KOCHI l friday l june 11, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION select your LPG distributor scheme to get rolling soon Aim to foster healthy competition The pilot project is a precursor for a national launch. While booking a refill through a mobile app/customer portal, you will see a list of distributors along with their ratings. You can choose any distributor from the list and rate their service. The idea is to give you a wider choice of distributors, while fostering a healthy competition among dealers to retain their base An upcoming pilot project in Ranchi, Pune, Chandigarh, Gurgaon and Coimbatore to give customers the right to choose distributors ■ 28 crore giving you more value for money ■ The drive to offer more value for money comes a year after the govt stopped subsidising refills not covered under Ujjwala Yojana The subsidy was nixed after an oil-price plunge brought refill cost on a par with subsidised rates of around D600. Though the prices have since crossed D800 a refill, subsidy has not been reinstated Domestic LPg customers in India as of 2020 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 enrolment of girls up, Gender US to process student visa gap in higher education down applications from June 14 E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in New Delhi on Thursday | Special arrangement Cabinet shuffle buzz on, Yogi to meet Modi today Pressure from leadership to allocate plum portfolio to a former PMO man in ministry Raut lauds Modi amid Maha Pawar point M A N ISH A N A N D @ New Delhi Amid hectic parleys within the BJP to control damage in Uttar Pradesh after the second wave of the pandemic left a devastating trail, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday called on Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Adityanath is slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, with indications suggesting the CM may not be able to avoid a state Cabinet reshuffle. Earlier, BJP chief J P Nadda briefed Modi on the inputs collated by party general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh and state in-charge Radha Mohan Singh, who had camped in Lucknow for two days. Modi is reportedly closely monitoring the BJP’s preparations for the state polls next year, with regular exchange of inputs between him and Nadda as well as RSS leaders. While the CM had recently termed the buzz of a Cabinet reshuffle as media speculation, sources said he will eventually have to fall in line as the top leadership is keen on a few changes ahead of the February 2022 state polls. A K Sharma, MLC and former official in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), is widely speculated to get a key portfolio in the state Cabinet. While the CM hasn’t been amenable to the idea so far, a top ranking BJP functionary told this newspaper that Sharma would be given an important assignment in the state. Sharma, incidentally was in the na, tional capital when Adityanath called on Shah. Sources said BJP leaders and top RSS functionaries concur that while Adityanath should lead the party in the polls, a few changes in his ministerial team are needed to dispel the perception that he’s running a highly centralised administration, against which even the MPs and MLAs reportedly nurse grievances. Mumbai: Days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had a oneon-one with the prime minister in Delhi, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut lauded Narendra Modi, saying he is the top leader of the country and the BJP. But tamping down speculation, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said their government will not only complete its term, the allies will contest the LS and the state elections together | P7 Stay with Amarinder as CM, says panel Chandigarh: The report of a Congress panel set up to address the ongoing rift in its Punjab unit, suggested continuing with Amarinder Singh as the CM and making him the face of the state elections. It also recommended accommodating rebel Navjot Singh Sidhu and revamping the state unit. The report was submitted to party chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday | P7 EXPRESS READ Director Buddhadeb passes away at 77 Kolkata: Eminent film director Buddhadeb Dasgupta died at his residence here early on Thursday due to old-age related ailments. He was 77. The national awardwinning director was having kidney ailments for a long time and undergoing dialysis twice a week regularly, family said. P4 A government order allowing students in unrecognised schools to join state institutions without TC has riled CBSE school managements. P5 NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 9 june 10 16,204 14,424 20,237 17,994 156 june 9 S O VI VI D YA D H A R A N @ T’Puram THE BJP state leadership, reeling under backto-back controversies following the poll setback, K Surendran can heave a sigh of relief for the time being as the national leadership seems to have found merit in its argument that recent allegations against the party are politically motivated. Clearly aware that any leadership change in this hour of crisis would only cause more harm to the party the na, tional leadership has asked the state unit to stay united and fight back. BJP state president K Surendran along with Union