chennai l tuesday l july 13, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l late city EDITION Lightning kills at least 41 in Rajasthan, U.P., and M.P. Deaths occurred over a span of 24 hours since Sunday evening as monsoon showers led to flash floods in parts of north India 23 killed in Rajasthan alone Twenty-three people, including seven children, died in Rajasthan alone, which reported the highest number of deaths. In Jaipur, 12 people, mostly youngsters who were taking selfies, were killed when a thunderbolt struck the iconic watchtower at the Amber Fort. In Uttar Pradesh, at least 12 people were killed while Madhya Pradesh reported six deaths `2 lakh cars swept away in himachal floods ■ ■ Heavy rains in Himachal (pic) and Uttarakhand triggered flash floods, which swept away buildings and cars at tourist spots In Dharamsala, four cars and several bikes were swept away by the deluge, which damaged a school building and inundated hotels. All flights to and from the town have been cancelled | P9 Ex-gratia announced for the kin of those killed by a lightning 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 Retail inflation remains high at 6.26% Stays past RBI’s tolerance level for 2nd consecutive month, driven by food, fuel prices; factory output grows 29.3% in May E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi HIGH retail prices continue to wreak havoc on India’s economy as inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was a high 6.26% in June, according to government data released on Monday . With retail inflation remaining above the RBI’s tolerance limit of 6%, experts say it will force the central bank to revise its inflation forecast in the next monetary policy meet scheduled between August 4 and 6. However, analysts don’t expect the RBI to change the key policy rates. In the last monetary policy review, RBI had revised inflation forecasts for FY22 to 5.1%. But, the general consensus among economists is that inflation may average above that level in FY22. “Following today’s CPI inflation print, we expect the inflation forecasts to be revised upwards in the next MPC review, NEET-undergrad exam now on September 12 entry and exit, contactless registration, proper sanitisation, seatAs reported exclusively in these ing with social distancing etc. columns on July 10, The Nation- will also be ensured. ... All furnial Eligibility cum Entrance Test ture and fixtures and seats will 2021 (NEET) for undergraduate be sanitised before and after the medical courses has been put off exams. The examination room/ by over a month. It will now be halls will have open windows held on September 12 instead of and fans for proper air circulaAugust 1 across the country . tion,” his ministry said. “The NEET (UG) 2021 will be However, no decision has been held on 12th Septemtaken yet on admisber 2021 across the sion to postgraduate 11 languages country following medical courses. The The NEET-UG test COVID-19 protocols. Supreme Court on will be offered in 11 The application procMonday took strong languages — English, note on the delay in ess will begin from 5 Hindi, Assamese, pm tomorrow through announcing counselBengali, Gujarati, the NTA website(s),” ling for NEET-PG adKannada, Marathi, informed new Union missions in dental Odia, Tamil, Telugu Education Minister surgery for exams Dharmendra Pradhan and Urdu. Since last held on December 16, year, admissions to on Monday . 2020. “You have been In order to ensure MBBS courses in all dilly-dallying for a 13 AIIMS and JIPMER year. Tell us within a social distancing in Pondy, are being norms, the number of week as to when are cities where the exam- done through NEET you holding it,” bench ination will be conof justices D Y Chanducted has been increased from drachud and M R Shah said. 155 to 198. The number of examiAs many as 13.66 lakh students nation centres, too, will go up, took the NEET-UG exam on Septhough the new figure is yet to be tember 13 last year, which is the determined. Last year’s NEET entry point for admission to exam was held in 3,862 centres. MBBS, BDS, AYUSH (BAMS, To ensure adherence to Covid- BUMS, BHMS) courses in gov19 protocols, face mask will be ernment and private colleges. Of provided to all candidates at each them, 7,71,500 candidates cleared centre. “Staggered time slots for the test. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi amid a status quo in the rates and stance, albeit with an underlying tone of uneasiness in the commentary said Adit Na,” yar, Chief Economist, ICRA. While technically, retail inflation softened to 6.26% from 6.3% in May, food inflation zoomed to 5.15% from 5.01%. In the food basket, egg prices rose 19.4% while those of oils and fats increased 35%, data showed. Fruit prices also saw a 12% jump, while 53 ITaly have won euro title after a gap of 53 years It is not coming home, yet England are yet to win a major tournament since lifting the World Cup in 1966 Total doses 38,11,04,836 NATIONWIDE july 11 july 12 Fresh cases 41,506 37,154 Recoveries 41,526 39,649 Deaths 895 724 tamil nadu july 11 july 12 five Gianluigi Donnarumma has won each of the five games in which his team has faced penalty shootouts Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who missed their penalties in the shootout, were racially abused online. Rashford’s mural in Manchester was defaced in the aftermath makkal All-party team to meet mandram dissolved Actor Rajinikanth on