HYDERABAD SUNDAY FEBRUARY 21, 2021 `8.00 PAGES 24 LATE CITY EDITION OSAKA RULES AUS OPEN, WINS FOURTH GRAND SLAM TITLE SUNDAY BLOCKBUSTER: THE MEN’S FINAL Novak Djokovic will play for his 18th Grand Slam title while his opponent Medvedev will play for his first when they meet in the Australian Open final on Sunday. Djokovic leads Daniil Medvedev 4-3 in head to head. However, Medvedev seems to be in form with a 20-match winning streak since October — Djokovic too had been one of the casualties | P11 The Japanese needed 77 minutes to sweep past Jennifer Brady of the US in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 in women’s ﬁnal SHINING STAR DESTINED FOR MORE ■ ■ ■ The 23-year-old becomes only the third player after Monica Seles and Roger Federer to win her first four major finals She had won 2018 US Open, the 2019 Aus Open & 2020 US Open Her win sparked celebration in corona-hit Japan. An astronaut tweeted ‘congratulations’ from international Space Station TWO OSAKA WILL RISE TO TWO IN WORLD RANKING ON MONDAY 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 Let’s work together to usher in growth, Modi tells states Infosys to invest `2.5k cr in Hyd facility, will add 20,000 jobs Urges setting up of district export promotion councils; purging of redundant laws A I H I K S U R @ Hyderabad IN a major development, multinational technology giant Infosys will invest `2,500 crore in Telangana for expanding its facility in Pocharam, with a potential of emp l o y i n g n e a rl y 2 0 , 0 0 0 I T professionals. It proposes to construct more software development blocks, food courts, an auditorium, a common amenities building and a multilevel car parking in 329.84 acres. The area is part of the 447-acre land parcel that Infosys had bought in 2008 from the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation. The Pocharam campus in Ghatkesar mandal of MedchalMalkajgiri district is spread across 117.23 acres. With the expansion, the total built-up area of Infosys in Hyderabad will increase by 3.84 lakh sqm to 7.74 lakh sqm. Currently Infosys has six high, rises in its Pocharam facility dedicated to software development. The firm plans to build four more software development blocks, with the highest tower rising up to 15 floors. The work will be divided into two phases, for which the company has sought environmental clearance. Once it receives the green nod, it aims at completing phase-1 in three years, after which it will take up phase-2 at a later date based on market demand. Employment opportunities According to a document, the Pocharam facility provides direct employment to about 22,430 people. After the expansion, there is a potential of employing 19,270 more directly. The project will also provide indirect employment towards security and so on. Apart from this, the Pocharam campus already has a functional 6.56-MW solar plant and a 1,165KWP rooftop solar power project. The tech giant plans to install a ground-based solar PV plant and a rooftop solar energy system. 117.23 acres is the area of the technology giant’s Pocharam campus located in Ghatkesar mandal of MedchalMalkajgiri district. With the expansion, the total built-up area of Infosys in Hyderabad will increase by 3.84 lakh sqm to 7.74 lakh sqm WITH THIS ISSUE THAT GUT FEELING PLUS 12 PAGES M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi STEADY RISE IN COVID GRAPH 6,112 New cases in Maharashtra on Saturday Punjab Failure to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour is at the heart of the continuing rise of new cases in Maharashtra this week Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Chhattisgarh 10,000 New cases on an average in Maharashtra when the virus was at its peak earlier A BMC Covid marshal clicking a pic of a maskless girl at a Mumbai local station on Saturday | PTI 44 4 States 75.87% Kerala, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and MP, where upsurge has been worrying of the total cases on Saturday are from Maharashtra and Kerala fresh cases in Vidarbha testing, contact tracing to be revived Vigilance squads formed for surprise raids at wedding parties and other social gatherings Aggressive Deaths tied to Covid reported in Maharashtra Kerala Most 101 Deaths reported from across India 23 Deaths reported from Kerala (15) and Punjab (8) in past 24 hours 10th round of talks begins, India-China special reps to pick up the thread next M AYA N K S I N G H & P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi AS the 10th round of India-China corps commander-level talks were held on Saturday to disengage troops from other friction points along the line of actual control (LAC), sources indicated that the special representatives of the two countries on the boundary dispute were likely to meet soon. Sources said the two special representatives, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, will meet to iron out the differences in the perception of the LAC. The two special representatives last held a video conference in June last year, setting the ball rolling for the disengagement. They have been in touch ever since, sources said. The 10th round of talks