WARANGAL FRIDAY MARCH 26, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION ARMY’S CRITERIA FOR WOMEN OFFICERS DISCRIMINATORY: SC The Supreme Court asked govt to grant permanent commission to women officers who were excluded on grounds of fitness standards FILE PHOTO FITNESS STANDARDS CREATED FOR MEN The court observed that these fitness standards were created by male officers for male officers and, hence, were discriminatory towards women. The verdict came on a batch of pleas which said the Indian Army had not granted permanent commission to even 50% of women Short Service Commission officers despite a Supreme Court order mandating the same ■ Feb 2020 SUPERFICIAL EQUALITY: CHANDRACHUD The judgment quoted Justice R B Ginsburg of US Supreme Court, “I ask no favour for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.” Justice D Y Chandrachud in his judgment WHEN THE S.C. DIRECTED ARMY TO GRANT said, “A superficial sense of equality is not in the true spirit of the Constitution and attempts to make equality only symbolic.” WOMEN OFFICERS PERMANENT COMMISSION 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 CJI suggests ad-hoc judges to cut pendency of cases EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Thursday said ad-hoc judges can be appointed in high courts to clear pending cases. “There are suits pending for 30 years which also include criminal trials. It is not a matter of opinion but fact that judges who have been there for 15 to 20 years can continue to dispose of matters,” said a bench headed by Chief Justice 3,95,192 INDIA'S TOTAL ACTIVE CASELOAD 1,00,738 FRESH CASES IN JUST 2 DAYS 53,476 FRESH CASES RECORDED IN THE LAST 24 HOURS DOUBLE WHAMMY The reach parameter measures the fraction of the population affected by the pandemic. At 40%, reach is the highest in Maharashtra, making it a double whammy along with high contact rate of India S A Bobde. The bench Suri said ad-hoc appointments was hearing a PIL filed by NGO can be made after vacancies for Lok Prahari seeking regular posts are filled. appointment of retired To this, CJI Bobde said, judges to clear pending “We are not sure how cases. much cooperation we The bench said the are receiving from you Constitution allows apregarding that. But adpointment of ad-hoc hoc judges are not a judges and taking that threat.” route has become a neThe ad-hoc judges S A Bobde, CJI cessity in view of the would be considered out-of-hand pendency . the junior-most so that The Centre’s counsel Addi- they don’t become a ‘threat’ to tional Solicitor General R S anybody in terms of seniority, the CJI added. The SC also clarified that it’s not creating a new convention but is only suggesting to use a provision in the Constitution. “Article 224A is a Constitutional provision... We will lay down guidelines stating if pendency goes beyond certain limit for, say more than , eight or 10 years, then the Chief Justice will automatically recommend the appointment of ad-hoc judge. After Collegium approves, they can sit and it (term) can be HIGHEST GLOBAL COVID CONTACT RATE IN INDIA Indian Supermodel for Covid predicts national peak of second wave by mid-April with 70-80K new cases daily R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi AMID the galloping Covid-19 cases, it turns out that India is witnessing the world’s highest coronavirus contact rate, whereby an infected person is infecting another one every two days. What is worrying is the massive jump in contact rate this month, according to the Indian Supermodel for Covid19. The latest analysis through the model, initiated by the Department of Science of Technology predicts , the peak of the second wave by mid-April, when daily infections will be between 70,000 and 80,000, primarily driven by Maharashtra. According to scientists analysing the model, the cause of this unexpected jump in contact rate is likely to be a combination of more crowding in public spaces like schools and colleges, markets and public places and public transport and faster spreading mutations. “The contact parameter seen in India is reported nowhere in the world and a massive jump in contact rate is causing the sharp rise in cases all over. Early March, it was around 0.24 (an infected person infecting another in four days) and today it stands at 0.48 (every second day). The spike in many states is primarily due to a significant increase in contact rate,” said Manindra Agrawal, Deputy Director at IIT, Kanpur, who is part of the supermodel study . Agrawal expects the second wave peak around April 15-25. “In Maharashtra, the contact rate has been high for a while (0.38 now though it was around 0.45 when there was no lockdown). The peak will be bigger than during the first wave around 40,000 new infections per day It is likely to arrive in . early April. Even in Punjab, the second peak will be bigger than the first one with around 4,000 new infections per day, but there is a significant increase in reach,” said Agarwal. In Delhi, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and TN, the contact rate is around 0.5, while in Punjab it is 0.3. Harish promises jobs to angry unemployed youth EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad APPARENTLY with an intention to douse embers of unrest among unemployed youth in the wake of the 30 per