KOCHI l thursday l December 24, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l LATE 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 P9 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 Teacher who wrote & fought for nature and weaker lot E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram B Sugathakumari, who touched the hearts of millions with her soulful verses on nature and weaker people, and fought firmly for their causes, p a s s e d aw ay h e re o n Wednesday . The mortal remains of the 86-year-old, who breathed her last at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital, were cremated with state honours at Santhikavadom. She was admitted to the MCH on Monday, after developing complications due to Covid-19. She died due to multiple organ failure. Sugathakumari, who started writing poems as a college student in 1957, soon replaced her Farmers gesture during their ongoing protest against the new farm sector reform laws, at the Singhu border in Delhi on Wednesday | Parveen Negi Talks ball back in Centre’s court as farmers seek concrete ideas B Sugathakumari 22 Jan 1934-23 Dec 2020 lyrical style with rather grim themes --- those that dealt with social and environmental issues. As she starkly depicted the lives of the vulnerable, loneliness and despair often became the underlying themes. She became a poet of compassion as her poems offered solace to the hurt. Many of them also echoed the concern for nature and the love lost between human beings and mother earth. Her works Rathrimazha, Ambalamani, Paavam Manavahridayam, Swapnabhoomi, Irul Chirakukal, Manalezhuthu and Pathirapookkal all found immense connect with the people as she herself had recounted an experience while travelling in the Middle East. A Keralite who was toiling in the sun came up to her car, touched her hand and sang the lines of Rathrimazha before crying out loudly . Through her poems and activism, ‘Sugathakumari Teach- sarah joseph : she had a life devoted to others | P4 A poet who stood for humanity, Sugathakumari believed that wherever people are suffering, a poet should reach there. If she could not reach personally, her mind reached out to them. She was a poet who bore the pain and sufferings of this era. This is a big loss to us M T Vasudevan Nair, writer Sexual act cause of murder, says Guv replies to CM: Your court. Hands priest, nun life term duty to keep me informed The Centre is already on record as saying it is ready to discuss and address all conThe weeks-long deadlock over cerns of the agitating farmers. the new farm laws continued And Prime Minister Narendra on Wednesday with farmer un- Modi will continue his outions demanding that the Union reach by interacting with farmgovernment offer concrete pro- ers from six states on Friday. posals, abandon its stubborn- The day will also see nine crore ness and accept their far mers receiving Committed demands to end their `18,000 crore in their to reforms agitation. Both sides bank accounts have now indicated Union agriculture through direct transthey are ready for minister Narendra fer as part of PM talks without budging Singh Tomar said Kisan Samman Nidhi on their core agenda. Yojana. the government After a meeting of will continue with “We urge the govtheir umbrella body, ernment not to repeat reforms in the the Sanyukt Kisan the meaningless farm sector. Morcha (SKM), farm- “However old and amendments we have er leaders said they strong the protest already rejected but were ready for talks is, a solution can come up with a conbut are waiting for be arrived at only crete proposal in writthe Centre to come to ing so that the process through talks,” the table with an open of negotiation can be he said mind. In a letter adstarted as soon as posdressed to Vivek Aggarwal, sible,” Swaraj Abhiyan chief Joint Secretary in the Union Yogendra Yadav said. agriculture ministry, they said “The government is conthere was no clarity on various stantly holding talks with sosticking points like guarantee- called farmer leaders and oring the minimum support price g anisations who are not mechanism, electricity amend- associated with our movement. ment (ordinance) and ordi- This is an attempt to break our nance on air quality . movement,’’ Yadav added. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Chandigarh E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram “A case of sex and murder indeed”, said the CBI Special Court in Thiruvananthapuram while delivering the sentence against the culprits in the Sr Abhaya murder case on Wednesday The court . has sentenced Fr Thomas Kottoor and Sr Sephy to life imprisonment, a day after pronouncing the duo guilty of murdering the young nun who accidentally witnessed them engage in sexual acts. Special Court Judge K Sanilkumar also imposed a fine of `6.5 lakh on first accused Kottoor and `5.5 lakh on third accused Sephy. The CBI court had discharged second accused Fr Jose Poothrikkayil SHANAVAS dies after suffering 100% foreign investment in DTH sector, 20-yr licence heart attack Sufiyum Sujathayum director Shanavas Naranipuzha, who suffered a massive heart attack on the sets of a movie at Attappadi, died at a hospital in Kochi on Wednesday. P7 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s revised guidelines allowing 100% FDI in direct-to-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 the decision to collect licence fee 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. “The new guidelines will be in sync with the commerce ministry’s guidelines,” Union minister Prakash Javadekar said. E X P R E S S R EA D Higher edu institutes to reopen on Jan 4 T’Puram: The government has ordered the reopening of all higher educational institutions in the state on January 4. Saturdays will be working days in colleges. All staff have been asked to attend colleges from December 28. P5 18 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express Fr Thomas Kottoor and Sr Sephy being taken to prison after the court sentenced them | Express during the day K also imposed 1 Judge ofSanilkumaron first a fine C6.5 lakh accused Kottoor and C5.5 lakh on third accused Sephy Kottoor and Sephy sought leniency in the sentence citing ill health 2 Knanaya Church expresses regret over the development, highlights the right of the accused to appeal verdict 3 two years ago for want of evidence. “The fact that the accused persons were caught in flagrante delicto (“in blazing offence”) provoked (them) to do away with the deceased,” read the judgment, which backed the prosecution’s “copper bottomed allegation” that the case was one of sex and murder. Abhaya’s death was a homicide, and it has been proved that the “sexual act was the cause of the murder and murder was the effect of the sexual act”, the judgment said. The court reached the conclusion by relying on the statements of social worker Kalarcode Venugopal, petty thief Adakka Raju, Sephy’s medical examination report and circumstantial evi● More on P5 dence. Fork out `10K cr in Cairn tax case, Indian govt told E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Barely three months after Vodafone Plc won an international arbitration against India’s `22,100-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 in a ,” statement on Wednesday . face it Full declaration of ingredients, not cosmetic, mandatory 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 er’, as she was fondly called, made people realise several problems that left unaddressed and united them to raise their voice and seek justice. Her concern for nature made her take up the fight to preserve the evergreen forest in Silent Valley, the very existence of which was under threat in the late 1970s following a proposal to build a power generation project there. ‘Save Silent Valley’ became a successful nationwide movement and more importantly was instr umental in the formation of the Forest Conservation Act. Silent Valley was declared a national heritage in ● More on P4 1986. 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 Union 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. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Budget on Jan 15, to unveil grand plan Kochi: Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac will present the LDF government’s final budget on January 15. He projected it as a “watershed budget that builds on the strength of Kerala’s local self-government”. GOVERNOR Arif Mohammed Khan has responded to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s letter, saying he rejected the cabinet’s recommendation to convene a special assembly session on Wednesday because the government failed to convey the factors that necessitated it. He also sought to remind the chief minister that it was his duty to keep the governor informed of the government’s decisions. In his letter to the governor on Tuesday the , CM had said that Khan’s decision was contrary to the constitutional scheme. In his reply the governor said the farmers’ protest in , Delhi was an issue in which the state had no jurisdiction so as to offer any solution. Khan also expressed his displeasure over the contents of the CM’s letter to him -- which was marked “confidential” -- being released to the media. The governor said the government had on December 18 recommended convening of the budget session of the assembly on January 8 for which approval was given on De● More on P7 cember 21.
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