NAGAPATTINAM TUESDAY NOVEMBER 24, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION CONGRESS VETERAN TARUN GOGOI PASSES AWAY AT 84 The three-time chief minister of Assam was undergoing treatment for post-Covid complications in Guwahati TARUN GOGOI APRIL 1, 1936 NOVEMBER 23, 2020 ‘NO PROBLEM’ WAS HIS FAVOURITE ONE-LINER Gogoi, who saw himself among a tough breed of politicians who do not dither while making decisions, often told his team members that his guiding mantra in all that he did was: “no problem”. Explaining it in his memoir Turnaround, the Congress stalwart said if one “approaches the P7 negative in a positive manner, things automatically fall into place” ■ PM BROUGHT ULFA TO THE TALKS TABLE ■ As Assam’s chief minister for 15 years from 2001, Gogoi is widely credited for pulling the state from the edge of bankruptcy and putting it on the path of development The six-time MP will also be remembered for bringing various militant outfits, including the ULFA, to the negotiation table CALLS GOGOI A POPULAR LEADER AND A VETERAN ADMINISTRATOR 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 Rajan roasts corporate bank idea CYCLONE NIVAR MAHARASHTRA TELANGANA Former RBI boss, ex-deputy guv Viral Acharya appalled at plan to let borrowers become lenders ANDHRA PRADESH E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi FORMER Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan on Monday ripped apart the banking regulator’s latest proposal to allow large business houses to float banks, saying chances of misuse is very high because of ‘self-lending opportunities’. “Industrial houses need financing, and they can get it easily, with no questions asked, if they have an in-house bank. The history of such connected lending is invariably disastrous — how can the bank make good loans when it is owned by the borrower?” he asked in a note written jointly with RBI’s former deputy gover- PUT ON ICE Kerala U-turn on police law after uproar E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram UNDER fire from various corners including national-level leaders and Left sympathisers, the CPMled Kerala government on Monday said it would not enforce the controversial provisions in the Kerala Police Act amendment ordinance, signed by Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Saturday . Section 118 (A), which has been incorporated in the Kerala Police Act, mandates jail term for offensive social media posts. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said any further action would be taken only after discussing it in the Assembly and collecting feedback from the public. “Apprehensions were aired by those who support the LDF and defend democracy. Hence, the state government will not go ahead with implementing the amendment,” said Pinarayi. The announcement came after CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury publicly said the amendment should be reviewed. Having put the amendment on hold, the government will now have to officially withdraw it. Sources said it may either bring in another ordinance or request the governor to withdraw the same as per Article 213 (2)(b). Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting is expected to take a call on the next course of action. nor Viral Acharya. The note, titled ‘Do we really need Indian corporations in banking’ and published on LinkedIn, warned that such a move will “further exacerbate the concentration of economic (and political) power in certain business houses”. RBI has till now been opposed to letting business houses run banks given India’s history of the 1950s and 1960s when a number of banks run by big industrial houses went under after a spate of connected loans were doled out. A major private-sector lender ICICI Bank is facing probe over loans given out to connected parties. RBI recently ordered the merger of the struggling private IN what is being read as an attempt to steamroll infrastructure project clearances, the Union environment ministry has decided to dilute assessment procedures to study possible environmental damages and their social impact. Projects seeking environment clearances come to ministry’s expert appraisal committees (EAC), where they take humongous time for final approval — from 83220 days in 2015-16 to 176336 days in 2019-2020. To resolve this bottleneck, “all projects, placed in the agenda, should be considered by the EAC notwithstanding the non-attendance of the Project Proponent or his consultant in the EAC meeting to make a presentation,” said an Office Memorandum issued by the ministry last week. All EAC meetings shall be held at least twice a month to cut down Viral Acharya Why now? Have we learnt something that allows us to override all the prior cautions on allowing industrial houses into banking? sector lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank. Rajan and Acharya said the latest proposal by RBI gives undue advantage to large business hous- es that already have the initial capital that has to be put up. “Moreover, highly indebted and politically connected business houses will have the greatest incentive and ability to push for (banking) licences. That will increase the importance of money power yet more in our politics, and make us more likely to succumb to authoritarian cronyism,” they warned. The duo’s caution came on a day when S&P Global Ratings also ter med RBI’s proposal “fraught with risk”. Non-performing assets within the corporate sector stood at a high 13% as of March this year, S&P said in its report. Arabian Sea @ New Delhi OF all the big Covid vaccine efficacy reports, the one India was keen to hear about has just arrived. Swedish-British biotech firm AstraZeneca on Monday announced that Covishield, its vaccine candidate developed along with the University of Oxford, showed an average