visakhapatnam l friday l march 26, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late 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 JNTU to oversee exams in autonomous engg colleges E x p ress N e w s S er v i c e @ Vijayawada The State government has decided to change the examination pattern in autonomous engineering colleges by abolishing the existing system of setting question papers on their own. Henceforth, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) will set the examination papers for the autonomous colleges also. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who held a review meeting on the examination pattern in autonomous colleges and Jagananna Vidya Deevena on Thursday said the , question papers set by JNTU will be used in both autonomous and non-autonomous colleges in the State. The evaluation of answer scripts will also be done under the aegis of JNTU. “These steps have been taken to prevent malpractices in the exams,’’ he said. Underlining the importance of skills to face job interviews, he said every student should develop a good skill set, besides gaining knowledge in respective subjects. An apprentice system will be introduced in every course to enhance the skills of students. “The students should have the option to choose the subjects of their choice in the engineering courses,’’ he said, and directed authorities to ensure new subjects are available to them. Jagan urged the officials to study the degree education system in developed countries to come up with new initiatives to improve standards. He directed the officials to set up a good degree college in Vizag and suggested introduction of P4 more subjects in Arts. CJI suggests ad-hoc judges to cut pendency Fear, loathing and a new minority politics E XP R E S S N E W S S E R VIC E @ 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 of India S A Bobde. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Lok Prahari seeking appointment of retired Indian Supermodel for Covid predicts peak of 2nd wave by mid-April India witnesses highest global Covid contact rate 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 Covid-19. The latest analysis through the model, initiated by the Department of Science of Technology predicts the peak of , the second wave by midApril, 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 and faster spreading mutations. “The contact parameter seen in India is reported nowhere in the world and a massive express read BJP fields Ratna Prabha for bypoll Vijayawada: Former Karnataka Chief Secretary K Ratna Prabha was announced as the BJP candidate for the Tirupati Lok Sabha byelection. A native of AP, the 1981 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer retired from service in March 2018 and later joined the BJP. Ratna Prabha worked in the combined AP in different capacities bigger, better & virtual ThinkEdu E x p ress N e w s S er v i c e @ 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 uncertainties, there’s one thing you could always rely on to happ e n l i k e 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 Covid 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 judges to clear pending cases. The ad-hoc judges would be The bench said the Constitu- considered the junior-most so tion allows appointment of ad- that they don’t become a ‘threat’ hoc judges and taking that to anybody in terms of seniorroute has become a neity the CJI added. , cessity in view of the The SC also clarified out-of-hand pendency . that it’s not creating a The Centre’s counsel new convention but is Additional Solicitor only suggesting to use General R S Suri said a provision in the Conad-hoc appointments stitution. “Article 224A can be made after vais a Constitutional procancies for regular S A Bobde, Chief vision... We will lay posts are filled. To this, Justice of India down guidelines statCJI Bobde said, “We ing if pendency goes are not sure how much coop- beyond certain limit for, say, eration we are receiving from more than eight or 10 years, you regarding that. But ad-hoc then the Chief Justice will aujudges are not a threat.” tomatically recommend the ap- 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 Cofounder Kris Gopala-krishnan, 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, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. 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 due to a significant rise in contact rate,” said Manindra Agrawal, Deputy Director at IIT, Kanpur, who is part of 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. 3,95,192 India's total active Caseload 1,00,738 Fresh cases in 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 pointment of ad-hoc judge. After Collegium approves, they can sit and it (term) can be 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. Daily Covid count in AP surges to 758 E x p ress N e w s S er v i c e @ Vijayawada In the highest spike since last November, Andhra Pradesh recorded 758 Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours ending Thursday 9 am. For the second consecutive day, Chittoor reported more than 100 new infections. The district recorded the highest number of 175 Covid cases, followed by Guntur with 127, Visakhapatnam with 98 and Krishna with 80. The lowest number of 13 cases were reported in West Godavari. The Chittoor district administration urged people to strictly adhere to Covid Appropriate Behaviour to curb the spread of virus as more number of new infections were reported in Tirupati. As many as 35,196 Covid tests were conducted in a span of 24 hours, taking the total to 1.48 crore in the State. The cumulative Covid-19 count rose to more than 8.95 lakh with the spurt in P4 infections. 