is being held between Lt Gen P G K Menon and Chinese Major General Lin Liu. “The modalities of the disengagement will be dependent on agreements the two sides will reach during the talks,” a senior Army officer said, adding it was important that a politico-military will to act was demonstrated. Sources said both the governments had taken steps to normalise ties. The Indians had made it clear to the Chinese that the use of force would not be tolerated but discussions to ensure a positive result with regard to all outstanding issues of the LAC can be held. “The change in the approach re- SAYING that the youth cannot wait for development any longer, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked the states to embark on the reform journey Speaking at the sixth . governing council meeting of the Niti Aayog, the prime minister exhorted chief ministers to align state budgets with the Union budget, asking them to work on their respective pipeline of infrastructure projects, besides setting up task forces to lessen compliance burdens for the people and businesses. Modi said private enterprises, which have shown much enthusiasm, should be embraced by the states for accelerated development. “The focus should be on ease of doing business for the international audience,” said Modi, while making a mention of the As a government, we liberalisation of geospatial data, adding had also have to it been done a decade earlier “there would honour this have been a Google from India.” enthusiasm, the He suggested the synchronisation of the energy of the Union and state budgets for multiplier effect. private sector Modi dwelt at length on India’s bid to become Narendra Modi, a global manufacturing hub, suggesting Prime Minister states should set up district export promotion councils, while identifying one product each for exporting. “There’s an all round eagerness to push forward with economic development. The youth of the country cannot wait,” Modi said. The Centre, he said, weeded out 1,500 redundant laws and urged all states to do likewise. Niti Aayog ViceChairman Rajiv Kumar later said the CMs gave many actionable inputs on which it would work with the ministries. P11 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi ODISHA Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday criticised the trend to politicise policy decisions, while his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar made his case for a ‘one nation, one rate’, as he sought rationalisation of electricity cost. They were addressing the sixth Gover ning Council meeting of the Niti Aayog. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy reiterated the demand for special status for his state, while his Rajasthan counterpart Ashok Gehlot sought focused attention on efforts for employment generation and improved health- @ Hyderabad attending the meeting was not known immediately . Interestingly, on Friday, the Chief Minister had re- portedly called for a meeting with senior officials in the afternoon for a preview of the issues to be raised on Sat- Military meeting EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi WILL BE BACK PROUDER, BRIGHTER The second tallest national flagpole at Sanjeevaiah Park in Hyderabad stands bare without the Tricolour on Saturday as it is under maintenance | S SENBAGAPANDIYAN EXPRESS READ Air India Express plane hits pole while taxiing Vijayawada: A Boeing aircraft of Air India Express suffered a minor damage on its right wing after it hit an electric pole while taxiing on the runway at the Vijayawada airport on Saturday evening. All 64 passengers aboard were safe, airport officials said. The flight was en route to Tiruchy from Doha | P5 Lawyers’ murder: Three persons remanded to judicial custody Peddapalli: Two days after police arrested Kunta Srinu, his driver Chiranjeevi and Akkapaka Kumar for the murder of lawyer couple G Vaman Rao and PV Nagamani, the three accused were produced in the Manthani court on Friday. The court remanded them to judicial custody, after which taken to Karimnagar District Jail | P4 PLAYING SAFE ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY: TRS WON’T CONTEST HYD MLC POLLS E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad ENDING months of suspense, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has decided not to field its candidate in the election to Mahbubnagar-Rangareddy-Hyderabad MLC Graduates’ constituency . The party once bitten twice shy does , , not appear keen on contesting the election in the wake of former TNGO president G Devi Prasad Rao who was its candidate, losing the election to the seat in 2015. The TRS has announced sitting MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy for the Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda MLC Graduates seat. He has already hit the roads, campaigning for his reelection. As regards the Mahbubnagar-Ran- urday. The officials were to brief him at Pragathi Bhavan but at the last minute, they were told that the meeting was called off. