nagapattinam l monday l january 04, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l city EDITION sweeping war powers to xi in china’s new defence law Effective Jan 1, the decision-making powers on military policy rest with Xi Jinping-led Central Military Commission (CMC) right to mobilise military, civilian assets Provides legal ground to launch war State Council – China’s cabinet – will have a no say in defence matters as the revisions place sweeping powers into the hands of CMC to mobilise both military and civilian resources to defend its assets both in China and abroad. ‘Disruption’ and protection of ‘development interests’ added as grounds for mobilising and deploying troops and reserve forces ■ ■ Including ‘development interests’ provides legal grounds for the country to launch war to defend national development interests The CMC is now formally in charge of making national defence policy and principles, while the State Council becomes a mere implementing agency to provide support to the military 2 years Time taken by the National People’s Congress to pass the law 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 Bharat Biotech’s candidate yet to finish phase 3 trial, points out Oppn; bid to ridicule scientific community, says Nadda @ New Delhi e x p r e ss r e a d 17 killed in cremation ground roof collapse Ghaziabad: Seventeen people, most of them attending a funeral, were killed and 15 others injured when the roof of a shelter at a cremation ground in Uttar Pradesh’s Muradnagar collapsed on Sunday, police said | P8 TNCA at work to keep Covid out of T20 meet Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association gets ready to host the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 meet, as eight teams have arrived in the city. The teams have been stationed at different hotels, and a strict bio-secure bubble has been put in place As many as 50 out of 200 questions asked in the Group I preliminary examination conducted by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) were related to EVR Periyar, CN Annadurai, Thirukkural, the Justice Party and the Tamil , literature. The exams, which conventionally contain 10 per cent of questions related to the State, witnessed a sea of change after the TNSPC introduced two subjects — developmental administration and Thirukkural — in the syllabus of Group I and II exams in 2019. “Out of the 28 questions under ‘Developmental Administration’, 10 were on Periyar and the Justice Party alone. The remaining were on Annadurai, Rettaimalai Srinivasan and ongoing developmental schemes. This is unusual,” said Siva Balan, faculty Shankar IAS acad, emy, Chennai. In addition, 21 Bankura 2014 20.31% 39.1% 2019 49.2% (+28.92) 36.5% (-2.6) Bishnupur 2014 14.11% 45.5% 2019 46.25% (+32.14) 40.75% (-4.75) Midnapore 2014: 14.26% 46.5% 2019: 48.62% (+34.36) 42.32% (-4.19) Electorate in Scheduled Tribes 27% Junglemahal Scheduled Castes & OBCs 35% AGP stronghold Upper districts Central districts A medic conducts a dry run of Covid-19 vaccination on a health worker, at the Government Rajindra Hospital in Patiala on Sunday | PTI has not been reviewed in the case of Covaxin. Tharoor warned that the approval is premature, saying Covaxin’s use should be avoided as it could be dangerous. Union ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and Giriraj Singh took potshots at the Opposition. “Our in-house cynics M/s Jairam, Tharoor & Akhilesh are behaving true to form,” tweeted Puri. While Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and BSP head Mayawati lauded the scientific community SP chief Akhilesh , Yadav, who on Saturday said he would not take a ‘BJP vaccine’, adviced the government on Sunday to avoid a cosmetic approach. As for CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, he called for full disclosure of data of the trial phases. Govt’s case “COVAXIN is more likely to work against newer variants like N501Y Variant (UK variant) & any other that may arise due to antigenic drift as it contains immunogens (epitopes) from other genes in addition to those from Spike protein,” says Harsh Vardhan Covaxin is based on whole inactivated coronavirus; only 7 per cent persons receiving 6 microgram dose had mild symptoms Covaxin data shows it not only produces antibodies in all participants but also sensitises ‘CD4 T lymphocytes that imparts durable immune response, says Vardhan MP drafting law to make vandals pay up E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Bhopal Taking a leaf out of UP’s book, Madhya Pradesh is drafting a stringent law with a provision to auction the properties of stone-pelters to recover damages caused to public property or individuals. