India skipper Virat Kohli introduces his team to President Ram Nath Kovind and home minister Amit Shah before the Test | BCCI | P13 THIRUVANANTHAPURAM l thursday l February 25, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l LATE city EDITION stadium gets a new name India take control of the third Test against England after a grand opening ceremony and foundation stone laying event of the Motera sports complex big stage rahul jibe patel sixer starting gear President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the world’s largest cricket stadium and renamed it Narendra Modi stadium leading to a controversy. However, the govt later clarified that it’s only the cricket arena that has been renamed; the whole complex is still named after Sardar Patel Congress leader Rahul Gandhi got an opportunity to land a punch after the surprise renaming. “Beautiful how the truth reveals itself. Narendra Modi stadium — Adani end — Reliance end. With Jay Shah presiding,” he tweeted, with the hashtag ‘HumDoHumareDo’ Once again, Axar Patel showed his guile picking up six wickets for 38, including the scalps of Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow & Ben Foakes. England were all out for 112 on a turning track. This is his second fifer in three innings. He took five wickets in the second innings of the second Test India’s approach was clear. Fight out the most challenging session and get going on Thursday. Openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill shelved the shots. Although they ended up losing Gill, Pujara and Kohli, Rohit got going at the first sight of opportunity to take India to 99/3 11 talking points on the field n England all-rounder Ben Stokes was seen applying saliva on the ball. The incident took place at the end of the 12th over, prompting umpire Nitin Menon to have a chat with him. The ball was sanitised n third-umpiring decisions went against England much to their Two The number of black and red soil pitches in the Centre n fan ran on the the ground breaching bio-bubble protocols A Australian firm Populous, which designed the MCG among others, is the architect of the stadium chagrin. To be fair to the visitors, they had a point with at least one of those appeals — the stumping of Rohit Sharma 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 periya case SHUHAIB MURDER CASE likely to be withdrawn with the LDF government's decision Pvt sector to participate in vax campaign S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi The Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the launch of Covid-19 vaccination for the third priority group from March 1, which includes people above 60 years and those above 45 years with comorbidities, and involves the private sector. The vaccines will be administered at 10,000 government facilities free of cost and at 20,000 paid private facilities. The cost of the vaccines at private hospitals will be decided in three-four days after a meeting with manufacturers and representatives of hospitals, said Union minister Prakash Javadekar. “From March 1, people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated at 10,000 government and over 20,000 private vaccination centres. The vaccine will be given free of cost at government centres,” said Javadekar in a press briefing on the Cabinet’s decisions. The government is yet to make public the clinical criteria for those with underlying conditions to qualify for vaccinations against coronavirus but sources in the Union health ministry told this newspaper that these include diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. The underlying conditions have been defined by a special panel of doctors appointed by the government and are likely to be released within the next few days. Officials also said that portability facilities will be offered for the vaccination, which means that the beneficiaries can get the jabs anywhere in India after registering on CoWin app and furnishing required documents at the time of vaccine administration. “At the time of registration on CoWin, beneficiaries will be allotted a slot and will have a bunch of hospitals to choose from. For this purpose, the app is being updated,” said a senior ministry official. He added that the CoWin portal is being integrated with the Aarogya Setu app for ease of registration for beneficiaries. There are two approved Covid-19 vaccines in India, one each by the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. However, the government is yet to clarify whether the third priority group can choose its jab brand. 2,300 400 cases registered in connection with the Sabarimala protests cases in connection with protests against the CAA 1,800 cases pertaining to various political agitation, mostly involving Left groups I am yet to ascertain how many cases will be impacted. We are yet to collate the number of cases registered — Loknath Behera E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T'Puram IN WHAT is seen as a move to curry favour with both the majority and minority communities ahead of the assembly elections, the LDF government has decided to withdraw cases registered against those who staged protests against women's entry into the Sabarimala temple and also the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), provided cases are not of a serious nature. The decision, taken by the cabinet that met here on Wednesday, comes at a time when the UDF is raising the Sabarimala issue in a big way in its poll campaign. The Congress-led alliance had even promised scrapping all such cases if voted to power. The Nair Service Society (NSS) and the BJP have been de- ‘BELATED WISDOM’ Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala termed the decision as "belated wisdom" while BJP president