tiruchy l tuesday l december 29, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION virat KOhli headlines ICC’s players of decade honours India captain wins Sir Garfield Sobers award for the best Male Cricketer of the Decade. Named ODI Player of the Decade too. Beats De Villiers, sanga to top award Kohli beat R Ashwin, Joe Root, Kumar Sangakkara, Steve Smith, AB de Villiers and Kane Williamson for Player of the Decade award. 66 out of his 70 international centuries came in this decade. He was also the batsman with most fifties (94), most runs (20,396), besides having the maximum average (56.97) among players with 70 innings | P11 ■ 1 Dhoni wins spirit of cricket award ■ MS Dhoni won the ‘ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade’, chosen by fans for his gesture of calling back England batsman Ian Bell after a bizarre run out in the Nottingham Test in 2011. Steve Smith was chosen the Test Cricketer of the Decade, while Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan bagged the top prize in T20Is. Kohli is the only player to make it to three ICC teams of the decade 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 An alliance would be formed under the AIADMK umbrella, and the party manifesto for the 2021 Assembyl polls would be released soon BJP State president L Murugan calls on Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at the Secretariat in Chennai on Monday EPS: people won’t accept coalition E X P R E S S N E W S S E RVI C E @ Coimbatore/Chennai REAFFIRMING the AIADMK’s political position that steered the party’s campaign launch a day earlier, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Monday that the people of Tamil Nadu would not accept a coalition government in the State. Responding to queries from reporters in Coimbatore, Palaniswami said that an alliance would be formed under the AIADMK umbrella, and that its manifesto for the 2021 polls would be released soon. On why the BJP was yet to announce a chief ministerial candidate, he said that the poll dates were yet to be announced and that could be the probable reason. “The AIADMK has announced its CM candidate as we have already commenced our election campaign,” he added. ‘Ties still strong’ Earlier in the day, BJP State president L Murugan clarified that the party’s alliance with the AIADMK would remain strong. He, however, evaded questions on the ruling party’s “no power share” stand after the elections. He simply stated: “You will get answers to such queries within a few days.” Murugan was addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters in Chennai after meeting the Chief Minister at the Secretariat. The meeting assumes significance as it took place a day after the AIADMK kick-started its election campaign with a clear message to the saffron party that it would not be in any power sharing arrangement. However, Murugan said that his meeting with the Chief Minister was for a different reason — “to hand over documents of a signature campaign that carried around 50 lakh signatures in support of the National Education Policy 2020”. The State unit of the BJP had conducted the campaign in support of the Centre’s new educational policy . The Federation for National Education Policy comprising re, tired vice-chancellors and educationists, numbering around two lakhs, had signed in this campaign. continued on: p4 Edappadi K Palaniswami, Chief Minister Earlier in the day, BJP State president L Murugan said, the saffron party’s alliance with the AIADMK would remain strong. However, he evaded questions from reporters seeking his comments on AIADMK’s stand of not sharing power after the 2021 Assembly elections Murugan meets CM Murugan said that his meeting with the CM was “to hand over documents of a signature campaign that carried over 50 lakh signatures in support of the NEP” Modi mediation to address Kerala’s decades-old Malankara church dispute E X P R E S S N E W S S E RVI C E @ Kochi A raging church dispute in Kerala that has defied solution despite the Supreme Court’s speaking orders and the state government’s mediation attempts, landed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s doorstep on Monday Representatives of the Orthodox faction met . Modi in New Delhi, seeking resolution to the decades-old row in Kerala’s Malankara Church, while the Jacobite faction will meet him on Tuesday to present their side of the story “The meeting . was cordial and the Prime Minister promised us to work towards an amicable solution,” said Orthodox Church synod secretary Metropolitan Mar Diascoros. Mizoram Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai, who has been holding parleys with both factions to end the dispute, said a clear picture would emerge after the talks with the Jacobite faction on Tuesday . It’s a 100-year-old dispute and there are certain contentious issues. The PM is making a sincere effort to resolve the issue P S Sreedharan Pillai Vaccine doses ready for delivery on govt nod: Serum Institute E X P R E S S N E W S S E RVI C E @ New Delhi Fifty million doses of the Covishield vaccine are