efficacy of 70% in two study segments in early phase 3 of testing. Though the performance percentage is lower than that of its three competitors — US pharma majors Pfizer and Moderna, and Russia’s Sputnik V claimed 90+% efficacy — the Oxford vaccine scores over the rest for India as it can be stored at a comfortable 2-80C; the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) is already manufacturing it; proced around `200 per dose to the government, it’s cost effective; and it is possibly the first Covid19 vaccine India can lay its hands on. Of the 11,636 volunteers in Astra’s initial test, 131 developed coronavirus, but did not need hospitalisation. “This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against Covid-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency,” said Pascal Soriot, CEO of the company . The first dosing regimen given to 2,741 volunteers showed 90% efficacy when administered as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart. The second dosing regimen giv- the period of Environmental Clearance (EC) approval, it added. All fresh EC proposals submitted 10 days before an EAC meet shall be taken up at its meeting. Any queries or issues the division may have should be raised during the EAC meeting itself, it said. “Member Secretary ought to ensure that the relevant queries of the division are also pointed out at the time of EAC meetings itself so as to avoid occasion for such queries before and after the examination by EAC,” it added. However, Kanchi Kohli, Legal Research Director, CPR-Namati Environment Justice Program, said the directive visualises environmental appraisals to straightjacketed, linear and bureaucratic processes. “It is pushing the EACs to take hasty decisions that are eventually not in favour of business or the environment,” she said. While the cost of the Oxford vaccine is expected to be about `220 per dose under the government’s national immunisation programme, its market price could be higher, Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawala has already indicated en to 8,895 individuals showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart. Both regimens put together showed an average efficacy of 70%. SII CEO Adar Poonawala had already said the company will seek emergency use authorisation from the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation in India as soon as the initial data from the trial is out. For India, the company has pledged 35 million doses per month. Overall, the Oxford vaccine is being tested in about 60,000 volunteers across multiple countries including the US, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Kenya and India. TAMIL NADU EVEN as the State braces up to tackle a “severe cyclonic storm” that is likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram on Wednesday, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday chaired a high-level meeting to assess its impending impact. He announced precautionary measures, including suspension of bus services in seven districts – Pudukkottai, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Cuddalore, Villupuram and Chengalpattu – from Tuesday noon, until further orders. Palaniswami also made an appeal to the people asking them not to venture out in the coming couple of days (November 24 and 25), except for essential needs, as there were high chances of trees getting uprooted due to the strong winds triggered by Cyclone Nivar. He also asked the public to act as per the weather instructions given by the authorities through battery-operated radios. Stating that the wind speed was expected to be around 120 kmph, the CM also advised fishermen not to venture into the sea. Additionally six teams of the , National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) should be stationed in Cuddalore and two teams in Chennai with neces- Storage levels of large sary equipment, said Palan- lakes and dams should iswami. A direction has been also be monitored and sufficient number of given to the relief and rescue sandbags kept ready to teams, comprising those from repair any breach various government departEdappadi K Palaniswami ments, to reach the seven districts on Monday evening with sufficient number of JCBs, lorries, electric tree-cutting equipment, sand bags, electrical poles and fuel. Directing officials to keep drinking water, toilets, generators, rice and other essential cooking commodities, and blankets ready at relief camps, Palaniswami also asked people residing in areas prone to be affected by heavy rains to be moved there. Also, sufficient quantities of sanitizers, face masks etc., should be kept ready at all such camps. S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai Oxford shot rate for govt around `200 Chennai Mahabalipuram Puducherry CYCLONE Karaikal NIVAR E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai Maha firewall for passengers from four states EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE KERALA Bay of Bengal EPS chairs review meeting, issues advisory INDIA’S BEST SHOT AT COVID VACCINE HAS 70% EFFICACY Easing norms to expedite green nod to infra projects R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi Raghuram Rajan KARNATAKA WITH a fresh wave of Covid building on the horizon, Maharashtra sought to raise its firewall, mandating travellers from the most-affected states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa to show a Covid-19 negative certificate on arrival by rail, road and air from Wednesday . As per a Standard Operating Procedure issued by the state government, all travelers must undergo an RT-PCR test within 72 hours of the scheduled ar rival time in Maharashtra. “The passengers not having the negative test report will have to under take a Covid-19 test at their own cost. The airport authority will arrange