Monday said he would never enter politics and the RMM, formed to do spadework for his political foray, would be dissolved | read on: P4 @ New Delhi Chief Minister MK Stalin received a few petitions from people who gathered at the Secretariat in Chennai on Monday | p jawahar fake message leads to crowds at secretariat It all started with a message on social media platforms on Sunday, which claimed that Chief Minister MK Stalin would receive petitions from the public the next morning, to address their grievances. Although State officials told reporters that there was no such programme scheduled for the CM on Monday, there was no stopping the masses that gathered at the Secretariat from early morning. People poured in from various parts of the city and even the suburbs. In time, the massive ‘queue’ stretched from the entrance of the Secretariat, to the end of the RBI subway, about half-a-kilometre away . Express spoke to a few among July 11 37,23,367 doses July 12 37,03,423 doses Racist abuse on players Lost in the final stretch E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Chennai Take your shot Thousands of fans gatecrashed Wembley before kick-off leaving many ticket holders stranded. Also, there were scenes of carnage on the streets of London due to unruly conduct Having entered Euro as favourites, Italy lived up to the billing in the final. Unbeaten in 34 matches, they proved their mettle by winning in the penalty shootout For all the talk of ‘It’s coming home’, England fell short when it mattered. After taking 1-0 lead, they chose to sit back and defend and that proved costly in front of the home crowd Jab-o-meter Hooligans’ field day Unbeaten italy champs Cabinet clears LIC IPO, issue by March 2022 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Manufacturing rebounds Manufacturing, which constitutes 77.63% of the IIP, grew 34.5% in May though it shrank 16.4% compared with the pre-Covid period (May 2019). Industrial production had plunged 18.7% in March last year following the Covid outbreak costs continued to rise, registering an 8% inflation. Meanwhile, factory output as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) witnessed a 29.3% growth in May, mainly on account of low base. IIP had contracted 33.4% in May 2020. Economists expect the IIP growth to be between 15% and 20% for the next month. Factory output is the closest approximation for measuring the economic activity of the country’s business landscape. Rome is the NEW home Disinvestment THE Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its in-principle approval for the listing of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC)’s shares on stock exchanges, an official in the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, told TNIE. The initial public offering (IPO) of the state-owned life insurer is part of the government’s efforts to raise `1.75 lakh crore through disinvestment in the current financial year. Sources said all efforts are being made to ensure the LIC IPO is done within the current financial year, which ends in March 2022. The gover nment, which holds 100% equity holding in LIC, is planning to sell a portion of its stake in the process. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech had brought in necessary amendments in the Life Insurance Act to pave the way for LIC IPO. Deloitte and SBI Capital have been appointed pre-IPO advisors. According to sources, they have prepared a full activity chart for LIC, the milestones, what they have to do with accounts, etc. inflation for the ‘fuel and light’ sub-group rose 12.7% in June compared to 11.6% in May Infla. tion in transport and communication rose 11.6% while health the near 1,500 people who had turned up. One of them, civic activist David Manohar, had reached the Secretariat as early as 7 in the morning, and had been waiting for a long time. Manohar said, “I came to meet the CM on an issue concerning encroachment on a part of my land. Though I raised the issue with many officials and filed RTIs, no action was taken.” Stalin, who chaired an allparty meeting in the morning, heard of the gathering, following which, on his way home, he personally received a few petitions. The officials at the CM’s Cell accepted the remaining petitions. Stalin had earlier announced the creation of a new department — CM In Your Constituency — to address public grievances within 100 days. Centre on Mekedatu E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai The representatives of legislature parties in the State Assembly on Monday spoke in unison on preventing Karnataka’s efforts to build a new dam across the Cauvery river at Mekedatu. With a view to convey to the Union government about Tamil Nadu’s overall opposition to the project, a resolution was adpoted to send an all-party delegation to New Delhi soon. It is likely to be headed by Chief Minister MK Stalin or Water Resources Minister Durai Murugan. It will be clear within a day or two, along with the list of leaders of all parties to be part of the delegation. The meeting, chaired by Stalin, condemned Karnataka’s efforts to construct a new dam at Mekedatu and urged the Union government not to permit the State to go ahead with the project. The meeting also decided to continue all legal and other steps, including petitions filed by Tamil Nadu before the Supreme Court in this regard. One of the three resolutions adopted at the meeting said the project is