KOttayAM l thursday l December 03, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION India invites Boris Johnson as 2021 Republic day chief guest Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly extended the invite to the UK premier during a telephonic conversation on Nov 27 Can’t confirm, says British High Commission UK foreign secy may also visit India However, a British High Commission spokesperson said that the mission cannot confirm or deny the news. “We can’t confirm one way or the other. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is keen to visit India as soon as possible,” the official said. Modi is likely to travel to London next year for the G-7 summit. An invitation for the same was extended to him by Johnson ■ ■ Acting British High Commissioner to India Jan Thompson had recently said Johnson and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab would make an in-person visit to India in the next few months “Had an excellent discussion with my friend @BorisJohnson on roadmap for India-UK ties in next decade,” Modi tweeted on Nov 27 2020 Republic day chief guest was Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro 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 Fresh proposal cooking; Shah to meet Amarinder Talks with farmers today; unions seek special Parliament session E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Union government is likely to come up with a fresh proposal to resolve the current stalemate during talks with farmer unions on Thursday, even as the agitators, while claiming that more people will join their protest, demanded a special session of Parliament to repeal three contentious farm sector reform laws. The decision to make a revised proposal was taken at a meeting Union home minister Amit Shah had with colleagues Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal at his residence on Wednesday, a day after the government’s talks with farmers ended inconclusively . The government is keen on resolving the issue quickly, sources said. Ahead of the talks, Shah is expected to meet Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday morning to discuss the way forward, said sources. For his part, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar again appealed to the farmers to end their protests. “I appeal to the farmers to end their protests and arrive at a solution through discussions. Also, people of Delhi have to show patience. The government understands that they are facing difficulties,” he said. As for the farmers, they kept up their belligerence, State restores Sabarimala curbs for women M an o j V i s w anathan @ Kochi TWO years after it allowed two young women to visit Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple with police support following a Supreme Court verdict, the state government and Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the temple, seem to have changed their stance on women’s entry to the hill shrine. The portal launched by TDB in association with the Kerala Police for online services, like virtual queue for darshan, The portal says “females and other gender (trans) less than 50 years and above 65 won’t be allowed The Travancore Devaswom Board has nothing to do with the guidelines and hasn’t taken any decision in this regard N Vasu, president, TDB says that “females and other gender (trans) less than 50 years and above 65 years won’t be allowed for darshan.” The government had earlier immunity race It’s siesta time for a farmer under a tractor-trolley at the Ghazipur on the Delhi-UP border on Wednesday | PTI Transporters’ turn to threaten strike The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) has called for a strike in support of the agitating farmers. “Starting December 8, we will halt the movement of supplies in entire North India including Delhi, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan,” it said warning the Centre against attempting to sow discord among their ranks. Contrary to the narrative being built by the government, their campaign was not limited to farmers from P u n j a b, t h e y s o u g h t t o emphasise. Labelling it as a movement of farmers from across the country the union leaders said , Thursday’s meeting with Tomar and Goyal would have wider representation from their side. “The government tried to show this is just a movement of farmers from Punjab.... We have also decided that farmer leaders from all over the country should participate in the talks,” said Darshan Pal, president of the Krantikari Kisan Union. He also demanded that the government call a special session of Parliament to repeal the three farm sector laws. Protesting farmers also announced that on Saturday they , will burn effigies of the Modi government and those of corporate biggies like Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani. “Thursday is the last chance for the government to take a decision to repeal the laws, otherwise this movement will become huge,” warned Pratibha Shinde of the Lok Sangharsh Morcha. Vaccination next week in UK, Russia E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The UK on Wednesday became the first country in the West to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, leapfrogging over the US and Europe to grant emergency use authorisation to a jab developed jointly by US pharma major Pfizer and German firm BioNTech. Vaccination is set to begin early next week. Hours later, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered universal vaccination with the homegrown Sputnik V. “Let’s agree on this — you will not report to me next week, but you will start mass vaccination,” Putin reportedly told Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova. UK’s approval came just 23 days after Pfizer released the first data from its phase 3 trial. While it showed 95% efficacy against Covid, the sticking point was the need to store it at -700C. The UK has so far bought 40 million doses of the vaccine, enough to inoculate 20 million or about 30% of the population, as two shots per person are needed to develop immunity . The World Health Organisation (WHO), too, is examining Pfizer’s data. A WHO emergency use listing would allow countries to authorise it for national emergency use and open the door to its international supply . Now, speaker refers Oppn plaint against Isaac to ethics panel also indicated his willingness to appear before the panel. “It’s a AFTER being snubbed by Chief democratic procedure. The Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and House is run as per the rules the CPM leadership in the past and there is no intolerance totwo days over his open remarks wards criticism,” said the on the vigilance raid on KSFE, speaker. Finance Minister Thomas Isaac The nine-member committee found himself in more trouble headed by Kozhikode North with the speaker reMLA A Pradeep Kuferring the breach of Isaac welcomes mar will submit a redecision privilege complaint port based on the alagainst him to the legations levelled by Finance Minister ethics committee, in the petitioner and reThomas Isaac a first in the history ply given by the minwelcomed the of the state ister. It will also take decision by the assembly . stock of the scenario speaker. He said it Speaker P Sreeratermed ‘extraordiwould give him an makrishnan referred nary’ by Isaac which, opportunity to to the House Comaccording to him, explain the grave mittee on Privileges circumstances related warranted the disand Ethics the comclosure. Congress to the CAG report, plaint lodged by the before the assembly. MLA V D Satheesan Opposition UDF for had moved the disclosing the contents of the breach of privilege notice. CAG report before tabling it in The speaker clarified that the the assembly . nod for the probe against OppoThe decision was taken after sition leader Ramesh Chenniththe speaker found merit in the ala was granted since it was imcomplaint, which alleged proce- proper to take a stand which dural violation by the minister. would have stalled the governIsaac had met the speaker to ex- ment decision to carry out the ● More on P4 plain his stance on the issue and investigation. hope floats Kadamakudy islands, situated away from the din of Kochi city, is an ideal retreat, but the candidates contesting the local body polls find it tough when they set out to meet voters in person. UDF’s M K Kishore, trying his luck from the 13th ward, appears to take it in his stride, moving around in a country boat | A Sanesh express read Zigzag roads to save trees: SC US blocks 2 H-1B curbs by Trump India pull one back Down Under New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked why trees need to be cut to make way for roads. