nagapattinam l Thursday l December 24, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION Covaxin’s early trials show promising results Vaccine candidate currently in Phase-3 Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine has shown dual immune response, according to phase 1 & 2 results released on Wednesday High Antibodies in Phase-1 volunteers The vaccine has proceeded to phase 3 trial and the company has planned to test it in 26,000 individuals aged between 12 and 65 years across several states in the country. The Hyderabad-based firm, which has developed the vaccine in collaboration with the ICMR, has already sought emergency use approval from the Drug Controller General of India ■ ■ In a double-blind, multi-centre, phase 2 clinical trial, 380 healthy individuals were randomised to receive two vaccine formulations and two intramuscular doses of vaccines four weeks apart In a follow-up of the phase 1 trial, Covaxin produced high levels of neutralising antibodies that remained elevated in all participants 6-12 months Researchers claim Covaxin’s antibodies could last that long 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 Govt surprises enthusiasts, allows Jallikattu events with riders EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai/Madurai Farmers gesture during their ongoing protest against the new farm sector reform laws, at the Singhu border in Delhi on Wednesday | Parveen Negi IN a surprise move, the State government on Wednesday issued orders allowing Jallikattu, Manjuvirattu, and Vadamadu events for the upcoming Pongal season, provided they follow strict Covid guidelines. The decision -- coming shortly after restrictions were imposed on New Year revelry in beaches and hotels -- has been welcomed by farmers and organisers. According to the guidelines issued by the government, events can be held only with 50 per cent audience. All participants have to produce a Covidnegative certificate obtained from a government-recognised laboratory. All spectators will be subjected to thermal scanning, and will have to wear a mask and maintain social distancing at the venues. The government has also capped the number of bull tamers. As per guidelines, no more than 300 tamers would be allowed to participate per event. For Erudhu Vidum Vizha, the number of participants has been capped at 150. “This is a huge relief,” says J Sundararajan, president of Alanganallur Jallikattu Organising Committee. “We will begin the works for conducting the event from January 1.” P Velu, Secretary of Palamedu Grama Podhu Mahalingaswamy Madathu Committee is concerned that the cap on audience would pose a challenge. a rotational viewing is being considered Talks ball back in Centre’s court Fork out `10K cr in cairn tax case, India told as farmers seek concrete ideas E xpress N ews S ervice @ New Delhi in their bank accounts through direct transfer as part of the PM Kisan Saman Nidhi Yojna. The weeks-long deadlock over “We urge the government the new farm laws continued not to repeat the meaningless on Wednesday with farmer un- amendments we have already ions demanding that the Union rejected but come up with a government offer concrete pro- concrete proposal in writing so posals, abandon its stubborn- that the process of negotiation ness and accept their demands can be started as soon as posto end their agitation. Both sible,” Swaraj Abhiyan chief sides have now indicated they Yogendra Yadav said. He is a are ready for talks without member of the SKM. budging on their core agenda. “The government is conAfter a meeting of their um- stantly holding talks with sobrella body, the Sanycalled farmer leaders Committed ukt Kisan Morcha and organisations to reforms (SKM), farmer leadwho are not associaters said they were Union agriculture ed with our moveready for talks but are minister Narendra ment. This is an atwaiting for the Centre Singh Tomar said tempt to break our to come to the table the government movement. It is dealwith an open mind. In will continue with ing with protesting a letter addressed to farmers, the way it reforms in the Vivek Aggarwal, Joint deals with the Opposifarm sector. Secretary in the Un- “However old and tion,’’ Yadav added. ion agriculture min- strong the protest Rashtriya Kisan istry, they said there is, a solution can Mazdoor Mahasangh was no clarity on var- be arrived at only president Shiv Kumar ious sticking points Kakka said: “The govthrough talks,” like guaranteeing the ernment should abanhe said minimum support don its stubbornness price mechanism, electricity and create conducive environamendment (ordinance) and ment for talks with protesting ordinance on air quality . farmers and accept their deThe Centre is already on mands. We have already told record as saying that it is ready Union home minister Amit to discuss and address all con- Shah that protesting farmers cerns of the agitating farmers. will not accept amendments.” And Prime Minister Narendra All India Kisan Sabha leader Modi will continue his out- Hannan Mollah alleged that reach by interacting with farm- the government wants to delay ers from six states on Friday. this resolution