BHUBANESWAR l tuesday l march 23, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION kangana Ranaut dhanush manoj bajpayee navin nooli Rich pickings for southern cinema at National Film Awards E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e T he 67th National Awards for films that were submitted in 2019, were announced on Monday, following a year’s delay owing to the coronavirus pandemic. It was a huge haul for South Indian cinema in all the major categories, with more than 15 films from the region being recognised in the awards. While Malayalam cinema led the pack with seven wins, Tamil cinema followed closely with six, Telugu with three, and Kannada with one. The Malayalam epic, Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham (Malayalam), that is awaiting its release, and the Telugu action drama, Maharshi, won the big two awards: Best Film and Best Popular Film, with the latter also winning for Raju Sundar- am his second National Award for Best Choreography Jersey, . which was awarded the Best Telugu Film, also bagged the Best Editor award for Naveen Nooli. The film is a heart-rending take on the life of a failed cricketer who yearns to retain the respect of his son. In the acting categories, D h a nu s h ’s t u r n i n Ve t rimaaran’s Asuran, as an op- pressed elderly man, fighting for his family in a caste-afflicted society won him his second , National Award for Best Actor (following his first for Aadukalam by the same director). This is an award he will share with Manoj Bajpayee (Bhonsle), who has won a National Award for the third time in his career, with both of his previous wins coming for a supporting act. Bajpayee’s masterful performance in Devashish Makhija’s bitingly political film, stands testament to the adage that less is more. Vijay Sethupathi won his first National Award for Super Deluxe for his supporting act as a helpless transgender woman called Shilpa, who grapples with humiliation and guilt. It was a first for Tamil composer Imman, too, as he won the Best Music Director award for his wo rk i n A j i t h - s t a r re r Viswasam. Naga Vishal was bestowed the Best Child Actor award for his performance in the Tamil drama, K D Karuppu Durai. While Marakkar also won awards for Special Effects (Siddharth Priyadarshan) and Costumes (Sujith Sudhakaran and V Sai), Mathukutty Xavier’s debut directorial, Helen, bagged two awards: Best Film by a Debutant and Best Makeup (Ranjith). Meanwhile, Kannada filmmaker Vikram Mor won the National award for Best Action Direction for the fantasy-adventure, Avane Srimannarayana. For the first time after 2000, a Malayalam film has won the award for Best Lyricist (Prabha Varma for Kolaambi). The visually breathtaking Jallikattu, India’s official nomination to the Oscars, won a National Award for its cinematographer Gireesh Gangadharan. Continued on: P5 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 Sharad Pawar Anil Deshmukh Pawar poser on timeline to back minister E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Mumbai A day after NCP chief Sharad Pawar said former Mumbai Police commissioner Parambir Singh’s allegations of extortion against state home minister Anil Deshmukh were serious, he sought to question the timeline mentioned in Singh’s recent ‘letter bomb’ while stoutly defending his minister. While Singh letter says the now arrested assistant inspector Sachin Waze was called by Deshmukh to his official residence “in and around mid-February and thereafter” to instruct him on extorting `100 crore per month, Pawar argued it was incorrect as the minister was hospitalised from February 5 to 15 after testing positive for Covid-19. “After discharge, Deshmukh was in home quarantine for the next 10 days in Nagpur. There is no way Waze could have met him in Mumbai then,” Pawar said. Though the Opposition sought to puncture the argument, claiming Deshmukh had addressed the press on February 15, the latter quickly clarified that he had just returned home from hospital and taken a few quick questions that day . Pawar said the focus should be actually be on the bomb scare at Antilia. The ATS on Sunday had claimed to have made a big breakthrough in Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiren’s murder with the arrest of two persons, including a former policeman. The ATS on Monday arrested a Gujarat man for providing 14 SIM cards to the two accused. Parambir Singh moved the Supreme Court on Monday, seeking a CBI probe into “malpractices” of Deshmukh and challenged his transfer order by the state government. Second Covishield shot in 6-8 weeks better: Centre With cluster in Bhubaneswar, Odisha braces for 2nd wave E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Accepts recommendations of expert panels who align themselves with the global view that delaying the shot has beneficial outcome S u m i S u k an ya D u tta @ New Delhi If you are waiting for your second jab of the Covid-19 vaccine Covishield, you’ll be better protected if you take it between the sixth and eighth weeks of the first shot, and not after four-six weeks as is the practice now. That has been the international consensus, and expert panels back home have now aligned themselves with that view. Based on the recommendations of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and subsequently by National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 vaccine, the Centre on Monday directed all states to increase the interval between two doses of Covishield. In fact, scientific evidence from some countries shows that while the vaccine is about 60-65% effective at a gap of four weeks, it can be up to 90% effective against infection when administered at an interval of 12 weeks. But India’s expert panels chose a more conservative gap of eight weeks. The directions by the Centre apply immediately, which means all beneficiaries who have taken the first dose but are due for the second, ought to follow the new advisory . Since the launch of the Covid-19 vaccination drive on January 16, the Covishield devel- oped by AstraZeneca-Oxford University and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, has been its mainstay For, . nearly 90% of the vaccine doses administered so far are of Covishield. Based on evidence from several countries, the WHO