VHP wing for women. She served as minister for sports and culture in 2005-09 Two deputy chief ministers Renu Devi and Tarkishore Prasad in 14-member ministry R A J E S H K U M A R T H A K U R @ Patna ‘Maximum standalone surgical centres’ Mentored by Sushil Modi Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan (R) congratulates Nitish Kumar after latter took oath as the Chief Minister for a seventh term in Patna on Monday | PTI Congratulations to @NitishKumar Ji on taking oath as Bihar’s CM. I also congratulate all those who took oath as Ministers in the Bihar Government - Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Tarkishore Prasad, 64, is not a graduate, but he has held a string of positions in the BJP. Elected from Katihar for 4th time. Sushil Modi proposed his name as leader of the legislature party Sibal takes a jab at Sonia; Gehlot slams him for raising internal issue in public EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Congress’ dismal performance in Bihar appears to have further widened the rift within the party with senior leader Kapil Sibal openly criticising the party leadership and Rajasathan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot slamming the ex-Union minister for raising internal issues in public and “hurting the sentiments” of party workers. On Monday, Sibal tweeted a media interview in which he hits out at Congress’s central leaders for their “business as usual” attitude despite the party’s poor show in elections. Sibal’s views were backed by Congress Working Committee member Tariq Anwar, who said the party needs to introspect and act “before it is too late”. Berating Sibal’s comments, Gehlot said he shouldn’t have mentioned the party’s internal matters in media. “Congress has seen various crises includ- ing 1969, 1977, 1989 and later in the 1996. But every time we came out stronger due to our ideology programmes, policies , and firm belief in party leadership... We shall overcome this time too,” said Gehlot. The Rajasthan CM, who himself is engaged in a political fight with junior leader Sachin Pilot over power sharing, said there could be various reasons for electoral losses but the rank and file of the Congress support the party leadership. network. Now, there are over 100 Vasan Eye Care hospitals throughout the country along with several Vasan Dental Care Centres. The group has over 600 ophthalmologists and as many as 6,000 staff. The group was certified the ‘World’s Largest Eye Care Provider with the maximum number of standalone surgical centres’ in 2011 by Frost & Sullivan, a US-based growth strategy and research firm.But Vasan Healthcare was also caught in a web of controversies, involving money laundering and forex violation cases. He is said to have had links with former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti, who is under the scanner of enforcement agencies. More relief as Moderna finds its shot is 94.5% effective in early trials EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE race to develop a Covid19 vaccine picked up pace on Monday with US biotech firm Moderna announcing its candidate was 94.5% effective in interim analysis of its phase 3 trials, which involved more than 30,000 volunteers. Two aspects stood out. One, the shot was also found to save severe cases; and two, the vaccine can be stored at -200C in a normal refrig erator for six months as against competitor Pfizer’s -700C to -800C, which is not easy to manage. P f i z e r h a d re c e n t ly claimed its vaccine candidate was over 90% effective in early results. Soon after, the Russian government said its Sputnik V which has also entered , into a distribution and phase 3 trial partnership with an Indian company was 92% effec, tive as per early results. Moderna now plans to seek emergency use authorization with the US Food and Drug Administration and regulators in other countries. By this year-end, the company plans to have 20 million doses of the vaccine ready for the US. It will manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses for global use next year. Called the COVE study, the first interim analysis was based on 95 cases, of which 90 were observed in the placebo group and five in the vaccinated group who were given two doses, 28 days apart. Like Pfizer, Moderna’s candidate uses a technology called messenger RNA that has never been used before to build an approved vaccine. In all, there were 11 severe cases in the first interim analysis, all of which were in the placebo group, which means they were given dummy shots, not the real thing. Meanwhile, Hyderabadbased Bharat Biotech announced commencement of phase 3 trials of its Covaxin. ALAGIRI BACK? POLITICAL HEAT TURNS UP IN DMK Sources close to the one-time heavyweight of South TN say he might launch his own outfit, but only if he is not reinducted into DMK | P4 CBI books 16 for ‘defaming’ judiciary Won’t support ‘divisive’ yatras in