CHENNAI MONDAY MARCH 22, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 30 VELLORE EDITION AADHAAR VOLUNTARY FOR DIGITAL LIFE CERTIFICATES CHANGES IN BIOMETRIC ATTENDANCE SYSTEM Authentication norms relaxed after pensioners complained of unreadable ﬁngerprints and non-availability of Aadhaar cards SANDES APP TO BE MADE PUBLIC SOON With this change, the onus is now on the organisations to offer alternative means for submission of digital Life Certificate under the Jeevan Pramaan scheme. Another notification of March 18 makes Aadhaar authentication voluntary for biometrics attendance systems used in government offices. Here too, offices will have to create alternative system for authentication ■ ■ ■ Govt has also made Aadhaar optional for users of the National Informatics Centre-developed instant messaging app Sandes Developed under Government Instant Messaging System project, Sandes is used by public depts for internal communications The app will soon be made available for the general public, too 150+ DEPARTMENTS, INCLUDING NITI AAYOG, INDIAN ARMY, USE SANDES APP 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 Call on Deshmukh today, says Pawar EPS promises to make Arani a district “Power looms will get 1,000 was to be the Chief Minister, units of free electricity instead but Karunanidhi grabbed the , of the present 750, and hand- post in a crooked manner. Unloom and power loom workers like him, I was elected by a mawill get a compensation jority of MLAs.” At another election of `5,000,” he added. meeting in Vandavasi, While canvassing for Palaniswami lashed out Minister for Hindu Reliat DMK chief MK Stalin gious and Charitable Enfor calling him a “fake” d ow m e n t s ( H R & C E ) DAYS farmer. “Stalin came to ‘Sevoor’ S RamachanTO GO Thalaivasal in a fulldran in Arani, Palaniswami accused Stalin’s father sleeved shirt, pants and shoes, M Karunanidhi of cheating his and walked on a concrete road to a farm. A real farmer would nevway to becoming the Chief CONTINUED ON: P4 Minister. “VR Nedunchezhian er do that.” EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Tiruvannamalai TAMIL Nadu could soon get another district, as Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has promised that a new one, headquartered in Arani, would be carved out of Tiruvannamalai district. He said this while campaigning in the region on Sunday, and pledged that loans of up to `1 lakh, taken by handloom weavers and power loom workers, would be waived. Slew of freebies to woo women in BJP manifesto Sops for farmers, fisherfolk; CAA right up on agenda; probe on political killings promised EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kolkata THE BJP on Sunday sought to woo women voters in a big way , by promising 33% reservation in state government jobs, free travel in state-run public transport network and free education from kindergarten right up to the post graduate level. The promises were part of its 62-page manifesto released by Union home minister Amit Shah here. The document also prioritised the implementation of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, saying it would be taken up at the first state cabinet meet after coming to power. It also promised to give Hindu refugees a financial grant of `10,000 per year for the next five years. “It is not just a manifesto but a resolution letter for West Bengal. It emphasises on women’s safety, infrastructure development, better healthcare services and setting up industries in the state. The core idea is to build a Sonar Bangla,” said Shah. The manifesto promises to give `18,000 to each of 78 lakh farmers in Bengal in one go under the Centre’s PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme. “The Bengal government deprived the farmers from getting an- Amit Shah releasing the BJP manifesto, at Kolkata on Sunday | BIBHASH LODH nual grant of `6,000 for the past three years. After coming to power in Bengal, we will transfer the due amount of `18,000 in one go. Besides, the annual financial assistance will be increased to `10,000 from `6,000. Landless farmers will also be given `4,000 annual assistance,’’ said Shah. Eying fishermen, who form a considerable chunk of electorate in East Midnapore, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas districts, the manifesto promised a scheme to give `6,000 per year to each fisher family. Shah also announced that if the party wrests power, three AIIMS will be set up in north Bengal, Junglemahal and Sunderabans. Shah announced a special investigation team will be set up to probe all political killings, adding victim families will get `25 lakh relief irrespective of political allegiance. VIRUS LOAD RISING @ Mumbai Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami campaigns in Arni on Sunday | S DINESH ASHOKA UNIV ADMITS TO LAPSES nation will not change in the foreseeable future. Mehta recently stepped down as professor saying the founders made it clear that his association with the institution was a ‘political liability’. Subramanian resigned two days later. “We acknowledge that there have been some lapses in institutional processes which we will work to rectify EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Days after the resignation of political commentator Pratap Bhanu Mehta and economist Arvind Subramanian from Ashoka University, the institution admitted to lapses in its processes on Sunday. Its chancellor said the university remained committed to academic freedom and its board head promised an open line of communication. As for Mehta, he wrote to the the students urging them to not press for his return, pointing out that the circumstances that led to his resig- cases reported from Maharashtra Kerala Punjab Karnataka Gujarat MP 197 deaths reported in 24 hrs 1,289 NEW CASES IN T.N. 86.8% deaths from the above six states In his separate letter, chancellor Rudrangshu Mukherjee