cent fitment announced for the employees and enhancement of the retirement age from 58 to 61 years, Finance Minister T Harish Rao on Thursday reiterated the State’s commitment to fill 50,000 jobs in the government. He said this while moving the Telangana Public Employment (Regulation of Age of Superannuation) (Amendment) Bill 2021, thereby enhancing the retirement age. The Minis- ter’s promise comes in the wake of students staging protests as they neither had any assurance of recruitment to vacancies in the government nor any unemployment allowance when the fitment was announced by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Harish said the enhancement of retire- ment age would not impact recruitment drives. Recalling that raising the retirement age was one of the promises made by the TRS in its manifesto, the Finance Minister said it was done keeping in mind the need to put the employees’ experience to best P4 use. extended,” it added. The court also wanted to know the status of the 55 names cleared by the SC Collegium for appointments to various high courts but have not been notified by the government yet. The top court noted that there should be a reasonable timeframe for the law ministry to respond to the the Collegium’s recommendations. After seeking suggestions from the Centre and high courts, the SC adjourned the matter to April 8. Thieves steal cash and gold from bank, leave no clues EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Peddapalli IN a major bank heist, unidentified persons broke into the Gunjapadugu branch of the State Bank of India (SBI) at Manthani mandal in Peddapalli district and made off with six kilos of gold jewellery worth `3.10 crore and `18 lakh in cash early on T h u r s d a y. What’s interesting is that the thieves did not leave a single clue, which has left cops groping in the dark. The SBI staff noticed that the bank had been robbed when they opened it for the day’s operations in the morning. Ramagundam Police Commissioner V Satyanarayana said he suspected a professional gang behind the theft. Eight special police teams have been constituted to apprehended the culprits. “We are working on the case and I am sure we will have an early breakthrough,” he said. Based on a complaint from the bank manager, Prahlad Pingava, police registered a case and began investigation. The suspects had committed the offence without leaving CONTINUED ON P2 any clue. ` FREAK MISHAP BIGGER, BETTER & VIRTUAL THINKEDU EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai IT was this time last year that our world changed forever. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a nationwide lockdown and we were all confined to our homes, grappling with a new reality But amid such uncer. tainties, there’s one thing you could always rely on to happen like clockwork — the TNIE’s ThinkEdu Conclave. Over the past eight years, The New Indian Express has brought you a niche, curated and thoughtprovoking event in Chennai with some of the biggest names in the Indian education space and beyond in the form of the ThinkEdu Conclave. This year, with the pandemic refusing to recede, we’ve taken ThinkEdu virtual. We will bring 35 speakers streaming directly to your homes with some of the most vital and stimulating conversations around education, jobs, life after a pandemic, the new National Education Policy and so much more that centres around this year’s theme Lessons for a new world. This year, we have Union ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal and Nitin Gadkari, Infosys Co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, Education Secretary Amit Khare, intellectuals like Makarand Paranjape, AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe, CSIR’s DG Dr Shekhar C Mande, among others talking about how the country can be truly Atmanirbhar. We also have authors like Amish, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Anuja Chauhan discussing their books and offering lessons for our young. ThinkEdu kicks off on March 26 at 7 pm. And this year, instead of two days, we have extended the event to five days — till March 30. You can catch the sessions live at newindianexpress. com, edexlive.com, eventxpress.com and our social media channels — Facebook, T w i tt e r, L in ke d I n a n d YouTube. The mangled remains of MLC S Vani Devi’s car after her personnel security officer Bhanu Prakash rammed Gate No. 8 on the Assembly premises on Thursday. Hyderabad Commissioner of Police Anjani Kumar suspended Prakash for violating the rules and illegally driving the MLC’s car The doctor’s troubles began when Viswanath visited her for a medical solution as he was going bald. He became infatuated at first sight and began harassing her to accept his proposal – Jubilee Hills police TRS leader shields stalker harassing doc EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad PERSISTENT and importunate, a middle-aged man, who was infatuated with a lady doctor, kept stalking her seeking a reciprocation of his “love”. When the matter got completely out of hand, the doctor had to seek the help of Jubilee Hills police. The doctor and her husband went to the police as the last resort when the 45-year-old stalker, Viswanath, and his friend Srikanth Goud, a local TRS leader, threatened the couple with dire