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s decision comes close on the heels of three incidents of clashes between two communities during the Ram temple fundraising processions taken out in Ujjain, Indore, and Mandsaur districts. “Their act not only causes damage to properties, but also poses a risk to human lives. While peaceful protests are the right of the citizens, vandals and arsonists have to be severely dealt with,” Chouhan said. When introduced, MP will become the second state after UP to have such a law. Periyar, Anna & Tamil litt feature in TNPSC exams B A n b u s e lva n @ Chennai Purulia 2014 7.15% 38.87% 2019 49.33% (+42.18) 34.19% (-4.68) Jhargram 2014 9.73% 54.6% 2019 44.56% (+34.83) 43.72% (-10.88) E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e Regulatory approvals to a couple of coronavirus vaccines on Sunday set off a political slugfest, with a section of the Opposition questioning the nod to Bharat Biotech’s homegrown Covaxin, since it is yet to complete phase 3 trials. While Congress leaders sought full disclosure of Covaxin’s data, BJP chief J P Nadda tore into the Opposition for coming up with “wild theories” to “ridicule” the accomplishments. The Congress remained divided, with chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala hailing the scientific community, but deputy leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh and Shashi Tharoor asking searching questions on the haste in according approval to Covaxin. The Congress troika demanded Union health minister Harsh Vardhan’s explanation on why mandatory protocols and verification of data had been done away for Covaxin. Soon enough, Vardhan reacted sharply, saying: “Disgraceful for anyone to politicize a critical issue”. Sharma, who heads the Parliamentary panel on the Ministry of Home Affairs, which had deliberated on the Covid-19 management plan, noted that the data on safety and efficacy Junglemahal vote share (LS poll) BJP TMC west bengal Nod to Covaxin triggers concern, political joust Positioning for powerplay questions were on Thirukkural and the Tamil literature. “Eight questions were exclusively on Thirukkural and its contents. The questions would be difficult for regular job seekers. Hence, the cut-off will be low,” added Balan. In general, unsuccessful UPSC aspirants easily crack the TNSPC Group I exam as the syllabus for latter would be less. In 2019, the TNPSC seemingly altered the syllabus in such a way that it would be difficult for non-Tamils to pass the exams, alleged sources. “Considering the weightage given for Thirukkural, Tamil literature and modern political history, it would be extremely difficult for an outsider to clear the exam,” said N Sucharithan, faculty of a coaching institute. Under the current affairs section, questions on the Tamil movie, Pariyerum Perumal, were also asked. Surprisingly, only five questions were asked on Covid-19. thumb impression The TNPSC, for the first time, introduced additional measures to curb malpractice, by recording the left thumb impressions of the applicants on the answer sheet. A senior TNPSC official said, “Extra 15 minutes of time was given to candidates to fill the new columns in the OMR sheet. Also, they have to mention the total number of answers selected under each option. Both the exercises were carried out in presence of the invigilator, and the last 15 minutes’ session was recorded on video as well.” P r a n a b M o n d a l & P r a s a n ta M a z u m d a r @ Kolkata/Guwahati Call them spoilers, proxies or B-teams, with Assembly elections in West Bengal and Assam just months away, two political parties have thrown their hat in the ring, one in each state, with the sole aim of damaging bigger and more established players. While the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has declared that it will contest the West Bengal elections, not for the Tinsukia assam Dibrugarh Sivasagar Kamrup Kamrup Metro spoilers threaten to muddle poll play in bengal and Assam Jorhat Golaghat Nagaon AGP in 2016 elections contested 26 seats Won 14 Seats won by AGP in Upper and Central Assam 9 first time though, newbie Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP) has entered the fray in Assam. Most do not give them any chance and say they will be mere also-rans. But they are expected to be crucial tools in the hands of the serious contenders to play the role of a spoiler. The JMM is expected to damage the chances of the BJP, benefiting the Trinamool Congress, as both are expected to vie for the votes of tribals, among whom the BJP has made major inroads recently . The AJP could do the same to the Asom Gana Parishad, a BJP ally and this could be to the ad, vantage of the Congress. Like the AGP the new party’s leader, ship comes mainly from former activists of the All-Assam Students’ Union with regionalism its ideological mooring. Political circles in both the states believe the JMM and the AJP have been propped up by the Trinamool and the Congress respectively to do what the All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen did to the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar last year. In the closely contested Bihar elections, Asaduddin Owaisi’s party contested 14 seats in the Muslim-dominated areas, winning five and hurting the RJD. Why the BJP believes the JMM is a Trinamool proxy is not