ready, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), said on Monday adding that he hopes to get the emergency use authorisation in India soon. Poonawalla’s statement comes days after the SII, the Indian manufacturing and clinical trial partner for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, submitted additional data to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation. According to industry sources, India is likely to give the green light at the same as the UK which reportedly looks at January 4 to roll it out. Covishield is being tested on about 1,700 individuals in India as part of a multi-country phase-3 trial of the vaccine, which has shown 70% efficacy on an average in two different dosing regimens. In response to a query on how much of the readied stockpile will India get, Poonawalla said, “India has such a large population that we will probably end up giving the majority of those 50 million doses to India first.” Poonawalla also said that after the company receives the required regulatory approval, it will be up to the government to decide “how much they can take and how fast”. Speaking about production targets, he said SII will produce around 300 million doses of Covishield by July next year. On the availability of the vaccine in the coming months, Poonawalla said the first six months of 2021 may see a shortage globally . Wednesday date set for fresh talks Farmer unions accept govt invite; no meeting ground yet on the three contentious reform laws H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh The sixth round of talks between the government and the agitating farmers will be held on Wednesday, with the Centre sending a formal invite to 40 kisan unions on Monday Later, the unions con. veyed their consent. Union Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Aggarwal’s letter referred to the response of the unions on December 26 accepting the Centre’s offer for talks and invited them to Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi at 2 pm on December 30 for the dialogue. He reiterated the Centre’s commitment to find a ‘logical resolution’ with an open mind and clear intention. “During this meeting, the concerns of farmers regarding three farmer laws, system of procurement on MSP, ordinance 2020 on Air Quality Management in Na- sethusamudram `2,427-crore project dying due to lawsuits? C S h i v a k u m a r @ Chennai Is the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP) slowly dying due to litigations in the Supreme Court? Official sources say the `2,427-crore project has been dormant for years due to litigations and there are no new developments. The Centre had set up the Sethusamudram Corporation, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), under the Companies Act in 2004, to raise funds and implement the SSCP — a shorter shipping route between the country’s east and west coasts. The SPV included the participation of the Shipping Corporation, Dredging Corporation, Kamarajar Port, and Chennai, Vizag, Paradip and Chidambaranar Port Trusts. The project was inaugurated during the UPA-1 regime in 2006. Initially, `4,000 crore was allotted to start dredging for the new shipping canal. It has been learnt that the Sethusamudram Corporation has passed a resolution seeking an additional grant of `115.72 crore to settle the dues of Dredging Corporation of India for the dredging work carried out at the project site along with a proposal to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. The official confirmed that a resolution was passed, but refused to comment further. tional Capital Region and Adjoining Areas besides amending the draft Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 would be discussed in detail,” the one-page letter stated. But arriving at a common ground would not be easy as the farmer unions want nothing short of the repeal of the three laws, while the Centre is willing to make amendments but not take the roll back road. When the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella group of 40 farmer unions, had on Saturday written to the government proposed talks on December 29, it had laid out a stiff four-point agenda beginning with the modalities for repealing the three farm laws. The Centre’s letter on Monday mentions the other three points flagged by the unions but skirts the repeal part. Bharatiya Kisan Union (La- Farmers during their agitation, at Ghazipur border in New Delhi on Monday | PTI ‘Pawar wanted to do it’ Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said former PM Manmohan Singh and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar wanted to bring farm reforms during UPA rule, but couldn’t due to political pressure khowal) general secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal said, “we decided to attend the December 30 meeting, as we do not want to give the government any chance to say that the farmers backed out of discussions. However, there is no change in our demands.” Reacting to the vandalisation of over 1,500 telecom towers in Punjab so far, Lakhowal said, “we did not give