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 ■ ■ HUBBALLI l saturday l january 30, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION Drama at Singhu, Ghazipur peaceful We don’t need lecture on respecting national flag from these people. Majority of farmers who are sitting here have their children fighting on the border for the country ‘Local’ mob clashes with agitators demanding that they vacate the site; police summon 9 leaders E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi A day after the police tried to evict farmers from Ghazipur, action on Friday shifted to the Singhu border — the nerve centre of the ongoing protests against the three farm laws — where a group of ‘locals’ clashed with agitators demanding that they vacate it. The Delhi Police and security personnel resorted to lathicharge and launched tear gas shells to control the situation as both sides resorted to stoning and the mob allegedly snatched batons from security forces to attack the protestors. The clashes began after more than 100 locals reached the site with placards and the Tricolour around 1.15 pm and shouted slogans like Jai Shri Ram, Goli Maaro Salon Ko, Desh Ke Ghaddaron ko, Khalisthan Khali Karo, Desh kaUpmaan, National Flag ka Upmaan nahi chalega and Khalistani Bhagao, Singhu Safayee Karo. They alleged damaged tents and other paraphernalia of farmers, which led to retaliation. In the melee, Delhi Police SHO (Alipur) Pradeep Paliwal was injured as a man allegedly attacked him with a sword. “These people carrying national flags who claimed to be local but were paid agents of agencies came with stones and lathis and asked us (farmers) to vacate the highway as we have been sitting , here on dharna for two months. After heated exchange of words, they attacked our tents, pelted stones on us and hit us with lathis,” said Harinder Singh Lalhowal, general secretary of BKU (Lakhowal). In contrast, the UP-Delhi bor- der at Ghazipur was peaceful, but the crowd swelled in the morning following an emotional appeal by Rakesh Tikait, national spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), after his emotional appeal a day earlier. Farmers in batches, small business owners, and social and political activists kept visiting the protest site in droves. From diminishing in size after the Republic Day violence, the numbers began to go up, with encampments now spread about 6 km on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway . Farmers in large numbers on their tractor-trailers from Punjab and Haryana are also moving back towards Singhu and Tikri borders. Earlier in the day, a mahapanchayat of farmers in Muzaffarnagar decided to throw weight behind the BKU. The GIC ground near Mahaveer Chowk, where the meeting took place, was jam packed. Hundreds of tractors with the Tricolour and flags of farm unions were parked along city roads, disrupting traffic movement. The mahapanchayat was called by BKU national president Naresh Tikait after the Ghazipur developments. Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh has already announced his support to the BKU and his son Jayant Chaudhary met Tikait at Ghazipur. Meanwhile, the Delhi Police sent notices through WhatsApp messenger app to nine farmer leaders to join the investigation in connection with the violence at Red Fort on January 26. A police team also visited their tents where they pasted the notices, police officials said. Yudhvir Singh, farmer leader Demand to withdraw FIRs against journos Police personnel pin down a farmer (top), who allegedly attacked police Station House Officer (Alipur) Pradeep Paliwal, during clashes between locals and farmers at the Singhu Border in Delhi on Friday; and a man hurls a stone at protesters at Singhu as policemen look on | PTI president defends new farm laws New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday defended the contentious farm laws in his address to Parliament and described the recent Republic Day violence as unfortunate. With the laws put in abeyance on the Supreme Court’s orders, Kovind said the government will abide by the verdict of the highest court of the nation. While he addressed a range of issues, including the tension on the China border, the biggest focus of his speech was on the agriculture sector | P7 With the Noida Police and the Madhya Pradesh Police filing FIRs against Congress MP Sashi Tharoor and senior journalists Rajdeep Sardesai, Mrinal Pande, Zafar Agha, Paresh Nath, Anant Nath and Vinod Jose for misleading tweets/retweets over the Republic Day violence, media bodies, including the Editor’s Guild, demanded their withdrawal, saying it was an attempt to browbeat and intimidate the media. The FIRs were booked under 10 different provisions, including the sedition law Survey sees V-rebound, growth @ 11% High alert after blast Focus on R&D, Jugaad outside Israeli Embassy J aya n ta R o y C h o w d h u r y @ New Delhi E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi A low intensity blast occurred on the high-security posh Abdul Kalam Road near Israel Embassy on Friday evening at a time when the annual Beating Retreat ceremony was underway at Vijay Chowk near Rashtrapati Bhavan, sending security officials in a tizzy President Ram Nath Ko. vind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the three Service Chiefs were attending the ceremony just a few km away from the location of the blast. While no injury or casualty was reported, three cars parked nearby on the opposite side of the carriageway suffered minor damages. Friday also happened to mark the Delhi police after cordoning off the area outside the Israeli Embassy where the bomb exploded | Parveen Negi 29th anniversary of India and Israel establishing full diplomatic relations back in 