K Surendran wondered how Sabarimala agitation can be compared to anti-CAA stir. manding dropping such cases as job prospects of many youths arrested in connection with the Sabarimala agitation were adversely affected due to police cases. The cases were registered as an attempt to dissuade the protesters when the Sabarimala agitation was at its peak. During the agitation, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had maintained that the LDF government would not change its stance for the sake of a few votes. Ironically the cabinet meeting chaired by Pinarayi himself had to go soft on those who took to the streets against the LDF's policy supporting women's entry into Sabarimala. The government is wary of the Opposition's attempt to milk the issue to its advantage and cause adverse electoral fallout for the LDF on the lines of what happened during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. According to observers, announcing withdrawal of cases against anti-CAA protesters simultaneously is seen as a balancing act to appease the minority com● More on P4 munities. express read Vice-President Naidu to visit state today T’Puram: Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu will arrive on a one-day visit to the state capital on Thursday. He will be the chief guest at the commemoration of RSS ideologue P Parameswaran organised by the Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram at the Uday Palace Convention Centre. RSS worker hacked to death in Vayalar Alappuzha: An RSS worker was hacked to death in Vayalar near Cherthala on Wednesday. Nandhu R Krishna, 26, an active pracharak of the RSS, was allegedly killed in a clash with SDPI workers. Two other RSS workers and three SDPI activists sustained injuries. P4 Naxalite Varghese’s siblings to get K50 lakh Rahul The Fisherman In what was a Putin moment, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi jumped into the sea to join fishermen toiling for their catch off Kollam coast on Wednesday | PTI | P4 T’Puram: The state government will provide an amount of J50 lakh as compensation to the kin of Naxalite A Varghese, who was killed in an ‘encounter’ with the police on February 18, 1970. The cabinet on Wednesday decided to give the money to his siblings Mariyakkutti, Annamma, A Thomas and A Joseph. 18 pages, including 4 pages of THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Express Pullback win-win, China’s creeping forward playbook won’t work: Gen Second show may be back from March 1 govt green light soon S h i b u B S @ Kochi MAYA N K SI N G H @ New Delhi Army Chief General M M Naravane on Wednesday said China’s known strategy of nibbling into neighbouring territory slowly, like it did in the South China Sea, will not work with India. “I think more than anything else what we have achieved is to show that this strategy will not work with us,” the General said referring to the recent recipro- cal disengagement at Pangong lake in Ladakh after a standoff that lasted more than nine months. He was giving a talk on the “Role of the Indian Army in dealing with the contemporary national security challenges” at a Delhi-based think tank, Vivekananda International Foundation. “China has been in the habit of creeping forward making very small incremental changes where in each change by Strategies in place to deal with pending issues Army Chief Gen Naravane spoke about the existing trust deficit, which makes India wary of China’s intentions. “Going forward there are... pending issues in the areas of Eastern Ladakh (like Depsang, Gogra, Hotspring, Demchok); also pending issues in other areas along the Line of Control. But we have our strategies in place for that,” he said itself was not very big or worthy of a very strong reaction.” And because of the very small incremental moves that were never contested, it has been able to achieve its aims without firing a shot or any loss of life, he pointed out. Gen Naravane described the Pangong disengagement as a win-win for both sides, adding it was achieved as all the organs of the government worked in tandem. “As a result of this whole approach, disengagement has taken place. I think it is a very good end result. It is a win-win situation, and I think for any agreement to last both sides should feel that they have achieved something,” he said, adding it’s the outcome of 10 rounds of military-level talks. IN THE wake of growing calls from various film bodies, the state government is likely to grant approval to resume second show in cinemas from March 1. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is likely to give the green signal to the late-night show which forms a major chunk of movie collection, a source said. After remaining shut for months, the cinema halls in the state were allowed to reopen in January at 50 per cent capacity, but they were given permission to screen only three shows daily, between 9am and 9pm. “Usually, families prefer the second show. Apart from fan shows for some hyped-up movies, there is a practice in Kerala to conduct early morning shows For the industry to derive the most benefit from waiver on entertainment tax, we need big movies. But the producers of such movies are hesitant because second show is not permitted — Siyad Koker or even 9am shows. The Kerala Film Chamber, the apex body of film organisations in the state, has already requested the chief minister to consider its request to allow second show. We are hopeful of a positive response,” said Kerala Film Distributors’ SOLAR CASE (Hearing conducted through videoconferencing) 8 Bjp men’s killing LIFE MISSION CASE Especially in Periya murder case, the ultimate beneficiary of avoiding the CBI investigation would be the accused alone — T Asaf Ali, former director-general of prosecution 60+? 