wrote, “the founders have never interfered with academic freedom: faculty members have been left free to construct their own courses, follow their own methods of teaching and own methods of assessment.” Helping campaigns get a cracker of a start K E Z H I L A R A S A N @ Perambalur EVERYONE talks about the crowds at political campaigns. But not many notice who gathers them before the politicians arrive. More often than not, electoral candidates get delayed as they pack a tight, back-to-back schedule. But the villagers, who gather to hear their leaders speak, cannot wait endlessly for them. So after a wait for more than an hour or two, they tend to disperse. But thanks to ‘cracker boys’, the contestants don’t come to an empty arena. “On hearing my crackers, people rush out of their houses and gather,” says a proud Kathiravan, one such cracker boy of Kanakiliyanallur in Tiruchy district. This 25-year-old “rocket man” is known for his seemingly-effortless skill of bursting 10 rocket crackers in quick succession, making it look a folk art. Kathiravan goes ahead of politicians, bursting the ‘rockets’ and a string of other fireworks to let people know it’s time to assemble. “On Saturday alone, I burst crackers at about 25 villages in Perambalur district. When clients buy fireworks from our unit, they hire me to burst them. There are at least 10 youngsters in the villages around Lalgudi who burst crackers for a living,” Kathiravan says, adding that he’s been doing this for the past 10 years, and gets `500 a day besides a free meal. CONTINUED ON P6 , Chennai accounted for 466 of them, with protocols being brazenly flouted at political meetings and other events 27,126 new cases in Maharashtra, followed by Punjab (2,578) 1,15,99,130 NATIONWIDE TALLY 38 succumb in Punjab 92 casualties in Maharashtra Officials hesitate to act tough against people at political events since campaigns are part of the democratic process | P3 Kathiravan bursts crackers at a village in Perambalur | EXPRESS WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 30 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) CM GYAAN Blame self for few kids, less ration: Rawat V I N E E T U PA D H YAY @ Dehradun NEW Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat’s footin-the-mouth moments continued to grow on Sunday, as he berated jealous people with planned families for taking home lesser free ration. “ N ow b ro t h e r, who is to blame for this? He produced 20 (children) and you produced only two. So he gets a quintal of ration. When there was time you produced only two and not 20. Now why this jealousy?” the CM reasoned while dwelling on the ration scheme in his speech in Nainital to mark the World Forestry Day . He said the government provided 5 kg of high quality rice per person and those with 20 in the family took home 100 kg during the pandemic. Rawat also erroneously blamed the US instead of the UK for 200 years of rule in India. “America, which enslaved us for 200 years and ruled the whole world, it is struggling at present to manage Covid,” was his second nugget. By his count, the Covid mortality figure in the US currently stands at 50 lakh, while the actual toll is 5.4 lakh. in consultation with all stakeholders. This will reaffirm our commitment to academic autonomy and freedom which have always been at the core of the Ashoka University ideals,” the institution said in a statement that was jointly issued by the university chancellor, vice chancellor and the chairman of Board of Trustees, along with Mehta and Subramanian. No interference in academic freedom: Chancellor On a day India registered its highest single-day tally this year, the Centre said six states are the worst-hit. A look 43,846 highest single-dayyear spike in India this They will have to do it now because people are fed up with all this,” said Ribeiro, who has A day after shunted out Mum- served as the Mumbai Police bai police commissioner Para- commissioner and the DGP of mbir Singh outed home minis- Punjab and Gujarat. ter Anil Deshmukh’s extortion Saturday’s letter bomb by racket, an embarrassed NCP Singh had accused Deshmukh chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday of directing controversial asadmitted that the charges were sistant police inspector Sachin very serious and required an Waze, who is at present in in-depth probe. NIA’s custody to run an extor, With Deshmukh’s political tion racket to raise `100 crore future hanging by a per month. thread, Pawar said Trying to deflect the call will be taken criticism from by Chief Minister Thackeray and DeshUddhav Thackeray mukh, Pawar sought by Monday . to blame Waze’s conPawar also tried troversial reinstateto limit dama g e ment on Singh. “It since Deshmukh bewas Singh who asSharad Pawar longs to his party by , signed sensitive cassuggesting that a es to Waze. After probe into the charges be con- Mansukh Hiren’s wife alleged ducted by a celebrated police Waze was involved in her husofficer like Julio Ribeiro. But band’s death, we decided to inRibeiro lobbed the ball back in vestigate it thoroughly,” he Pawar’s court, saying at 92 he claimed. was in no position to initiate a It was only after Singh was probe and in any case it was transferred that he made the the NCP founder who was the allegations, said Pawar. He best person to clear the mess. conceded that Singh had “The probe must be done by briefed him earlier on DeshSharad Pawar himself. He is mukh, but said the CoP had the head of the party. They not mentioned the sum colthemselves know everything lected or handed over to the and they should take action. minister or his staff. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Ripped jeans Last week, Rawat had criticised women wearing ripped jeans, wondering what values they would impart to children. A huge backlash later forced him to apologise
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