any call to cut power supply to towers of a specific mobile company, as it would affect studies of students at the time of the pandemic. We only requested people to get their mobile numbers ported to any other mobile operator in protest.” As for the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, it found the Centre’s letter cleverly worded while not willing to discuss the full agenda proposed by farmers. P7 CM calls for extra vigil during festivities amid new strain scare E X P R E S S N E W S S E RVI C E @ Chennai TAKING stock of the panic gripping the people in the wake of the new strain of virus rearing its head, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday asked district officials to remain extra vigilant during the forthcoming New Year and Pongal festivities. Chairing a video conference meeting with the District Collectors to discuss Covid prevention measures, Palaniswami said the samples of the 13 UK returnees, who tested positive recently have , been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, for ge- TN covid count fresh cases nome sequencing, and only after the report comes can one confirm the new strain and provide treatment accordingly. He also used this occasion to appeal to the public to continue wearing face masks to prevent further spread of the infection. He said, “According to medical experts, the spread of the new strain has more potential because people are not adhering to face mask compliance,” said Palaniswami. He expressed concern that people were now taking the pandemic lightly as the number of cases have been declining steadily. Except in a Deaths total cases 1,005 11 8,15,175 few districts, the infection rate has come down in TN, he said. The infection rate in the State currently stood at 5.84 per cent, and the fatality rate at 1.48. The government has so far, spent `7,544 crore on containing the infection, for treatment and relief, he said. He added, over 6.17 lakh fever camps had been conducted across the State, and over 3.26 crore were screened, so far. The State continued to record a downward trend on the day, with 1,005 fresh cases. Three more contacts of UK returnees tested positive, taking the total number of infected contacts of the returnees to 15. Among the 93 contacts of the 13 positive returnees, 77 tested negative, and the result of one was awaited. Backstory In September 2014, the then Shipping Minister, Nitin Gadkari, said the Union government has given RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Service) the task of preparing alternatives to save Ram Sethu a ride worth it A few excited onlookers, seated on a camel, catch a glimpse of the colourful evening skies over Madurai on Monday | kk sundar wizard with a chisel SII launches indigenously developed pneumonia vaccine New Delhi: Serum Institute of India on Monday launched the country’s first indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine PNEUMOSIL for children in the presence of Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Carving a path for herself, one door at a time S O W M YA MA N I @ Pudukkottai IT is 8 am on a chilly December morning and the continuous sound of chiselling cuts through the silent monotony of the street next to the Government Museum here. A small girl, all of 12 years, is crouching on a block of wood, with a set of tools near her. A few curious steps closer, and one could see that she is halfway through carving out a beautiful design on a wooden door. Anjana Sri is a car- penter’s daughter who was drawn to this art at a very young age. Soon, with help from her father, it became her part-time profession. The pandemic-induced lockdown came as a blessing in disguise, giving her enough time to pursue her interest and learn from her guru — her father, Muthukumar. With a mind filled with creativity, Anjana took to carpentry like a duck to water, says the fa- ther of the class 7 student. “She draws the designs very well. I taught her how to use the chisel and other tools for carving. It did not take her much time to pick up the art and now she can carve an entire double door, all by herself,” says a proud Muthukumar. It takes almost a day to carve a design on one part of a door. For a double door, it takes about four days from ideation to execution, says Anjana. Such is her focus I taught her how to use the chisel for carving. It did not take her much time to pick up the art and now she can carve an entire double door, all by herself - Muthukumar, Anjana’s father that she has no time to lift her head and respond to this curious reporter. She continues working and speaks less, letting her work do the talking. “There are about 70-80 types of chisels. It is important to know which one to use for what kind of wood, depending on its quality I’ve learnt all this from . my father, and hope to follow his footsteps,” says Anjana, who has also been training in Silambam and Bharatanatyam. Muthukumar has been in the profession for 27 years. Father to three girls, he hopes to pass on the baton to his oldest, Anjana.
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