45+ with comorbidities? Govt goes soft on Sabari, CAA agitators Your jab window 4,500 cases opens on March 1 cases to be dropped L1.2cr Highest of K1.20 cr in a single case paid to oppose former CM Chandy’s plea seeking to quash solar commission’s report; K14.19 cr spent on advocates in apex court Hotel and air travel L55 lakh It is free at govt hospitals. At private hospitals, you need to pay the price fixed by manufacturers and overhead cost charged by the hospital for administering the shot. There will be more clarity soon Fee for SC lawyers L3,92,584 You first need to register on CoWin App. It will ask you for your choice of hospital. You then need to select an available day/time slot. If you miss an assigned slot, you can register again What will be the cost of vaccines? Fee paid & other expenses met L4,27,752 What is the process of taking the vaccine? THE LDF government has disbursed a whopping `6.95 crore to senior advocates of the Supreme Court to fight the cases for the government in the Kerala High Court, according to the statistics collated by TNIE. As per the information received through an RTI query, the state government has also spent another `14.19 crore as lawyers’ fees to appear on its behalf in the Supreme Court. The government had come under criticism that it had engaged top SC lawyers to fight more than 10 high-profile petitions including Oommen Chandy’s petition to quash the solar commission’s report, Periya “Especially in Periya murder twin murder and LIFE Mission case, the ultimate beneficiary of corruption case in the HC. avoiding the CBI investigation Besides, about `33.55 lakh would be the accused alone. If was spent on providing air trav- the investigation is retained el and hotel accommodation for with the state agency, all acthese lawyers. The RTI data ex- cused will be under the protecposes the exorbitant expendi- tion of CPM-patronised police. ture by the state To protect them, government to hire the state strongly press high-profile lawthe clusive resisted whichCBI yers while it has probe for the employed 130 govstate exchequer lost ernment law officers including crores. In effect, engaging senadvocate-general, director-gen- ior SC counsel for defending a eral of prosecution, two addi- case in the HC would tantational advocates-general, state mount to underestimating the attorney, additional director- capacity of the state law officers general of prosecution and spe- in the HC,” said former direccial government pleaders to tor-general of prosecution T ● More on P4 serve the state in legal affairs. Asaf Ali. L64 lakh Diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, but final word is yet to be out At the site of vaccine administration, you need to submit proof of age through a valid government ID. For those in the comorbid group, proof of comorbidity is required P R a m d a s @ Kochi L86.4 lakh What are the comorbidities recognised for prioritisation? LDF govt spent `6.95cr on SC lawyers to appear in HC L5,48,682 People above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities What papers are needed before taking the shot? L88 lakh Who will get the vaccine? L2,77,359 Key questions Association president Siyad Koker. The office-bearers of film bodies also said that though the government has announced a waiver on entertainment tax till March 31 this year, the producers and theatre owners will be able to derive the most benefit out of it only if they are able to get a good collection for the movies. “For that, we need big movies to be released. But the producers of such movies are hesitant because second show is not permitted,” added Koker. The Priest, an eagerly-awaited movie with Mammootty in the lead, is unofficially scheduled for a March 4 release, but its distributors are waiting for the decision by the government on second show. If it is not allowed from March 1, its release is likely to be rescheduled. drive on Govt biz bar lifted for pvt banks: FM E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi THE Centre on Wednesday decided to lift the embargo on granting government-related business to private banks. Till now, government banking transactions were done only through public-sector banks and select private banks such as Axis Bank. The decision, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, will open the doors for the private sector to participate in governmentrelated banking transactions running into lakhs of or crores, such as taxes and other revenue payment facilities, pension payments, small savings schemes. In 2012, RBI had allowed private sector banks to act as agency banks but the move was not supported by the then government, which put an embargo on extending government-business to private banks. Now the government has decided to lift the embargo to push its privatisation drive. Bankers have welcomed the move. Uday Kotak, chairman of Kotak Mahindra Bank, said, “It will enable the banking sector to serve customers better.” Meanwhile, bank unions opposed the government’s decision saying it is unfair and to the disadvantage of public sector banks, which have to meet social banking obligations. “If the government will distribute their business to private banks, the ability of public sector banks to lend to weaker and priority sectors on concessional rates of interest will become difficult because the government’s business helps these banks to balance the cost,” said C H Venkatachalam, general secretary AIBEA. , crash Tiger woods survives, career in doubt Tiger Woods was lucky to be alive with multiple fractures, according to those present at the crash site, but might jeopardise his career | P13
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25-02-2021 of The New Indian Express-Thiruvananthapuram