consequences when they asked them to leave them alone. The doctor’s husband, in fact, urged the TRS leader to discipline his friend, but the latter turned against him instead of admonishing Viswanath. According to the police, the doctor’s troubles began when Viswanath visited her for a medical solution as he was go- ing bald. He became infatuated at first sight and began harassing her to accept his proposal for a relationship. He was least dissuaded by the fact that the doctor was a married woman and has children. As meeting her everyday was becoming difficult, Viswanath even rented a flat in the same apartment she was living in. As if this were not enough, he set up a GPS bug on her car to know where she was going. When he found that his tricks were not cutting any ice with her, he began showing undue love for her children, offering them chocolates. When all this became too much for the lady doctor to bear, she confided in her husband about the kind of torture she was going through. First, both of them approached him and his friend Srikanth Goud and when the latter threatened them, they went to Jubilee Hills police who registered a case and started the investigation. STUDENTS PROTEST MANY FROM OSMANIA, KAKATIYA VARSITIES TAKE TO THE STREETS AGAINST SHUTTING OF CAMPUSES|P4 Ryots rush to repay loans after ‘naming & shaming’ E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Sangareddy UNLIKE millionaire-industrialists, who siphon off money from banks and flee the country the farmers of Papannapet mandal , in Medak district rushed to repay their loans. They crowded the District Cooperative Central Bank (DCCB) after it displayed their names and photos on a flexi three days ago, along with a notice which stated that unless they clear the loans by Thursday, the lands which they had mortgaged would be auctioned. The farmers said for various reasons they had defaulted in the loan repayment but never intended to swindle the bank. When their names and pictures were flashed on the flexi, they were humiliated and many of them rushed ‘Didn’t mean to the bank to pay back their loans in full. Fifteen farmers had raised loans from the to insult’ bank, of whom 12 paid 50 per cent of their out- The bank’s standing amounts on Wednesday while two re- Papannapet , paid their loans in full on Thursday The other branch . farmer, who is out of station, sought time which manager, P the bank obliged. Praveena, said: The bank authorities took down the flexi, as “We were only the farmers cooperated with them, and also acting in dropped the plan of auctioning their lands. But accordance with the farmers got flustered when they saw their the procedures names on the defaulters’ list. “We live in dig- laid down for nity The bank should not have put up the flexi. loan recovery” . It is humiliating. We are not robbers or dacoits. We are not running away from our villages. We had no intention of cheating the bank,” one of them said. The loans the farmers had raised were not huge either — they ranged from `5 lakh to `10 lakh and were for agriculture purposes. “The bank is making a fuss about our loans even though the amounts are small,” said another farmer, pointing out that they had given collateral security “They have our land with them. Why the hur. ry?” he asked. Fear, loathing and a new minority politics in poll-bound Assam S ITTING inside his dirtcoated, poorly-stocked provision store next to a rural road at Joypur village in Assam’s Kokrajhar district, Akbar Ahmed is reticent about the ongoing state elections. “I am so busy in my shop that I have had no time to think of it. Let voting day come then I will apply my mind,” he said as cacophonic traffic blowing gas horns raced past, kicking up plumes of cough-inducing dust. A little later he dropped guard a tad, saying in the 2016 Assembly elections he had voted for the Bodoland People’s Front, then an alliance partner of the Bharatiya Janata Party . Ali-ur-Zaman in Kaziranga is similarly circumspect. Originally from Bongaigaon district in eastern Assam, he and his wife have been running a dhaba for the past four years on the national highway that cuts through the rhino sanctuary “I . will see, I can’t say anything ASSAM POLLS H KHOGEN SINGH @ Kokrajhar/Dhubri about voting right now,” he answered in one-liners, suspicious of every question and refusing to even make eye contact. His wife hemmed and hawed in greater measure: “We are confused.” About 350 km away inside a weather-beaten, tin-roofed tea stall in Bagbari village, Dhubri district, Noor Islam is watching a video on his mobile of the arrest of civil rights activistturned-candidate Akhil Gogoi. Unlike Akbar and Zaman, Islam is not fearful of discussing the elections with a stranger. He declares his support for the Raijor Dal, Gogoi’s new political party and spews venom on , the BJP and its local candidate, Ashok Kumar Singhi. The tea shop owner, Usman Moni, in between blowing out betel nut from his paan-stained mouth every 15 minutes, is also vocal about the polls, the BJP and Singhi, describing the saffron party’s nominee as “Hitlerian”. It’s not difficult to understand why the Muslims of Kokrajhar and Kaziranga were suspicious while those in Dhubri were open, expansive and even poCONTINUED ON P7 lemical.
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