TIME MANGALURU FRIDAY DECEMBER 04, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION 15-YEAR-OLD INDIAN AMERICAN NAMED TIME’S ‘KID OF THE YEAR’ Gitanjali Rao is an inventor, author, and a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) promoter USING TECH TO TACKLE EVERYDAY PROBLEMS BAROMETER FOR RISING YOUNG LEADERS The latest issue of Time Magazine features Gitanjali’s interview by actor Angelina Jolie, in which she talks about how she uses technology to tackle issues ranging from contaminated drinking water to opioid addiction and cyberbullying. In 2017, Gitanjali, then just 12, had won the top prize in the Young Scientist Challenge for her device that finds lead in drinking water ■ ■ ■ For the past 92 years, TIME has named a Person of the Year In 2019, climate activist Greta Thunberg, then 16 years old, became the first individual under age 25 to receive the title This year, TIME decided to recognise its first ever Kid of the Year, a barometer for the rising leaders of America’s youngest generation 5,000 NOMINEES WERE IN THE RACE FOR TIME MAGAZINE’S ‘KID OF THE YEAR’ TITLE 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 7-hr marathon talks fail to cut ice with farmers Consensual interfaith marriage stopped in UP N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow Next meeting tomorrow; agriculture minister assures unions govt will not touch MSP EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi / Chandigarh THE fourth round of talks between agitating farmers and the Centre that stretched for about seven hours on Thursday remained inconclusive, but the government expressed willingness to address some of the concerns raised by farmer unions. The next round of talks will be held on Saturday . Both sides agreed that little progress has been made in the talks. Sources said Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar assured the farmers on the minimum support price (MSP), saying it will not be touched. “No changes will be made to it,” sources quoted the minister as saying. “Initially, we felt the dead- lock will persist but slowly due to pressure from our side, the government started listening to us and then the talks went on in a conducive atmosphere. In the next meeting, we will put pressure on the government and ask them to take back the laws. It will be finalised in the Saturday’s meeting,” Harjinder Singh Tanda of Azaad Kisan Sangharsh Committee said. However, the farm leaders were firm on their demand that the three new farm laws be repealed. During the meeting, the farmers gave a presentation about their concerns following which deliberations were held on each point. “The government is considering giving written assurance on the MSP ,” the sources said. CONTINUED ON: P7 BADAL RETURNS PADMA AWARD OVER FARM LAWS Chandigarh: Akali Dal stalwart and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday returned his Padma Vibhushan award in protest against the Centre’s new farm laws. In a separate announcement, dissident Akali leader and Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa also said he will return the Padma Bhushan conferred on him last year. Earlier, some former Punjab sportsmen too have threatened to return their awards. COVID NORMS Bommai: No night curfew for New Year’s Eve EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Udupi HOME Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said the State Government is looking at options other than imposing a ‘night curfew’ a week before the New Year celebrations, in efforts to combat the spread of Covid19 in Karnataka. Speaking to reporters here, the minister said, “The draft advisory, prepared by the Health Department based on recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), suggested a night curfew, but we may not opt for it. However, Covid-19 guidelines should be followed during the New Ye a r c e l e b r a t i o n s , ” P3 Bommai said. Farmers’ delegation coming out after a meeting with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Thursday | SHEKHAR YADAV Farmers who commit suicide are cowards, says minister P R A J N A G R @ Madikeri EVEN as the country is witnessing massive protests by farmers in the national capital over the farm laws, Karnataka Agriculture Minister B C Patil landed in a controversy after he termed farmers who commit suicide as “cowards”. The minister’s remarks have earned him the ire of farmers and opposition leaders alike. Speaking at the Ponnampet Forestry College in Kodagu on Thursday Patil narrated , an analogy of a woman farmer he met who credited her hard work of 35 years in the farms for her gold bangles. “If a woman can earn this from farming, why are farmers committing suicide? A farmer who commits suicide is a coward. Only a coward who cannot care for his wife and children commits suicide. A true farmer must not commit suicide”, he said. Patil added farmers must instead practice mixed P4 farming, animal husbandry and organic farming. A sticking problem in the new law in Uttar Pradesh on interfaith marriages came to the fore on Wednesday as one such ceremony in the outskirts of Lucknow was stopped by the police though the wedding was consensual — not just of the couple but their families too. Raina Gupta, 22, was to wed