HYDERABAD FRIDAY DECEMBER 18, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 30 LATE CITY EDITION NOW, YOU CAN WIN MEDALS IN YOGASANA AT NATIONAL LEVEL After granting it recognition last month, sports ministry has formally categorised yogasana as a competitive sport GROUNDWORK OVER, COMPETITIONS NEXT CLASSIFICATION OF MEDAL EVENTS The initiative taken by sports and AYUSH ministries wants to encourage yoga, spread awareness about its benefits and help improve physical and mental wellbeing of the people. A National Yogasana Sport Federation of India has been established for preservation and development of yoga as a competitive sport. An automated scoring system has been developed. ■ ■ To be included in Khelo India Games. A total of 51 medals have been proposed in four events and seven categories at nationals Events proposed include traditional yogasana, artistic yogasana (single and pair), rhythmic yogasana (pair, free flow/group yogasana), individual championship and team championship 2021 FIRST NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PROPOSED FOR THE SPORT 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 Four-member committee Ready for talks: Tikait The Sanyukta Kisan Morch, an umbrella body of 40 farmers unions, decided to form a fourmember internal committee to deal with all issues arising from the Supreme Court’s intervention in the protest under the leadership of Balbir Singh Rajewal, president of BKU (Rajewal) Bharatiya Kisan Union national president Naresh Tikait said, “We are ready for dialogue. If the government takes two steps back, the farmers will follow suit. We respect everything that the Supreme Court has stated. Whatever panel is formed, sensible people should be on it.” Farmers protesting at the Singhu border in Delhi on Thursday | SHEKHAR YADAV Put farm laws on ice, suggests SC Motivated campaign, says BJP, readies to fight it out K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi ASKING the Centre whether it could put in abeyance its three farm sector reform laws till negotiations with the agitators are on, the Supreme Court on Thursday said farmers have a constitutional right to continue their protest as long as their dissent does not led to any kind of violence. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde asked Attorney General K K Venugopal whether the government could give an assurance to keep the implementation of the farm laws on hold. While Venugopal said he will have to seek instructions as he was not sure if this was a viable solution, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that it was not possible to put the implementation of the laws on hold. Refusing to order the eviction of farmers from Delhi’s borders, the court said: “A protest is constitutional as long as it does not cause violence or destroy life. It can continue while the committee we propose can hold deliberations. We are likely to propose names like P Sainath for the committee.” CJI Bobde added, “We are also Indian, we are familiar with the plight of farmers and are sympathetic to their cause. You (farmers) have to only alter the way the protest is going.” The Punjab gover nment, represented by P Chidambaram, supported the proposal to form a committee. The bench gave liberty to all parties to approach P9 the court during winter vacations. Unions to consult four top lawyers Farmer unions said they will first consult four top Supreme Court lawyers — Prashant Bhushan, Colin Gonsalves, Dushyant Dave and H S Phoolka — before before taking a call on the SC impleading them in the case and forming of an impartial committee to resolve the matter E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi WITH the government staying firm on the farm laws, Union ministers Amit Shah, Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal went into a huddle with the BJP national general secretaries at the party headquarters, with indications emerging that it is gearing up for the political challenge thrown up by the farmers protesting at the Capital’s doorstep. Minutes after the meeting concluded, Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, released a hard-hitting letter addressed to the farmers, singling out “conspirators for fuelling anarchy”. The meeting also came in the midst of the outreach by BJP leaders across the country to explain their position on the contentious farm sector reform laws and the steps taken by the government for the benefits of the farmers. “There is clarity that certain elements who have consistently been at loggerheads with the Narendra Modi government are fanning the farmers’ protests for vested interests. The BJP will effectively respond to the motivated campaign,” said a senior BJP functionary . HC orders TS: Delete Aadhaar, caste from registration process R R A J A S H E K A R R A O @ Hyderabad THE Telangana High Court has put its foot down on the current process of the registration of non-agricultural properties in the State. A division bench on Thursday directed the State government to revise the user manual, meant for the registration of the properties, by deleting Aadhaar, caste and relevant references from it and the software. It also