Tamil Nadu: AIADMK mouthpiece EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE AIADMK party newspaper Namadhu Amma’s strongly-worded editorial criticising the Vetrivel Yatra of the BJP has added another dimension to the existing friction between the two allies. The opinion piece was published just after the BJP announced that Union Home Minister Amit Shah would be visiting the State on November 21. “Our party will not allow processions aimed at dividing people based on their caste and creed,” said the opinion piece published in the paper. “Both Karuppar Koottam and those holding saffron flags must un- T M U R U G A N A N D H A M @ Chennai @ New Delhi/Vijayawada THE CBI has filed a first investigation re port (FIR) against more than 16 people, allegedly supporters of the YSRC party for posting derog, atory social media messages against the higher judiciary . Taking strong exception to the “attack” on the judiciary, the registrar general of the AP High Court had in May filed a complaint with the Crime Investigation Department (CID). The HC, not satisfied with the CID probe, had handed the case to the CBI on October 12. The CBI, on November 11, filed its FIR at Vishakapatnam, clubbing the 12 FIRs filed by the CID into one. According to the CBI’s FIR, the accused had intentionally targeted judges through interviews/posts/speeches and attributed motives to some of the orders/judgments delivered by certain Supreme Court and High Court judges. Meanwhile, SC judge U U Lalit on Monday recused himself from hearing pleas seeking action against Andhra CM Y S Jaganmohan Reddy for levelling allegations against P5 the judiciary . WAVES ON ROAD Many roads were inundated in Madurai as rains lashed the city in the evening hours on Monday | KK SUNDAR derstand the unity and harmony that prevails among people of Tamil Nadu.” Karuppar Koottam was flayed recently for a video that allegedly insulted a hymn sung in the praise of Lord Murugan. Earlier, senior BJP leader Vanathi Srinivasan had made State BJP plans grand welcome for Shah Speaking in Coimbatore, BJP State president L Murugan said his party had planned a grand welcome for Amit Shah, who is visiting Chennai to take part in both government and private functions SIPCOT hub for e-vehicle components near Chennai C S H I V A K U M A R @ Chennai As part of its efforts towards making Tamil Nadu an e-vehicle manufacturing hub, SIPCOT (Small Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu) is planning to develop an Industrial Park at a cost of `250 crore, in Manallur and Soorapoondi villages of Gummidipoondi taluk, Tiruvallur district. The park, spread across 691.587 acres, will cater to the production of synthetic and organic chemicals, which are used in manufacturing batteries and components of electric vehicles. It is learnt that environmental clearance has been obtained from the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, for the develop- ment of SIPCOT at the two villages. About 90 per cent in the industrial park is marked for manufacturing electric vehicle components and the remaining 10 per cent of the area for synthetic and chemical industries. A top SIPCOT official told Express that Guidance has approached them to set up an industrial park, as there have been a lot of queries from national and international companies which are keen on setting up their bases in the State. The companies that have shown immediate and long-term interest include electric two-wheeler company Ampere, Okinawa, and swap-able battery and charging infrastructure company SUN Mobility The official . added that SIPCOT plans to set up the industrial park by June 2021. “We have already prepared a masterplan. It will be executed phase-wise and we will ensure that the first phase is developed over 250 acres. Once Phase-1 is half finished, we will go in for Phase-2,” the official said. P4 a remark that there would be “repercussions” if efforts are made to stall the party’s yatra. The piece in Namadu Amma countered the statement, saying: “Religions are there to regulate humanity, not to ignite passions. The people of Tamil Nadu have, time and again, proved this to rest of the country All religions advocate . only peace and love. As such, the AIADMK will not allow efforts to gain vote bank politics in the names of religions.” Responding to the article, BJP treasurer SR Sekar told Express that the ruling party’s remarks indicate it’s worried about its saffron ally’s growth P4 in the State. EXPRESS READ Minister releases rank list for med admissions Chennai: Health Minister C Vijayabaskar released the rank lists for 2020-2021 MBBS and BDS admissions, at the Directorate of Medical Education office on Monday. Counselling will be conducted from November 18 at the Jawaharlal Nehru outdoor stadium. Vijayabaskar said, “Only 500 students will be called per day for counselling” | P2
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