thrissur l tuesday l march 23, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l city 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, 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 Sundaram 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 oppressed 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 work in Ajith-starrer 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: P7 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 ‘2nd Covishield shot in 6-8 weeks better’ Centre accepts recommendations of expert panels’ view that delaying the shot has beneficial outcome S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi ON A HIGH Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacts with voters during UDF candidate Tony Chammany’s campaign rally in Fort Kochi on Monday | A Sanesh | P2 MULTIPLE ENTRIES OF VOTERS ‘Merit’ in Oppn plaint, entire list under lens Tavanur, 3,767 and 4,395 complaints, respectively, were received regarding A PRELIMINARY inquiry by district multiple entries. Of these, 50% of the collectors has found merit in Opposi- complaints were found to be genuine tion Leader Ramesh Chennithala’s in Kozhikode. Over 70% of the comcomplaint about multiple plaints in Tavanur were entries in the voters’ list, also valid, he said. Chief Electoral Officer Though complaints of (CEO) Teeka Ram Meena multiple entries in the votsaid here on Monday . ers’ list were received only The CEO also said the asfrom some constituencies, sistant electoral registrait has been decided to subtion officer in Udma conject the voters’ list to a deI’m vindicated: tailed check in all 140 constituency in Kasaragod has Chennithala been suspended after it stituencies, Meena said. Opposition Leader was found that the official “BLOs are carrying out Ramesh Chennithala had sanctioned a total of physical inspection at the has welcomed CEO’s five electoral photo identiground level. They will statement that the ty cards to a single voter. prepare booth-wise list and voters’ lists in all 140 The cards were issued share it with the presiding assembly constituencies without the recommendaofficers for verification,” would be verified. tion of the booth level ofthe CEO said. He added ficer (BLO) concerned and that demographically sima detailed inquiry is on, Meena said. ilar entries (DSEs) were common in As per the inquiry reports submit- the electoral roll across the country. ted by the collectors, 590 multiple en- Around 24.2 lakh cases of multiple entries were detected in Vaikom, 434 in tries were detected across the country Idukki, 570 in Chalakudy, 800 in Pal- as per official figures. However, the akkad and 640 in Kasaragod. focus is on preventing bogus voting, ● More on P7 Meena said that in Kozhikode and he added. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram poll byt es Anti-love jihad law in NDA manifesto: min Gowda T’Puram: The BJP-led NDA will reconstitute devaswom boards, so as to entrust the administration of temples with devotees, and enact a law to prevent ‘love jihad’ in the state if voted to power, Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has said. The promises would be a part of the NDA manifesto as well, he said. P6 KERALA ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS 2021 957 candidates in fray in the state assembly polls were 1,061 nominations2,180 approved after 104 withdrew scrutinising ● each in 11 candidatesKoduvally,Kanhangad, Peravoor, Thrithala, Mannarkkad, Pala and Nemom which is the highest. Devikulam has the least — three Court refuses to interfere with EC call, dismisses NDA trio’s plea E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi IN a major setback for the NDA, the High Court on Monday dismissed the petitions filed by BJP candidates N Haridasan (Thalassery) and Nivedida Subramanian (Guruvayur), respectively and coalition part, ner AIADMK’s Dhanalakshmi (Devikulam), challenging the returning officers’ decision to reject their nomination papers for contesting in the ensuing assembly elections. Justice N Nagaresh said the court is not inclined to interfere with the returning officers’ decision at this stage. “Having held so, the court notes with concern that the returning officers in different constituencies are resorting to different parameters for accepting nominations/ forms and scrutinising nominations. While some candidates benefit from the returning officers’ liberal approach, others are put in disadvantageous positions affecting their statutory right to contest ● More on P7 elections.” Mammootty’s One this week, makers say not CM’s story Kochi: One, the political movie starring Mammootty, will release this week despite Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala asking the election commission to stop it as the protagonist — Kadakkal Chandran — has similarities with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The makers of the movie denied the allegation. P6 fuel tax mop-up 45% more in 10 months than full fy20 J o n at h a n An a n 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 , Central govt levy is 39% of retail price On June 7, 2014, petrol and diesel prices were D71.51 and D57.28 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 . 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 January 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. 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 benefi, ciaries 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 developed by AstraZenecaOxford 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. The Centre’s advisory does not apply to Covaxin. 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
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