far to seek. In the 2016 Assembly elections, the Jharkhand party contested 23 seats, 14 of them in the tribal-dominated districts Jhargram, Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore, popularly called Junglemahal. Continued on: P8 EPS: Overwhelming youth support has Will not let given better scope for AIADMK’s win Stalin rule TN: Alagiri ‘effective implementation of Kudimaramathu’ E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Thoothukudi Lauding the youth’s effort in supporting the AIADMK in the election campaigns, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said that the overwhelming support of Tamil Nadu’s youth has boosted and given better scope for the party in the upcoming polls. He was addressing the members of the IT wing and youth wing of the party at Kovilpatti on Sunday . Advising the youth to change their lifestyle with regards to the scientific advancements, Palaniswami said that the youth should work as soldiers in defeating the DMK in the upcoming Assembly elections. Stating that the AIADMK government runs on people’s interest, he claimed that if the DMK came into governance, Hitler’s rule would resume. Criticising DMK president MK Stalin’s comment on equating farmers with rowdies, Palaniswami said that disregarding the farmers’ community was highly condemnable. “My gestures resemble that of a farmer, while Stalin resembles a rowdy as he has V i n o d h A r u l a p pa n @ Madurai During his campaign at the Villiseri village, the Chief Minister said that the AIADMK has implemented effective Kudimaramathu schemes and built check dams across rivers to harness waters, which is the key for agriculture Former Union Minister MK Alagiri on Sunday said his brother MK Stalin cannot become the Chief Minister and that his supporters will make sure it does not happen. Addressing his supporters in Madurai, the elder son of former CM M Karunanidhi said, he had remained quiet for seven long years, but not anymore. “He was the life of the party and they (Stalin and others) forgot him.” Speaking on the recent statements of DMK senior functionaries that Stalin has outshone Karunanidhi, Alagiri said: “At no time can Stalin transcend the qualities of Karunanidhi and no one can ever replace Kalaignar.” Recalling the days after his expulsion, Alagiri said he met his father and asked when he would be taken back, for which Karunanidhi replied, indirectly pointing at Stalin, “Let’s wait until they finishing mucking around.” P4 Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami addressing the public meeting held at Kovilpatti in Thoothukudi district on Sunday | Express indulged in rowdyism,” Palaniswami added. While soliciting votes at Vilathikulam, Palaniswami refuted Stalin’s comment on dissecting AIADMK party into three and said that the party was strong and that no one could break it. Recalling the DMK’s poll promise made during the 2006 polls, he asked the Vilathikulam people if they received the two-acre land that was promised to be allocated to every household. “Public should think before casting their votes,” he added. continued on: p4 covid-19 tamil nadu’s battle against virus continues Tamil Nadu reported 867 new cases and 10 deaths on Sunday, taking the tally to 8,20,712 and toll to 12,156. Active cases now stand at 8,127. No cases of infected UK returnees were reported WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) sweet success Farmers in Thiruvalarsolai carrying harvested sugarcane to the market for Pongal sale | M K ASHOK KUMAR c u c um b e r t a l e s TN farms to tables abroad: A business so ‘cool’ R SI V A K U M A R @ Tirupattur FOODIES may agree that a sumptuous meal is never complete without a plate of green salad. And what occupies a major part of the salad plate than the neatlycut juicy, round-shaped cucumber! Well, that’s not the juicy part of the story This humble vegeta. ble has just helped a Tamil Nadu exports company make an annual turnover of `65 crore. Freshara Picklz Exports, a com- pany situated at Velakkalnatham, a tiny village in Tirupattur district, has been exporting processed cucumber to clients located in about 35 countries. Preserved gherkin, and processed baby cucumber are the major items that they export. An overview at their business shows they have been exporting close to 800 containers of the products, weighing about 13,000 tonnes, every year to overseas clients. “We enter into an agreement with farmers from Tirupattur, Salem and Dharmapuri districts, and provide them with seeds and inputs,” says Yusuf, manager of Freshara Picklz Exports. The idea to explore the hardlytapped potential of cucumber exports struck Junaid Ahmed, when his father prodded him to look for a career outside the construction sector. “I zeroed in on this business after a lot of research,” says Junaid, the managing director of the company He started the firm . in 2014-15, with an investment of `5 crore. The company had won the best exports firm award in 2017-18.
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