had in early February said that the two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine should be given at a gap of 8-12 weeks. Incidentally , AstraZeneca’s large-scale clinical trial in the US showed that the jab is 79% effective against asymptomatic infection and 100% against severe disease. The Centre’s advisory does not apply to Covaxin, the vaccine developed by Hyderabadbased Bharat Biotech. fuel tax mop up 45% more in 10 months than full fy20 J o nathan A nan d a @ New Delhi If there were any doubts left over whether fuel taxes have become the government’s prized cash cow, the finance ministry’s reply to the Lok Sabha on Monday serves to quash most of them. Not only have excise duty collections on petrol, diesel, and natural gas surged, the share of such taxes in India’s gross tax revenue has spiked sharply over the years too, indicating a steadily increasing dependence on fuel tax revenues. According to figures submitted to the Lok Sabha by the finance ministry, excise duty collections from fuel and natural gas in the first 10 months of this financial year (FY21) are already 45% higher than collections recorded during the whole of FY20. Between April 2020 and Janu- ary 2021, this figure stood at `2.94 lakh crore against just `2,03,010 lakh crore in FY20. Collections made in the first 10 months of this fiscal year are also over five times (456%) larger than the `53,090 crore recorded in FY14. The surge in excise collections, accompanied by a lower, but still significant increase in state VAT, are the primary reason why retail fuel prices have remained stubbornly high even though Brent crude prices have gone from $114 per barrel in June 2014 to $64 per bar rel currently . While prices have swung between as high as $90 and as low as $16 during this period, they have averaged around $50-60 per barrel. But the majority of the gains from this decline has been siphoned off to the exchequer. Centre levy is 39% of retail price On June 7, 2014, petrol and diesel prices were `71.51 and `57.28 per litre respectively. While crude prices fell, the Central and state governments kept hiking taxes. Currently, central and state taxes make up around 60% of the retail price of petrol and 53% of diesel in Delhi . Around 39% of the retail price comprises central excise duties alone easy pickings Don’t get my goat: Villagers on Capital outskirts plead as thieves make merry A SIS H M E H TA @ Bhubaneswar KABITA Bhoi and her husband Premananda have not slept for the last three days. A landless couple of Mahukhanda village, on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, they raised livestock to maintain their family of nine. But, thieves dealt a death blow to their livelihood by stealing 25 of their adult goats on Saturday night. All they left behind are five baby goats. “We had purchased the goats two years back by paying `6,000 for each with a hope that livestock rearing would bring us good returns. But there is nothing left now”, she said. With the loss of the goats, their dream of constructing a pucca oneroom house has also been shattered. “We had decided to sell off a few goats to construct an additional room near the verandah of our thatched house that we share with two sons, their wives and three grandchildren,” Kabita added. Kanhu Rout sits with a baby goat at his house With little space in the ramshackle dwelling, the couple sleeps on the verandah near which they had set up a goat shed. But on Saturday night when the thieves struck, neither Kabita nor Premananda could hear the goats bleating. “We woke up to find some tapes in front of our house and five baby goats in a state of dizziness. The thieves might have sprayed something to sedate the animals as we did not hear any noise when they were taken away said Kabita. ,” The same day at neighbouring Nua Sahi village, miscreants also stole seven goats belonging to Kanhu Charan Rout. Now, he has only four baby goats left. Kanhu, too, found tapes in his goat shed and suspects that the thieves may have taped the mouths of the goats while stealing them. “The miscreants had stolen four of my goats in August last year and I had lodged a police complaint. However, as there was no action by the police then, I did not lodge a complaint this time,” he said. Goat theft in Mahukhanda and Nua Sahi under Balipatna police limits has broken the economic backbone of hapless villages who are mostly dependent on livestock. Police, on the other hand, are yet to take such incidents Continued on: P5 seriously . Up, up and up 46,951 on Monday Fresh cases 30,535 Logged by Maharashtra, followed by Punjab (2,644) 1,16,46,081 1.11 crore Recovered so far 1,59,967 Total deaths 212 deaths recorded in 24 hrs Country’s tally IN a major cluster outbreak of Covid-19, 45 students and staff of Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB) here tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours even as Odisha recorded a single-day spike of 146 cases - a 50 per cent jump from the previous day, and also the highest since January 22. The cluster at XIMB is one of the biggest in the State so far since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Capital in March, 2020. To check further spread of the virus, a team from BMC rushed to the premier B-school, sanitised the entire campus and sealed the premises until further orders. Around 200 samples were also drawn from the students and staff of the institute for the test. “All faculty and students of the institute have now been tested for Covid-19. Those who tested positive have been kept in isolation in separate rooms,” said Municipal Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary . Analysis of travel history shows most of the infected persons in XIMB as well as the private institute in Cuttack had returned from high risk states including Maharashtra and Tamilnadu. “Local authorities have been asked to intensify tracking of incoming passengers from these states and ensure their immediate testing,” Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said. Apart from XIMB, a servitor of Lingaraj temple and three of his family members also tested positive for Covid-19. The new infections pushed the active case figure of the city beContinued on: P5 yond 100.
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