of the agitation The day will also see nine crore and break the morale of the farmers receiving `18,000 crore farmers. E xpress N ews S ervice @ New Delhi/Chandigarh express read Abhaya murder case: Priest, nun get life term Trump refuses to sign Covid-19 relief bill T’Puram: A CBI special court on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment to the catholic priest and nun, who were found guilty of Sister Abhaya’s murder. Father Thomas Kottoor was awarded double life sentence and imposed `6.5 lakh fine, whereas Sister Sephy was sentenced to life and slapped a fine of `5.5 lakh Washington: US President Donald Trump has refused to sign the Covid-19 relief bill, saying the $600 stimulus payment to Americans was not enough as he asked Congress to increase it to $2,000. Trump said that the bill delivered too much money to foreign countries, but not enough to Americans Barely three months after Vodafone Plc won an international arbitration against India’s `22,100 has crore retrospective tax demand, the country on Wednesday suffered another blow arising from the controversial 2012 amendment to its tax laws. This time, a three-member arbitration tribunal under the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, has directed India to pay UK-based energy giant Cairn $1.2 billion in damages, along with interest and legal costs. The final amount India would have to pay if it doesn’t challenge the award is likely to be $1.4 billion (over `10,300 crore), say sources. “The tribunal ruled unanimously that India had breached its obligations to Cairn under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty the company said ,” 90 days to file appeal Govt has 90 days to mount an appeal against the order, say sources. In the case of Vodafone, this runs out on December 24 and no appeal has been filed yet. For Cairn, if it doesn’t challenge the award, the cash outflow is set to be over `10,300 crore Audience may be issued tokens in batches with timing. This would prevent thousands from thronging the gallery and many would get a chance to witness the sport, says P Rajasekar in a statement on Wednesday . The Government of India, for its part, said that it “will be studying the award and all its aspects carefully in consultation with its counsels”. After the UPA-led government lost its case against Vodafone Plc at the Supreme Court in 2012, then finance minister Pranad Mukher jee passed an amendment in law making the tax liability retrospective. In March 2015, Cairn was slapped with `10,247 crore retrospective tax demand over gains from an internal reorganisation implemented in 2006-07. But unlike the Vodafone Plc case, where no overt action was taken by both the UPA and the subsequent NDA governments, Cairn’s holdings were seized and then subsequently sold to realise the tax liability . By 2011, Cairn Energy Plc had already sold its India subsidiary, Cairn India, to Vedanta Ltd, retaining only a 5% stake. But after the tax demand and subsequent initiation of arbitration by the company in 2015, GoI seized the stake and sold it to realise the claim. It also seized dividends totalling `1,140 crore due to Cairn and set off a `1,590crore tax refund against the demand. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami was given a warm welcome when he arrived at Thevarkulam in Tirunelveli district on Wednesday A note of thanks to the Chief Minister On Tuesday, 13 government school students, who got admission to medical colleges under the 7.5 per cent reservation, met Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and thanked him after his arrival in Nagercoil My government has helped make the dreams of medical aspirants come true by implementing 7.5 per cent reservation for government school students Chief Minister eps takes a break from poll work, meets med aspirants EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Tenkasi/ Nagercoil CHIEF Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami took a break from his hectic campaigning activity to interact with students who were waiting to express gratitude to him for introducing the 7.5 per cent quota in medical admissions. On Tuesday around 13 govern, ment school students waited patiently for Palaniswami’s arrival in Nagercoil. These students had secured admission to medical colleges under the government’s new reservation system. When the Chief Minister arrived at the spot, they heartily expressed their gratitude, and were surprised upon knowing that he had reached the place to gift them books that would help them achieve their dreams. Among the students was MK Abdul Rahman, who secured 1,047 marks in Class 12 exam and 377 marks in NEET. Knowing fully well that his daily-wage labourer mother would not be able to afford private college fees, the student from Government Higher Secondary School in Thuckalay was readying his mind to kill his ambitions to become a doc- tor. “But, the government has brought out this reservation and now I have got admission in Stanley Medical College in Chennai,” Rahman beams. On Wednesday, Palaniswami attended a family function of Minister VM Rajalakshmi at Sankarankovil, and addressed