1992. While the officials in the security establishment said the blast was being investigated as an attempted ‘security attack’, Delhi Police called it a ‘mischievous’ attempt to create a sensation. India is likely to grow by 11% in the next financial year (FY22), the annual Economic Survey tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha on Friday said, predicting a V-shaped recovery from the sharp 7.7% economic contraction in this pandemichit year. “With the economy’s returning to normalcy brought closer by the initiation of a mega vaccination drive, hopes of a robust recovery in services sector, consumption, and investment have been rekindled,” said the Survey. However, it cautioned it would take at least two years to get back to the prepandemic levels. The Survey, an annual exercise in economic stocktaking Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian and future policy prescriptions, drew lessons from the pandemic to strongly recommend raising healthcare spending from 1% to 2.5-3% of GDP . It indicated that the government would overshoot its fiscal deficit target by a wide mark and may look at increased spending and stimulus measures in the year ahead to push growth. Former member of the PM’s Economic Advisory Council and Chief Economist with Brickwork ratings Dr M Govin- The key takeaways Women empowerment Rising from down under IT boom continues express read 3 militants killed in encounter in Pulwama Pakistan army targets forward posts along LoC Srinagar:Three militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Friday, police said. The encounter broke out after militants opened fire at the security forces, who retaliated. Srinagar: Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire on Friday as they opened heavy fire and lobbed mortars at forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, prompting a befitting retaliation from the Indian Army. in soup MLC stirs row over ‘video clip’ in House E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bengaluru Congress member of the Le gislative Council and former Ranji cricketer Prakash Rathod found himself in the eye of a storm on Friday after a vernacular television channel claimed that he was watching a ‘sleazy video clip’ inside the House. In a video doing the rounds, the lawmaker can be seen scrolling through the gallery on his mobile phone. When contacted, Prakash Rathod explained that he had listed a question (No. 7 on the agenda), which is sent to members on their computers or mobile phones. “I was checking for the download on my mobile phone when I noticed that the device was clogged and hence, I was scrolling and deleting some content to clear phone memory This is when the TV chan. nel took the visuals and has been mischievously claiming that I was watching porn inside the House,” he said. P4 GDP to replicate V-shaped performance Norms relaxation enable IT-BPM of Indian cricket team in Australia to companies to ‘Work from Home’ scale historic heights after a poor start to post growth Bollywood’s Bare Necessity link Tinsel town’s rhetoric on ‘Roti, Kapda Aur Makan’ (Food, clothing and housing) mirrors socio-economic issues of country Saved 1 lakh lives Strong lockdown measures helped restrict cases by 37 lakh, save 1 lakh lives More teeth to redress system Current ombudsman set up is only advisory in nature, rendering it ineffective da Rao said: “Relaxation in fiscal deficit targets may be necessary, and the government may have to revise the target upwards for the current year in view of the need to augment capital expenditures.” While analysts at Barclays say the fiscal deficit has widened to 7.7% of GDP, Darren Aw, Asia Economist at Capital Economics, calculated it at 8%. This is against a target of 3.5% set in this year’s Budget. Chief Economic Advisor Dr K Subramanian said: “Reforms must go on to enable India to realise its potential growth and erase the adverse impact of the pandemic.” Analysts predict a spate of state-run enterprise privatisations and asset sales in the budget to help fund infrastructure spending the government is likely to have planned. P10 Power point India’s Transmission & Distribution losses are over 20 Per cent of generation, twice the world average Promote non-discriminatory practices like pay and career progression to increase female participation rate Agriculture as modern biz Bats for urgent reforms to transform farming into modern business enterprise Upskilling children Vocational courses for skill development of students from classes 9 to 12 Online education a great leveler Online schooling can reduce inequalities in educational outcomes if well-utilised School tuition fee cut by 30 pc, nothing else to be paid e x p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e @ Bengaluru Parents of students studying in schools under the state board, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) boards will pay only the tuition fee for the year 2020-21, that too 30 per cent lesser than the previous year, Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said on Friday . No other fees — like term fee, school development fee or under any other head — can be charged by the schools, the minister announced. Parents who have to pay up pending fees should be given the choice of paying in two to three instalments, he said, adding that schools had not run for six months, but teachers had to be paid salaries, and hence this arrangement. Any school wanting to charge a lesser fee is welcome to do so, and in cases where parents have already paid excess fees, it can be adjusted for the next academic year. Suresh Kumar told reporters that all the stakeholders had been consulted. While on the one hand, paying fees was difficult for parents, on the other, paying