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said, “Why do roads have to be laid in a straight line? Keep the roads zigzag.” In a relief to thousands of Indian professionals, a US court has blocked two H-1B regulations proposed by the Trump administration to restrict the ability of American companies to hire foreign employees | P9 Canberra: Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah found his mojo and the Indian team its winning ways in a morale-lifting 13-run triumph over Australia in the third and final ODI on Wednesday, salvaging some of the lost pride in a 1-2 series defeat. Rasam goes ‘viral’ in America, thanks to this TN chef AT a time when the entire world is looking up to the US for a “medical miracle” to contain Covid, those in New York, New Jersey and Princeton are , betting on a South Indian staple to beat the virus — the humble rasam. Behind the “viral trend”, obviously is a chef from , Tamil Nadu. S u m i S u kanya D u tta @ New Delhi The Union government’s announcement on Tuesday that the entire population will not be given the Covid-19 shot is a major deviation from its earlier stance, as in one of the first meetings on the vaccination chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June, it had clearly stated “that vaccination must be affordable and universal — no person should be left behind.” It also goes against the declared objective of most developed countries that have already announced universal vaccination. While the US, E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram booster soup SOW M YA M A N I @ Ariyalur Selective amnesia on universal shots? Australia and European Union have said they will provide free vaccination to all, some other countries such as the UK and Canada have prebooked vaccine doses in excess of their population. Following the meeting chaired by Modi on June 30, the government had issued a statement that mentioned four guiding principles that would form the foundation of the national effort of Covid-19 immunisation. “First, that vulnerable groups should be identified and prioritized for early vaccination, for example doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, non-medical frontline corona warriors, and vulnerable people among the general population..,” it Continued on: P8 said. State capital on its toes as Burevi comes closer E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Arun Rajadurai announced that children below 10 years and people above 65 years will not be permitted to the temple because of Covid restrictions. The TDB had argued before the five-member constitution bench of the Supreme Court in February 2019 that “it’s high time a particular class is not discriminated on the ground of biological attributes.” The government had also opposed the review pleas filed against the September 28, 2018 verdict that allowed women’s entry at the temple. With this volte-face, the government and the board have returned to the previous UDF regime’s stance of preserving the age-old customs of the temple. ● More on P5 It was on a mundane day, in the middle of the lockdown in US, that this idea struck 35-yearold Arun Rajadurai. Most of the ingredients that go into making rasam — turmeric, ginger, and garlic — are immunityboosters. It could help those testing positive for Covid. Arun used to provide food to Covid patients in three hospitals. He thought of adding it as a complimentary dish. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and the demand grew. Rasam, the “immunity boosting soup”, became indispensable from the menu of the hotel for which Arun worked, Anjappar Princeton. It was a bestseller. Such was its popularity that it was introduced in the restaurant’s New York, New Jersey and Canada branches. Around 500-600 cups of rasam are being sold daily, he says. “I was experimenting at home when I made this. We never thought it would be such a hit.” Hailing from Meensurutti near Jayankondam in Ariyalur, Arun moved to New Jersey five years ago. He studied catering at IHM Tiruchy. He was also awarded as the Best South East Asian Chef in 2018. WITH Cyclone Burevi expected to pass over the state capital soon, the officials are on their toes to keep casualties at bay. Though Cyclone Ockhi had dealt a severe blow to the state’s coastal community in 2017, it had mainly passed through the sea and the coastal region. It would be for the first time in recent history that a cyclone is set to cross the state. The IMD has said there is a chance the storm may pass through the Kerala border between Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram, in which case the intensity of the cyclone will be reduced. The exact path can be tracked by Thursday . Putting in place measures on a war-footing to tackle the impact of the cyclone, the state government has already set up around 2,849 relief camps, while up to 690 people from 175 houses have been shifted to 13 camps. NDRF teams have been deployed in eight districts from Er nakulam to Thiruvananthapuram. The water levels in Neyyar, Kallada and Kakki dams will be reduced to 80 per cent of the storage level, so it can collect more rainwater in the event of extreme ● More on P5 rainfall. Character record must for teachers from next year A J AY K A N T H @ Kochi FROM the next academic year, a clean character record is a must for teachers and staff of schools and other institutions frequented by children. The Kerala Police have decided to implement a new guideline under the POCSO Act wherein the background of the staff of institutions coming in contact with children will be checked for alcohol and drug abuse and other crimes. Periodic background clearance of the staff is set to become mandatory in Kerala. The move is aimed at ensuring the safety of children and to prevent people with dubious character from interacting with children. State police chief Loknath Behera issued an order on December 1 directing all police stations in the state to comply with the guideline. “As per the POCSO rules 2020 brought forth by the Union ministry of women and child development, institutions housing children or coming in regular contact with children, including schools, creches, sports academics or any other facility for children, must ensure police verification and background checks on periodic basis of every staff irrespective of teaching or non-teaching, regular or contractual or any other person being an employee of such institution coming in con● More on P4 tact with children,” the directive said.
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