the gathering there. “The strength of AIADMK is the unity among its functionaries. Our students have immensely benefitted with the 7.5 quota; and our farmers can confidently begin works for the next season as there is enough water in the rainwater tanks due to our efforts,” he said. “Restricting crowd in the gallery would be a difficult task. Also, the announcement comes a bit late than usual, giving us a short time to make logistic and financial arrangements. We would have to discuss with the Collector to understand the ground implementation.” “Taking cue from the jallikattu events held last year in Coimbatore and Tiruppur, we can issue tokens in batches, this would give around 1 - 1.5 hours per batch,” says P Rajasekar, president of Jallikattu Peravai. Opening up 100% FDI in DTH sector, 20-yr licence E xpress N ews S ervice @ New Delhi T he U n i o n C ab i n e t o n Wednesday cleared the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s revised guidelines allowing 100% FDI in directto-home (DTH) sector and doubling licence validity to 20 years. Earlier, I&B ministry allowed only 49% foreign direct investment in the sector. Among the other changes is licence fee will be collected on a quarterly basis instead of annually, to make it in tune with the licence fee regime of the telecom sector. Also, DTH operators will be permitted to operate a maximum of 5% of their total channel carrying capacity as platform channels. “In India, more than six crore houses get DTH services. The commerce ministry had earlier decided 100% FDI in DTH services but DTH services could not get that benefit as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s guidelines allowed only 49% FDI. The new guidelines will be in sync with the commerce ministry’s guidelines,” Union minister Prakash Javadekar said. Welcoming the new guidelines, leading DTH player Tata Sky said the decision to grant licences to the operators for 20 years would provide certainty to the industry . Other cabinet decisions l Films Division, Directorate of Film Festivals, National Film Archives of India and Children’s Film Society to merge with NFDC l A total of `59,000 crore for Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme to benefit 4 crore Scheduled Caste students in next 5 yrs 1 dead, 40 hospitalised after Full declaration of ingredients, not cosmetic, made mandatory drinking contaminated water face it S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi It has now become mandatory for manufacturers of cosmetics and make-up products in India to declare all ingredients, even those with concentration of less than 1%, to help buyers make more informed choices. Thus far, there was no Central law mandating them to declare the full composition of their skin and make-up products — though there is such a rule for drugs — and licences were granted without getting detailed information. In order to ensure greater quality control of cosmetic products being manufactured, imported and used in India, the government has also decided to set up the first Central Cosmetics Laboratory and appoint inspectors across states. Till now, there have been very few instances of crackdown on makers of spurious cosmetics. Under the new cosmetics rules, 2020 notified by the Un- ion ministry of health and family welfare recently following consultations with the drug technical advisory board, hair dyes containing paraphenylenediamine or other dyes, colours and pigments should be labelled with specified warnings. Special provisions have been introduced on fluoride content in toothpaste as well. It not be more than 1000 ppm and the fluoride content shall be mentioned on the tube and carton. According to the new norms, no cosmetic, the manufacture, sale or distribution of which is prohibited in the country of origin, can be imported. Also on the import ban list are cosmetics containing hexachlorophene — a chemical preservative known for harmful effects on humans. Besides, cosmetics tested on animals cannot be imported. Also, inspectors will be required to inspect at least once in three years all premises licensed to manufacture cosmetics to ensure that the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and its rules are being fully met. B a g a l a v a n P erier B @ Kallakurichi ONE person died in the Thimmalai village of Kallakurichi and 40 others have been hospitalised after drinking water laced with animal waste. After the villagers alleged that the issue was not addressed despite repeated complaints, the District Collector swung into action and transferred three officials for negligence. “There was heavy downpour last week, following which the water supply system got contaminated. We made lots of representations to the panchayat and block development officers, but no action was taken until 65-year-old K Kannan died on Tuesday night,” says K Yahoob, former panchayat president of Thimmalai village. “Kannan had vomiting and diarrhea on Sunday. He was admitted to a private hospital. From there, he was shifted to Government Villupuram medical college, where he died,” adds Yahoob.
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.