salaries to school staff had emerged as a major problem for school managements in face of the Covid-19 pandemicrelated circumstances. S R Umashankar, Principal Secretary, Department of Primary & Secondary Education, said, “Tuition fee also includes salaries paid to staff and others like library fee. There are several other fees beside tuition fee — for instance school development fee, donations to trusts that run the school, transport fee and other extracurricular fee — all of which have been scrapped since those services had not been provided. Online education has been given, but no extra amount can be charged for it, and the tuition fee will cover online education.” To deal with the differences of opinion between parents and administrators regarding the fee issue, Kumar said state-level and district-level committees, empowered to oversee the process, are being constituted. P5 PU II examinations from MAY 24 The PU II examinations will be held from May 24 to June 10, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Suresh Kumar announced on Friday. The minister also announced a tentative time-table for the exams. P5 can take you only so far THE FINDINGS Companies contribute much lesser to the country’s gross expenditure on R&D (37%) when compared to businesses in each of the Top 10 economies (68% on average) In terms of R&D workforce, the Economic Survey said the govt sector contributes the highest share of total R&D personnel (36%) and researchers (23%) amongst Top 10 economies (50% on average) B i s m a h M a l i k @ Bengaluru The Economic Survey-2021, released on Friday sounded critical of Indian firms’ expen, ditures on Research and Development (R&D) saying that “mere reliance on Jugaad innovation can risk the country missing crucial opportunities”. On the brighter side, India improved its ranking on the Global Innovation Index (GII), entering the list of world’s top 50 innovating countries, ranked at 48. When it came to competing with the top 10 global economies, especially China, India lagged much behind on the basis of seven pillars of GII including knowledge and technology outputs (KTO-27th rank) market sophistication (31), business sophistication(55), human capital and research (HCR-60) institutions (61) creative output (64) and infrastructure (75). “India must significantly ramp up investment in R&D if it is to achieve its aspiration of emerging as the third largest economy in terms of GDP (current US dollars). Mere reliance on “Jugaad innovation” risks missing the crucial opportunity to innovate our way into the future. This requires a major thrust on R&D by the business sector,” the Survey stated. The Economic Survey blamed the country’s business sector’s lesser contribution for India’s dismal gross expenditure on R&D(0.65% of GDP) , much lower than that of the top 10 economies (1.5-3 % of GDP). Neighbouring China, as per the Survey, had targeted its gross expenditure on R&D as part of GDP to touch 2.5% in 2020. Panel blames Horatti, BJP members for Council fracas E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bengaluru A n i n t e r i m re p o r t o f the House Committee, constituted by Legislative Council chair man Pratapchandra Shetty to probe the unruly scenes on the floor of the House of December 15, has indicted JDS MLC Basavaraj Horatti, who is tipped to be elected chair man of the House, and Pranesh M K, who was appointed Deputy Chairman only on Friday . The committee’s report also has blamed Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan and then Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy for the fracas. The committee has based its findings on complaints from marshals, CCTV camera footage from the House and other visual evidence brought on record. The final report of the panel will be submitted after P4 a week. nutty row After brouhaha over areca, nut taken off narcotics list on govt website e x p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e @ Bengaluru What’s a hearty meal without a juicy paan-beeda to top it off ? And what’s a paan-beeda without betelnuts? You’d be surprised to know that arecanut, a major cash crop, was listed as a narcotic substance by the government on one of its online portals. The government’s war on narcotic drugs may have received appreciation from many , including lawmakers, but its move to put arecanut, also considered a sacred offering in Hindu culture, under the narcotics category, certainly did not go down well with legislators. In fact, it angered them so much that they took the government to task and forced it to immediately correct its folly . Just when areca growers in the state were hoping to get a good price for their produce, they were shocked to see it had been listed in the narcotics category on the ‘Krishi Marata Vahini’, an online agricultural marketing information system that gives information about various commodities in the state. Sources in Krishi Vahini said they had taken it from a Government of India website, translated it and uploaded it on the website. Minutes after the issue was discussed in the Assembly, it was taken off the website. The government may have been quick to make amends, but it had already ruffled feathers. On Friday, legislators demanded action against those responsible for such a blunder that hurt areca growers’ sentiments and also resulted in a sudden drop in prices. Initiating the debate on the issue in the Assembly, BJP MLA Hartal Halappa said they were aghast to know that areca was placed under the narcotics category that too on a govern, ment website. The legislators sought to know who took such a decision and why. “Such a move has resulted in a drop in areca prices in Shivamogga P3 market,” he said.
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