Minister V Muraleedharan met national president J P Nadda on Thursday. Besides explaining the causes for the assembly poll rout, Nadda was also reportedly informed of the party’s position vis-a-vis the allegations of using black money for poll campaign, intimidating and bribing a namesake candidate and securing an ally’s support in exchange for money . “The national leadership has asked us to fight strongly against the Pinarayi Vijayan government’s witch-hunt and foisting of false cases against party leaders,” Surendran said after the meeting. He is expected to meet the party’s national general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh on Friday to discuss the election outcome and post-election assessment carried out at the booth level, besides other organisational ● More on P4 matters. a period of five years, female enrolment increases by 18% l Gross enrolment ratio rose to 27.1% in 2019-20 from 26.3% in 2018-19 and 24.3% in 2014-2015 l No. of universities up 30.5% from 799 in 2015-16 to 1,043 in 2019-20; Colleges up from 39,071 to 42,343 l UP recorded highest student enrolment in India with 50.9% female and 49.1% male students followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The gross enrolment ratio (GER) for the age group of 1823 years in higher education institutes in India is 27.1. The ratio for male population is 26.9 and 27.3 for females. For the scheduled caste cat- ty and schedule appointments. “Prior to your visa interview, please review your I-20 proThe US Embassy in India on gram start date. Students beThursday said it will restart ginning a new program with a processing student Visa appli- start date on or after August 1 cations on June 14, bringing may travel to the US up to 30 much-needed relief to the days prior to the date and do community worried over not need to submit a rethe uncertainty surquest for a national inrounding the proceterest exception,” the dures in the aftermath embassy said. of the pandemic. The embassy said VISA “Student visas recontinuing students main a top priority may also resume their and we are making eveprogrammes on or after ry attempt to facilitate stuAugust 1, and travel 30 days dent travel in time for the fall prior to the resumption date. semester. On June 14, we will “We are unable to approve exopen limited July and August pedited requests for Fall 2021 student visa appointments at students. If your appointment posts across India,” it said. date results in a potentially Students were advised to late start, please reach out to visit https://ustraveldocs. your school to discuss opcom/in to view slot availabili- tions,” it said. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Fleeing assaulter caught in forest trap E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi MARTIN Joseph Pulikottil, accused of raping and assaulting a 27-year-old fashion designer after detaining her in a luxury flat in Kochi for nearly a month, was caught on Thursday evening, ending a four-day intensive search by the police. The 33-year-old stock trader was caught from deep inside the forest in Mundoor, Thrissur, with the help of local residents. The police said he was hiding at Ayyankunnu, a forest area, after escaping from the Kochi flat. “He was moving from one location to another and we caught him with the help of local residents and the Thrissur police,” said an officer with Kochi city police. The officers had combed the forest using drone cameras. The investigation team received infor mation regarding his whereabouts from the three persons who were arrested on Wednesday night. “The trio left the flat in Kakkanad early Wednesday morning along with Martin. Though we could catch his friends from Mundoor on Wednesday night, Martin man- Martin Joseph Pulikottil aged to escape. We came to know that he took shelter in the forest and combed the area for hours,” said the officer. Martin was brought to Kochi by midnight. “Since the arrest was made on Thursday evening, we have to produce him before the court only by Friday evening. We have enough time to question him. We have to find the involvement of other persons in the crime,” said the officer. The three persons arrested earlier — Dhanesh, 29, Sreerag, 27, and John Joy, 28, all belonging to Thrissur — shuttled Martin between Thrissur and Kochi frequently to escape the police net. Questioning revealed that they helped Martin by shifting him from one location to another after search was intensified ● More on P3 on Monday . From next year, pay `24.78 per ATM transaction after free monthly limit gets over E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi crimson crescent It’s not a glowing-red waxing moon, but the sun reduced to a crescent during an annular solar eclipse observed in Canada’s Ottawa on Thursday | AP Withdrawing cash from ATMs will be costlier from January 1, 2022, as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed banks to charge customers up to `21 per transaction (plus 18% GST, which makes it `24.78). Currently, the cap is `20 per transaction plus GST. The increase, according to RBI, is “to compensate the banks for the higher interchange fee and given the general escalation in costs”. While the banking regulator has set the upper limit, banks charge different rates within the limit. For