Mohammad Asif, 24. While Raina is a Chemistry postgraduate, Asif is a diploma holder in pharmacy The wedding was be. ing solemnised with the consent of both the families, additional deputy commissioner of police, South Zone, Suresh Chandra Rawat, agreed. While the new law mandates applying for per mission a month in advance, the couple didn’t. The local Hindu Mahasabha unit raked up the issue, but the police decided against booking them as the couple agreed to comply with the law, Rawat said. It is a case of following the law in letter but not in its spirit. BSY doing wonderful job, says BJP general secy R A M U PAT I L @ Bengaluru PUTTING to rest all speculation about leadership change in the state, BJP national general secretary in charge of Karnataka, Arun Singh, on Thursday ruled out any such move and said Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is doing excellent work for overall development of the state. “No. There is no change in leadership,” Arun Singh told The New Indian Express while responding to a question on such talk doing the rounds in the state with no clarity from the party central leaders. A number of senior BJP leaders in Kar nataka, including state president Nalin Kumar Kateel, had rubbished all such rumours stating that Yediyurap- pa will complete the full term in office. For the first time, the party’s national general secretary in charge of the state has clarified on the issue, sending out a clear message. “Yediyurappaji is a great leader, a mass leader. He is our CM and he is working wonderfully, taking care of every section of society said Singh, who is vis,” iting Karnataka to attend the party core committee and state executive committee meetings in Belagavi on Friday and Saturday Singh also sent a strong . message to ministerial aspirants who have been making statements and resorting to pressure tactics. “That is not our culture,” he said. FULL INTERVIEW | P4 HDFC Bank can’t issue new credit cards Youth held S E S A S E N @ New Delhi TAKING a grim view of frequent outages reported in HDFC Bank’s online services, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed the private lender to stop issuing new credit cards and put all its planned digital launches on hold till further orders. The Mumbai-headquartered bank, India’s largest privatesector lender with a market cap of `8 lakh crore, has also been asked to examine such lapses at the board level and strengthen its IT infrastructure to restore customer faith in digital banking channels. Disclosing the RBI order, dated December 2, to exchanges on Thursday HDFC Bank clarified , 1.5 crore credit cards RBI’s move will hurt HDFC Bank as it is the highest issuer of credit cards in India with 1.5 crore cards in force as of September. Digital operations are critical to the bank as 90% of the transactions come from digital channels that the restrictions are limited to new digital launches and that there won’t be any impact on existing operations, including credit cards and digital banking. “We assure our customers there is no reason to worry You . can continue to transact with the bank without any concern,” Sashidhar Jagdishan, the newly-appointed MD and CEO of HDFC Bank, said in a letter to customers. The trigger for the RBI action was the major disruption on November 21 due to power failure in the primary data centre, the third such instance in the past two years. The bank had faced a similar outage on its mobile app in 2018 and again in December 2019 owing to “increasing payday transactional activities”. An RBI team examined the case and asked the bank to bolster its IT infrastructure to keep pace with the explosive growth in digital banking. Hours after RBI cracked the whip on the Mumbai-headquartered bank, State Bank of India’s YONO app, too, faced a P10 system outage. EXPRESS READ Navy Chief pitches for third aircraft carrier New Delhi: A third aircraft carrier for India is “absolutely necessary” to further expand its maritime prowess, and it will be in sync with the country’s aspiration to become a $5 trillion economy, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh said on Thursday. ED carries out raids against PFI Centre increases domestic flights’ cap New Delhi: The ED on Thursday raided 26 locations in nine states linked to the PFI including those of chairman O M Abdul Salam as part of a “larger” money laundering probe against the organisation. New Delhi: The cap on the number of domestic flights that Indian carriers are permitted to operate was increased from 70 per cent to 80 per cent of their pre-Covid levels on Thursday. in M’luru graffiti case EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Mangaluru THE Mangaluru police have taken a 21-year-old youth into custody on Thursday in connection with pro-terror graffiti that sprung up in the city recently . The arrested person is a resident of Thirthahalli in Shivamogga district. Police suspect the involvement of two bike-bor ne men and three special teams are investigating the two cases of provocative graffiti. CONTINUED ON: P5 POLITICAL PLUNGE Now or never, says Rajini; prepares to launch party in Jan T MURUGANANDHAM, S K U M A R E S A N @ Chennai “IF not now, then never.” The tweet sent out at 12.16 pm on Thursday set the