ordered an immediate halt on slot bookings and providing PTIN for the registrations till the user manual is revised. The bench made it clear that the court is worried about the safety and security of sensitive data such as citizens’ Aadhaar numbers. It, however, permitted the government to continue with the registration without seeking Aadhaar, caste and family members’ details of buyers, sellers and witnesses. The registration authorities can seek other documents for proof of identity instead. The bench pointed out that the manual clearly states that the buyer, seller and witnesses have to divulge their Aadhaar details, which is in violation of the government’s undertaking submitted ‘Worried about safety of sensitive data’ The bench made it clear that the court is worried about the safety and security of sensitive data such as citizens’ Aadhaar numbers. It, however, permitted the govt to continue with the registration without seeking Aadhaar, caste and family members’ details of buyers, sellers and witnesses to the court. The bench, comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy passed the or, der in a batch of petitions which has challenged the State government’s decision to seek Aadhaar, caste and family members’ details for Dharani portal in respect of non-agricultural properties. During the course of the hearing, the bench pulled up Populist schemes take a backseat in TS as Covid, slowdown dent revenues Justice Hima Kohli Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan CJ all praise for successor Justice Kohli EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad STATING that he cannot adjudicate the batch cases at this stage in view of his transfer as the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan of the Telangana High Court on Thursday posted the batch petitions filed on the Covid19 issue to December 31. The new incumbent Chief Justice of this Court of Justice, Hima Kohli, will hear the matter as she has already monitored all Covid cases in New Delhi and passed remarkable judgments. Expect the same to happen here, the CJ noted. The batch petitions seeking directions to the Telangana government to provide medical equipment, medicines and trained staff to all the designated Covid hospitals and another batch of PILs filed against exorbitant charges being collected by various private hospitals for Covid treatment came up for hearing before the bench, comprising Chief Justice Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy, on Thursday. State Advocate General BS Prasad informed the court about filing of the report enumerating the steps the government has taken to prevent spread of Coronavirus in the State. Reacting to the AG’s submissions, the CJ said the 279-page report submitted a few minutes before the commencement of the case hearing will be taken on record, but will adjourn the hearing to December 31. CONTINUED ON P4 V V B A L A K R I S H N A @ Hyderabad THE economic slowdown followed by the Covid-induced lockdown has dented the Telangana government’s revenues, placing it in an awkward position when it comes to implementing some of its populist schemes. The gover nment had announced that it would pay Aasara pension to persons above 57 years of age beginning this financial year. Presenting his maiden Budget in March, Finance Minister T Harish Rao had said: “I take immense pride in announcing that old age pension will be given to all eligible persons who are above 57 years from 2020-21.” But the implementation is being delayed due to poor revenues, according to sources. In fact, it is doubtful if the government will be able to extend the pension to more beneficiaries in the next three months. The government had estimated that Doubtful if govt can give Aasara pension The TS govt had announced that it would pay Aasara pension to persons above 57 years of age beginning this fiscal. But now, it is doubtful if the govt will be able to extend the pension to more beneficiaries in the next three months if people, who are above 57 years of age, should get Aasara pension, around 6.62 lakh new beneficiaries would be added. At present, it is paying `2,016 per month towards the pension and if the new beneficiaries are added, the exchequer will be burdened with around `1,600 crore per year. Dole for jobless youth Another assurance given by the TRS during the elections was the monthly payment of `3,016 Didi fumes as MHA transfers Bengal officers dole to unemployed youth, for which the government needs around `1,800 crore per year. But this scheme, too, has been put on the backburner with the government not even framing guidelines for it. P R O N A B M O N D A L @ Kolkata Hike unlikely for govt staff Additionally as the State Budg, et has been revised downward this year, the government may not take a decision on the first Pay Revision Commission (PRC) for its employees. Though the government employees hope to get a 30 per cent pay hike, the State’s financial position may not allow it to give them even 10 per cent. “The pay hike, if any will be below 12 per , cent,” sources have said. There is no clarity on when the Telangana government will be able to implement its assurances, as the