the testing centres and charge the passengers directly stated the notification. ,” Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar warned people not to ignore pandemic guidelines. “The Covid-19 cases have been increasing every day. People need to take prevention measures. This is a very deadly and unpredictable virus. The danger is not over yet,” he said. MEDICAL COUNSELLING POSTPONED Chennai: Medical Counselling scheduled for Tuesday (November 24) has been postponed to November 30, in view of the cyclone. Arrangements will be made for those who have already arrived in the city, said the health department. Rescheduled dates will be intimated later `350 crore worth fake pattas land two in soup B A N B U S E LV A N @ Chennai TWO officials of the revenue department have come under the scanner after the Chengalpattu district administration unearthed a major scandal, involving the illegal issue of government land pattas worth `350 crore. An FIR too has been registered against the officials. The issue came to light a few months ago when authorities conducted an inquiry into a petition over a patta dispute. It was found that a large extent of land at Thazhambur village of Vandalur taluk, which was classified as “Anadeenam”, had been reclassified and assigned to several people. “Anadeenam” is a land not owned by anybody, in which case, it becomes vested with the government. One can apply for a grant of patta for such a land only if they can prove their possession of the land for all the years they have lived there. Over 105 acres of “Anadeenam” land packets had been allotted to several private persons illegally, between 2008 and 2019, at Thazhambur village. According to sources, three officials – A Balasubramani, Joint Commissioner (Land Reforms), Villupuram, A Palaniammal, Assistant Commissioner (Land Refor ms), Villupuram, and D Muthuvadivelu, Revenue Divisional Officer, Chengalpattu – had issued orders granting pattas at different points of time, to several persons by changing the classification of the land. Revenue officials have retrieved both manual and online records of the land data to ascertain involvement of the officials in altering the land classification. During the field verification, it was found that those who received pattas neither resided on the land nor held its possession at any point of time. EXPRESS READ Antony Blinken set to be Secretary of State Perarivalan’s parole extended by a week Washington: US President-elect Joe Biden will name his trusted foreign policy advisor Antony Blinken, who had served as deputy secretary of state under Barack Obama, as his top diplomat on Tuesday. Analysts say, Blinken, a defender of multilateralism, will help calm America’s strained ties with allies. Biden is also expected to name his former aide Jake Sullivan as the national security advisor. Sullivan advised Biden on domestic policy as V-P | P9 New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday granted a week’s parole to Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict AG Perarivalan. The bench passed the order after his lawyer pointed out that the parole was ending on Monday. He was granted parole earlier from November 9 to 23 for medical check-up, but could not get it done because he was not provided with police escort. The bench has now directed the State government to provide the same Alagiri not yet on DMK’s agenda? Chennai: The DMK high-level meeting held on Monday did not discuss anything about inducting MK Alagiri, the estranged brother of MK Stalin, back into the party fold, sources told TNIE | P4 UNDETERRED HOPE Stigmatised & dejected, Uma turns over a new leaf V I G N E S H V @ Madurai WHILE affirming her gender identity, little did Uma (name changed) know that it would open the floodgates to a life of travails. As if the stress of living with a new body was not enough, she had to feel the persecution of her peers, and also her family . A top scorer in her plus two examination, Uma of Theni district, got a seat in Madurai Medical College, and completed the course in 2018. She was working at a private clinic in Madurai before she went through a gender reassignment surgery in 2019. However, her life took a turn after that. When she returned to work, she was allegedly not allowed to treat any patient. Not losing hope, she returned to her native to be among her loved ones. However, she was mistaken; her parents, too, refused to accept her. With no choice left, she decided to shift to Madurai and join the transgender community there. Uma had lost faith and, had given up on her dreams, until she met Thilagar Thidal (Law and Or- der) Inspector G Kavitha. The incident came to light when Inspector Kavitha met Uma through another transperson. Speaking to TNIE, Kavitha said, “Initially I thought she had , made up a story But later, she pro. duced all her certificates, which I verified. She wants to continue her studies but lacks a third genInitially, I thought she had made up a story. But later, she produced all her certificates, which I verified G Kavitha, Inspector der certificate to pursue it.” The inspector further said that she brought the issue to her senior officials, district administration and Government Rajaji Hospital’s knowledge. “The process of getting her certificate is on.” Meanwhile, the city police has arranged Uma to continue practising medicine. They also arranged a clinic, which would be inaugurated this weekend, for her. When TNIE contacted Uma, she refused to share her plight, citing her family situation and social stigma. Rejected by the society The first blow came from the hospital she worked in as they allegedly refused to allow her to treat patients. Uma then returned to her native, but was rejected again, this time by her family
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