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, too, skipped the meeting, while her Punjab counter par t Amarinder Singh kept away as he was indisposed. CONTINUED ON P5 Toolkit doesn’t sow disaffection, Disha tells HC “First a review of the process completed will be taking place and then other sectors where the standoff is taking place will be discussed. The modalities of the disengagement will be dependent on agreements the two sides will reach during the talks,” a senior Army officer said about the Corps Commanders’ meeting sulted after both sides agreed to restore status quo ante at the Pangong Lake,” the sources said. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had revealed the details of the disengagement process from the north and south banks of Pangong Tso in Parliament. The PLA and the Indian Army since then have disengaged with armoured vehicles, artillery guns and soldiers moving back. The PLA has moved to the east of Finger 8 on the north bank and Indian Army is back to the Dhan Singh Thapa Post. The structures erected during the stand-off were brought down. Similar actions have taken place in the south bank, which includes the withdrawal of Indian soldiers from the important Kailash Range, which was occupied in August 2020 end. Kailash Range has dominating features that gave an advantage to the Indian Army . care infrastructure. Patnaik’s remarks seemed to echo the NDA line that protests are being orchestrated against any decision taken by the Centre. “The kind of atmosphere where every incident or every action of the government is given political angles is a threat to the pace of development and peace in the country Patnaik said. ,” Nitish Kumar is learnt to have sought a special port in Odisha, saying his landlocked state needed facilities to tap the export market. Kumar also called for “one nation one rate”, saying the cost of the electricity provided by the Centre should be uniform. The CMs of Gujarat, Punjab, Bengal and Telangana didn’t participate. The meet’s agenda items were manufacturing, reimagining agriculture, infrastructure, human resources development, improving service delivery, health & nutrition — Rajiv Kumar, Niti Aayog vice chief KCR SKIPS NITI AAYOG MEETING E X P R ESS N E WS S E RV I C E IN a surprise first, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday gave the sixth Gover ning Council meeting of the Niti Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi a miss. However, the reason for Rao not ‘Allow govts to function’ gareddy-Hyderabad seat, the TRS is understood to have offered support to Prof K Nageshwar who is contesting as an Independent and is supported by teachers’ unions. But the professor declined the offer as he does not want the anti-TRS votes on whom he is banking 10 lakh Graduate voters to pick their leaders on March 14 The election for both the Mahbubnagar-Rangareddy-Hyd and Warangal-KhammamNalgonda seats is on March 14. The EC is accepting nominations for which the last date is Feb 23. There are 5 lakh Graduate voters in each of the two Graduate constituencies heavily, shifting to the BJP candidate — N Ramachander Rao. Initially, the TRS toyed with the idea of contesting the Hyderabad seat and the party leaders took part in enrolment of voters. But midway the party lost , interest with no indications from the top leadership as to who would be the of ficial candidate. Now, it has become more or less clear that the TRS would give the election a go-by. But as far as Warangal seat is concerned, the party, keen on retaining it, is making all-out efforts. Party leaders are touring the constituency extensively drumming up support for Palla Rajeshwar Reddy. Pitted against him is BJP’s Gujjula Premender Reddy and Left parties’ candidate B Jaya Saradhi Reddy . The election for both the seats will be held on March 14. AN online ‘toolkit’ is merely a ‘resource document’, it does not ‘sow disaffection’ and there is no evidence to show the toolkit on farmers’ protest is responsible for the violence on January 26, activist Disha Ravi told a Delhi court on Saturday as she sought bail. “If highlighting the farmers’ protest globally is sedition, I’m better (off) in jail,” Disha said through her lawyer in court, which will give its decision on the bail on Tuesday . The bail plea was opposed by the Delhi Police, which alleged that Disha was preparing the toolkit with those advocating Khalistan and she was part of a global conspiracy to defame India and create unrest in the country in the garb of the farmers’ protest. “This was not just a toolkit. The real plan was to defame India and create unrest here,” the police told additional sessions judge Dharmender Rana. The prosecution also submitted that Disha deleted WhatsApp chats and emails and was aware of legal actions she could face. This, the police argued, showed her ‘guilty mind and sinister design’. These allegations were rejected by Disha’s counsel, who said: “I am 22, from Karnataka. I have no connection with the Khalistan movement. There is no single chat or conversation between me (Disha) and the (banned organisation) Sikhs For Justice. And even if I meet someone, there is no symbol on him that he is a secessionist.” CONTINUED ON P8
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