an attempt to violate the SC verdict and indeed, is a challenge posed to the Constitution. Stating that this dam would affect farmers of TN, the resolution said the Union Ministries concerned should not clear approvals for this project. Another resolution said all political parties in TN would extend their full cooperation and support to the government in preventing the dam’s construction. “If the dam comes up, the farmers here would be affected. It is high time that we convey to Karnataka and the Union government that entire TN and its parties stand united on the issue,” the CM said. Minister Durai Murugan, DMK MP RS Bharathi, former minister D Jayakumar, TNCC president KS Alagiri, BJP legislature party leader Nainar Nagenthran, CPI State secretary R Mutharasan, CPM State secretary K Balakrishnan and MMK president MH Jawahirullah took part in the meeting. 2,775 3,188 47 2,652 3,104 36 express read Pupils face generational catastrophe, says UN Paris: Continued shutting down of schools due to the pandemic will lead to a generational catastrophe, heads of UNICEF and UNESCO warned on Monday. The losses that children and young people incur from not being in school may never be recouped, a joint statement said. “We urge governments to prioritise safe reopening of schools to avoid a generational catastrophe,” leaders of UNICEF and UNESCO wrote in the statement | P14 Tharoor, Tewari in the race for Adhir’s post as Congress leader in LS E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi With the monsoon session of Parliament beginning next week, the Congress is looking at a leadership change in the Lok Sabha. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is expected to be replaced as the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha as part of the party’s organisational reshuffle. According to sources, Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari are leading the race to replace him. The names of Gaurav Gogoi, Ravneet Singh Bittu and Uttam Kumar Reddy are also doing the rounds. Sources further said former Congress president Rahul Gandhi will not take up that position. Chowdhury is also the president Simultaneous House sessions of the Congress unit in West Bengal, where the party was wiped out For the first time in the recent Assembly elections. since the pandemic Ever since, rumours about his axstruck, both LS and ing as the party’s leader in the Lok RS will function Sabha were doing the rounds, citing simultaneously, the one-man-one-post rule, especialending the two-shift ly because he has no leverage now. structure that was in The speculation has since strengthsince September last ened with indications that the rule year. The monsoon will be rigorously enforced now. sesson will begin on As for Tewari, he is also in the July 19 and end on race to head the troubled Punjab August 13 | P7 unit of the party which is expected , to be announced soon. The monsoon session will begin in July 19. Both Tharoor and Tewari are part of the group of 23 leaders who wrote to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi last year seeking clarity on leadership issues. The monsoon session is expected to be stormy with the Congress planning to demand a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Rafale jet deal. A French court’s recent order to probe charges of corruption and favouritism in the deal, gave impetus to the Congress campaign against the bilateral agreement. The government’s handling of the second wave of the pandemic, too, will be under the critical gaze of parliamentarians. Evidence from disabled person not inferior: HC HARISH M URALI @ Chennai Courtroom talk The convict’s counsel contended that since the victim is visuallychallenged, she cannot be termed as “eye witness” and can only be treated as “hearsay witness”. To this, the court said merely because of the factum of disability, her evidence cannot be treated inferior Observing that the evidence of the disabled should not be counted as inferior to that of an able-bodied person, the Madras High Court has upheld the order of a lower court convicting an auto-driver to seven years imprisonment on charges of abducting and molesting a blind woman in 2013. “Law does not distinguish the evidence of an able-bodied person with that of the disabled. Merely because of the factum of disability, her evidence cannot be treated as inferior in nature to that of an able-bodied person. To do so, could be negation to the constitutional principle of the right of equality,” ruled Judge Teekka Raman, in an order dated July 7. The convict, Anbuselvan, had appealed against a Mahila Court order that upheld the charges against him and sentenced him for seven years in jail. He was an auto driver, hired by the victim to reach a music institute in Chennai. But he took her to an isolated spot and molested her. On hearing her cries for help, a few locals rescued her. Anbuselvan’s counsel contended that the identity of the convict was not proved. Since the victim is a visuallychallenged person, she cannot be termed as “eye witness” and she can only be treated as a “hearsay witness”. Hence, the counsel argued that her statements indicting the convict must be rejected. The counsel argued that the convict is not the person who had committed the crime. However, the court rejected the arguments by citing precedents set by other higher courts on the matter. P2
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