social media and political circles in Tamil Nadu on fire. It had come from the official handle of actor Rajinikanth, who had been waiting for the “right time” for over three years now, ever since he announced his decision to enter electoral politics. A formal announcement would be made on December 31, and the party would be launched in January, the actor said. Soon after the tweets were sent out, Rajinikanth has appointed the former president of BJP State unit’s intellectual wing, Ra Arjunamurthy as the chief coordina, tor of his party Thamizharu. vi Manian of Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam, he said, would supervise the works for launching the party . The sudden announcement has surprised several members of the Rajini Makkal Mandram. Even during the November 29 meeting with senior office-bearers of the Mandram, the actor gave no indication about launching the party a few members who , attended the meeting confirmed to Express. In fact, a few office-bearers had even threatened to commit suicide if Rajinikanth fails to launch the party . “Mathuvom — ellaththaiyum maathuvom — ippo illenna eppavumae illai,” he tweeted on Thursday which loosely , translates to, “It’s time for change. If not now, then never will it happen.” He also said: “If I succeed (in my political venture) it would be the suc- cess of the people, and if I fail, it would be the defeat of the people... With the massive support of people, Tamil Nadu will witness the emergence of spiritual politics, characterised by virtues such as honesty, transparency, incorruptibility Politics that is . bereft of caste and communal leanings.” Within an hour of sending out the tweets, the actor met the media at his Poes Garden residence. He clarified that he had taken some time to launch the party due to the prevailing Covid situation, and that he would not go back on the promise that he had made to the people of Tamil Nadu — to bring change. Party’s office bearers are... Former president of BJP State unit’s intellectual wing, Ra Arjunamurthy, appointed as the chief coordinator of Rajini’s party. Thamizharuvi Manian of Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam would supervise the launching works TECTONIC SHIFT IN TAMIL NADU POLITICS R AJINIKANTH’S announcement to enter the fray in the 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections is an event that has the potential to transform Tamil Nadu’s political landscape. He could not have timed the entry better. Different factors make his entry an extraordinary development that can unsettle all parties and their calculations. The absence of towering leaders Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa, who dominated Tamil Nadu politics till a few years ago, marked a quality shift of elections from personality clashes into inter-party battles. Rajini’s advent reverses this trend as his personality towers over all others, thus re-introducing the personality factor in politics, with no one matching his stature to counter him. Rajini is not just a mega star. He is seen as a genuine and clean person who wants to do good to the S GURUMURTHY people of Tamil Nadu. Also, he is not interThe author is a ested in power, which is unusual in politics commentator on political today His exposition on spiritual politics fits . and economic affairs him perfectly to oppose the anti-God and antiHindu DMK, of which he is likely to emerge as the principal challenger. The stunning reception that Rajini’s announcement got is a manifestation of the longing of the people of Tamil Nadu for an alternative to both the DMK and the AIADMK. The recall has to go back to the 1973 Dindigul parliamentary poll, which brought about a shift and left a deep and continuing P5 impact on Tamil Nadu. COSTLY AFFAIR? Soudha shining — `59L just for cleaning walls, corridors EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru THE ‘corridors of power’ are all set to get a swachh cleanup. Perhaps the state government firmly believes in the old saying – Cleanliness is next to godliness. And what it will cost the government just to get the walls and corridors spick and span is a whopping Rs 59 lakh at least. That too for only seven months. Once this period is over, a fresh tender will be called. And this at a time when the government is cash-strapped and finding it tough to even pay salaries or fill up the vacant posts, according to government employees. The Public Works Department as the custodian of Vidhana Soudha called for a tender last month from private agen- cies for Rs 59 lakh for seven months. This means the gover nment will be spending around Rs 8 lakh per month for cleaning just the corridors and walls of the Soudha. This is apart from paying the house keeping staff and general maintenance. Vidhana Soudha which houses the legislature and chambers of ministers has 370 rooms and 14 general toilet complexes within the premises. The iconic Soudha is constructed using stones. Water jet cleaning has been finalised to spruce it up. Speaking to The New Indian Express, Guruswamy, president, Karnataka State Secretariat Employees Association, said that they are not objecting as it is an administrative matter. CONTINUED ON: P5
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.