example, SBI allows five free transactions in a month. Thereafter, it charges `10 plus GST for withdrawing money from its own machines. For non-SBI ATMs, this will be `20 plus GST. ICICI Bank lev- ies a flat `20 plus GST from the fifth transaction onwards. RBI has also increased the interchange charge from `15 to `17 for each financial transaction and from `5 to `6 for non-financial transaction. Interchange charges are the fees a bank pays to another lender when the former’s customer uses the latter’s ATM to withdraw cash. The last time the interchange fee for ATM transactions was changed was in August 2012, while the charges payable by customers were last revised in August 2014. Suspension of teacher who Tree felling exposes timber lobby-forest staff nexus criticised RSS-BJP revoked NO TC Deaths Guwahati: Calling upon the minority community to “practise small family size” to reduce poverty, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday warned of conflicts for living space in future if the population continued to explode. No change on top, BJP asks state unit to fight as team l Gross enrolment ratio up 11% over egory, it is 23.4 and for scheduled tribes, it is 18.0 compared to the national GER of 27.1. “The continuous rise in the enrolment, number of institutions and gender parity is a part of our country’s major move towards improving access, equity and quality in light of National Education Policy said higher education ,” secretary Amit Khare while releasing the report. The GER increased by minuscule 0.8% in 2019-20. The percentage of students belonging to the eligible age group enrolled in higher education in 2019-20 was 27.1% against 26.3% in 2018-19 and 24.3% in 2014-2015. Total enrolment in higher education stands at 3.85 crore in 2019-20 compared to 3.74 crore in 2018-19. RIFT IN DEPT TO THE FORE needed FOR CBSE STUDENTS statewide Fresh cases Recoveries Keep families small: Assam CM to Muslims THE gap between girls and boys in higher education institutes seems to be narrowing as 49% of the students in colleges are now girls, according to the latest All India Survey on Higher Education. The survey for 2019-20, released on Thursday, showed that during the five-year period from 2015-16 to 2019-20, there has been a 11.4% growth in student enrolment. The rise in female enrolment during the period was 18.2%. The higher education survey estimates the total enrolment in higher education at 38.5 million – 19.6 million boys and 18.9 million girls. Uttar Pradesh has shown the highest student enrolment, MAJOR FINDINGS 194 june 10 92,596 91,211 1,62,664 1,33,598 2,219 3,401 EDIT | IT’S TIME FOR AT LEAST A PHASED UNLOCK IN KERALA | P6 A m i ya Mee t h a l @ Kozhikode THE bribe allegations raised by key accused Roji Augustine in the Muttil tree felling case have brought to focus the murky deals between the timber lobby and a section of forest staff, besides the rift in the forest department. The Muttil tree felling was preceded by another felling incident at Manikkunnumala under Thrikkaipetta village. This issue was brought to light by Roji allegedly to take revenge on the Meppadi Forest Range Officer (RO) who seized the logs L25L given in bribe, alleges key accused Kalpetta: Roji Augustine, key accused in the Muttil tree felling case, has alleged that he had given 25 lakh in bribe to forest officials to transport the logs. P5 cut from Muttil by the former’s Surya Timbers company . As per the report of Conservator of Forest (CF) Northern Range D K Vinod Kumar on February 20 this year, the then Meppadi RO had given permission to cut four rosewood trees in a pattaya land in April 2020. Instead, seven trees were cut and the same were transported through the forest land on October 17 last year without permission. This was probed by Conservator of Forest (social forestry) N T Sajan in February this year when he had additional charge of conservator of forest (Inspection and Evaluation) for four days. Roji and his brothers tipped off Sajan about the incident and he inspected the site on February 15. The report submitted by Sajan the same day said the trees were cut not from pattaya land but vested forest land or left-out vested land, which is a serious offence. In his report, a copy of which was obtained through an RTI query, Sajan demanded strict action against the Vythiri forest station Deputy RO, termed the South Wayanad DFO’s role as shady and pointed out the lapses of Meppadi RO M K ● More on P5 Sameer. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kasaragod The Central University of Kerala on Thursday revoked the suspension of assistant professor Gilbert Sebastian who referred to the RSS and the BJP as proto-fascist organisations, and criticised the Central government’s vaccine policy The university . took the decision after Sebastian wrote to vice-chancellor Prof H Venkateshwarlu expressing “regret” for the embarrassment, if any caused , to the university after his online session was leaked into the public realm. P5 Gilbert Sebastian ‘Don’t repeat such digressed utterances’ The letter asked the assistant professor to “not repeat such digressed utterances, which may cause disharmony in the classroom”. 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express
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