State’s financial position has not improved much. There might be an announcement on these measures when the State presents its 2021-22 Budget in February or March, sources have said. EXPRESS READ Students clash at OU The Osmania University saw midnight drama between rival student groups on Wednesday when a law student alleged that he was beaten up | P2 TSPSC gets acting chairman D Krishna Reddy, member of the Telangana State Public Service Commission, has been designated as acting Chairman till a new one is appointed or till his term ends, whichever is earlier, according to orders issued by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar the government for violating its undertaking that it will not insist on Aadhaar and other details. It also found fault with the contents of the counter affidavit filed by the Chief Secretary, wherein it was stated that revealing Aadhaar details is optional, which contradicts the government’s undertaking given to the court earlier. The bench reminded that the State Advocate General (AG) had given an undertaking during the last hearing — on December 10 — that the State will not ask for Aadhaar and caste details. The State, with a clever ploy, is seeking the details in the garb of slot booking and for providing PTIN to property owners. Such a clever move cannot be permitted by the court and if permitted, it will be like allowing a litigant to take the court for a ride and to fool it, the bench observed. Senior advocate D Prakash Reddy, appearing for one of the petitioners, said the government has not bothered to revise the manual despite the court restraining the State from obtaining the details. The bench told the government to place the revised manual before the court by the next date of hearing which is likely this month-end. STYLE STATEMENT Staff of an apparel showroom dress a mannequin in a suit made of disposable masks. The mannequin, the largest in Old City, is part of a creative campaign by the retailer who aims at encouraging the use of masks | VINAY MADAPU IGNORING the West Bengal government’s objections, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday issued transfer orders of three IPS officers of Bengal cadre, who were responsible for BJP chief J P Nadda’s security during his visit to the state last week. The three officers — Rajeev Mishra (IG, South Bengal), Praveen Tripathi (DIG, Presidency Range) and Bholanath Pandey (SP, Diamond Harbour) — have been transferred to Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Seema Suraksha Bal and Pol i c e Re s e a r c h B u r e a u , respectively . The Mamata Banerjee government has been maintaining it will not relieve the officers for central deputation. Reacting to Thursday’s transfer order, a furious Mamata termed it “completely unacceptable” and “a colourable exercise of power and blatant misuse of emergency provision of IPS Cadre Rule 1954”. Hitting out at the MHA, she tweeted, “This move, particularly before the elections, is against the basic tenets of the federal structure. We wouldn’t allow this brazen attempt by the Centre to control the State machinery by proxy!” PRIVILEGED DURING PANDEMIC 17 outgoing GHMC officials gift themselves iPhones S B A C H A N J E E T S I N G H @ Hyderabad AT a time when the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is reeling under a severe financial crunch, the Standing Committee has decided to buy a brand new Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (512 GB) for each of its 17 outgoing members, comprising the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and 15 others, who will be demitting office in February . The cost of the said iPhone variant is roughly `1.6 lakh, taking the total expense to `27.23 lakh. The committee approved this proposal on Thursday at a meeting chaired by Hyd e r a b a d M ayo r B o n t h u Rammohan at the GHMC head office. The Standing Committee is the highest authority in the GHMC which approves all projects, development works and important policy decisions. Bomb of an expense The GHMC Standing Committee has decided to buy a brand new Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (512 GB) for each of its 17 outgoing members, comprising the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and 15 others, who will be demitting office in February. Each phone costs roughly `1.6 lakh When contacted, all the members were tightlipped about the good news and wore a deadpan expression. However, the exorbitant gifting idea has raised eyebrows, especially when the GHMC is finding it difficult to pay its staff and when it is known that the committee’s term ends on February 10, 2021. For the last few months, the committee members had been demanding for iPhones for all corporators. But realising that buying the smartphone for 155 corporators and five co-option members — which would cost over `2.50 crore — is too expensive, the committee members decided to restrict the privilege only to themselves. In another decision, it approved the draft budget of `5,600 crore for 2021-22 as against the current fiscal’s `5,380 crore, without making any changes. CONTINUED ON P5
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