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 any. thing 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 kms 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 , Assam Polls H K h o g en S i n g h @ Kokrajhar/Dhubri 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 and teeth 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 polemical. Continued on P7 Bharat Bandh likely to affect normal life With the YSRC, opposition TDP and trade organisations extending their support to the Bharat Bandh call given in protest against the Centre’s decision to privatise VSP and the new farm laws, normal life may be affected on Friday The State government opposes the Centre’s move to privatise VSP, which is the right of Andhraites. People should make the bandh a success Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani), Information and Public Relations and Transport Minister All the government institutions in the State to remain closed till 1 pm APSRTC to suspend its bus services till noon Emergency health services to function as usual Lorry transport is likely to be hit as the AP Lorry Owners Association backed the bandh A few farmers depose before CID in assigned land scam E x p ress N e w s S er v i c e @ Vijayawada The Crime Investigation Department (CID) has intensified its probe into the alleged alienation of assigned lands in Amaravati capital region. The CID on Thursday recorded the statements of farmers of Rayapudi and Uddandarayunipalem, who had given their lands to the government, falling under the capital region. According to sources in the i n v e s t i g a t i n g a g e n c y, Venkateswarlu, a farmer of Rayapudi, who was having an acre and 40 cents of landholding, told the CID that a word was spread among the farmers in the capital region that the assigned lands would be taken over by the government once the location of the capital was announced. “We were told that the gover nment would not pay a single rupee for the lands. We were anguished and forced to sell our lands,’’ he said, adding that those who purchased the lands had initially offered `19 lakh for his land. However, when we went to the registration office at Mangalagiri, we were offered only `6 lakh. When we questioned them, they told that we would not get even that amount if the The FIR was filed based on a report given by Mangalagiri MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy. The FIR named former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and former municipal administration minister P Narayana as the accused. The AP High Court, however, had stayed investigation into the FIR for four weeks. Meanwhile, the CID cautioned private individuals from contacting the potential witnesses in the case and hampering the investigation P4 by twisting the facts. Kurnool airport named after Narasimha Reddy CBI files case against MP for bank fraud E x p ress N e w s S er v i c e @ Kurnool E x p ress N e w s S er v i c e @ Visakhapatnam The CBI has filed yet another case against Narasapuram MP K Raghu Rama Krishna Raju following a complaint lodged by the SBI deputy general manager of Stressed Assets Management Branch in Chennai. Raju and other directors of Hyderabad-based Ind Barath Power Ltd were accused of defrauding the bank of `237 crore after securing loans with forged documents. Cases were booked against the company directors Raju, K Rama Devi, Raj Kumar Ganta, D Madhusudhana Reddy, Narayan Prasad B and Ramachandra Iyer. Ind Barath Power is a coal-based plant located at Tuticorin. The plant was shut down in May 2017. government took over the lands,’’ he said, adding that they were deceived. At least three farmers appeared before the CID at Thullur police station and gave their statements on similar lines. It may be recalled that the CID on March 12 registered an FIR on the alleged irregularities in alienation of assigned lands in the capital region with the issuance of GO 41 by the previous TDP government through which assigned lands were allowed to be acquired for the capital Amaravati. Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy at the inauguration of greenfield airport at Orvakal in Kurnool district on Thursday | Express Former CM Naidu inaugurated Orvakal airport before elections to get political mileage: Jagan Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged that former CM Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated the airport just one month before elections to get political mileage. The construction of the airport was not completed by then. The YSRC government worked hard for completing the airport and spent `110 crore on the project. The passenger terminal building was constructed in one and half years. The runway works were completed on a war footing. Two fire tenders were procured from Austria, he said India got Independence in 1947. About 100 years before Independence, Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy hailing from Kurnool raised the banner of revolt against the British rule in support of farmers. As a tribute to the great freedom fighter, the new airport has been named after him —Jagan Mohan Reddy, Chief Minister The sixth airport in Andhra Pradesh, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy at Orvakal on Thursday, has been named after freedom fighter Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy . Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, “India got Independence in 1947. About 100 years before Indian Independence, Narasimha Reddy hailing from Kurnool raised the banner of revolt against the British rule in support of farmers. As a tribute to the great freedom fighter, the new airport has been named after him.’’ He also said, “It is an unforgettable day in the history of Kurnool as the district, which till now has road and rail connectivity, has got an airport too. The new airport will enhance the reputation of Kurnool, which is designated as the judicial capital of the State.” Launching a broadside at Opposition Leader N Chandrababu Naidu, Jagan said Naidu, when he was the Chief Minister, inaugurated the airport just one month before elections to get political mileage. “The construction of the airport was not completed by then. It did not get any permission to operate flight services and even the runway was not laid. Naidu tried to derive political mileage by inaugurating the incomplete airport,’’ Jagan said. Flight P4 operations from the new airport will begin on March 28.
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26-03-2021 of The New Indian Express-Vishakapatnam