TIRUCHY THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 02, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION AIR POLLUTION CUTS AVG LIFE EXPECTANCY BY 6 YRS: STUDY Average Indian life expectancy cut short by 5.9 years, relative to what it would be if WHO guidelines were met, says a study DELHI, UP WORST-AFFECTED STATES: STUDY India’s average particulate matter concentration in 2019 was 70.3 microgram per cubic metre (μg/m3) compared with the WHO’s guideline of 10 μg/m3, according to a new study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. It said air pollution shortens lives of people by 9.7 years in Delhi and 9.5 years in Uttar Pradesh, the worst-hit states ■ 40% 1.3 BILLION INDIANS BREATHE DIRTY AIR? The study says air pollution has reduced the average life expectancy by 8.8 years for the people of Bihar, 8.4 years for Haryana and 7.3 years for Jharkhand. It further states that all of India’s 1.3 billion population lives in areas where the annual average particulate pollution level exceeds WHO norms | P7 OF INDIANS EXPOSED TO POLLUTION LEVELS NOT SEEN IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY 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 2 Didi ministers in ED chargesheet on dirty money sting AFGHANISTAN Taliban govt in the works, parleys on EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE WITH the US forces completely withdrawing from Afghanistan, the Taliban leaders are holding hectic negotiations to form a government in the wartorn country While some lead. ers of the outfit have claimed they have finalised the broad contours of the government, no formal announcement has been made yet. According to various reports, the delay is due to differences among various factions of the Taliban are vying for lucrative posts. It is widely believed that top Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada will head the regime as Supreme Leader from Kandahar, with his deputy Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar running the daily affairs of the government from Kabul. There are talks about including women in the government to make it inclusive, but the top posts are likely to be held by men. With the Kabul airport remaining inoperable after the withdrawal of US troops, the Taliban are in touch with both Qatar and Turkey for help to resume commercial flights. A Qatari aircraft landed in Kabul on Wednesday carrying a technical team to discuss the resumption of airport operations, Saudi Arabian TV channel Al Arabiya reported. In his address to the nation, US President Joe Biden defended his decision to withdraw all US troops ahead of the August 31 deadline. “This decision is not just about Afghanistan. It’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries,” he said. P9 CHILDREN AMONG 50 DENGUE DEATHS IN U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has rushed a team of 11 doctors to take control of the suspected dengue outbreak in and around Firozabad district, which has claimed 50 lives in 10 days | P8 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT August 31 1,04,42,184 doses September 1 69,42,335 doses TOTAL DOSES: 66,17,38,647 NATIONWIDE AUG 31 SEP 1 Fresh cases 30,941 41,965 Recoveries Deaths 36,275 33,964 350 460 TAMIL NADU AUG 31 SEP 1 Fresh cases 1,512 1,509 Recoveries Deaths 1,725 22 1,719 20 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kolkata Girls returning home after their first day at school, ever since the pandemic forced a months-long break, in Madurai on Wednesday | K K SUNDAR Schools reopen, students upbeat Sense of joy, some trepidation and a smattering of bending of the Covid SOPs on Day One EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE R SATISH BABU CONCERNS PLENTY Chennai: “It is mentally relieving to step out and meet friends,” said a student. However, social distancing and safety measures went for a toss at places with classes seen overcrowded and children hanging out of buses from footboards | P2 HAVE you ever yearned to go to school so badly that you’d even brave a downpour to get there? Well, if you haven’t been a school student during Covid, you might not get that feeling. On September 1, a whole 17 months after she last set foot in a classroom, Sanjana Sen, a Class XI student from Delhi was halfway to school when it started raining in Delhi. Her father wanted to take her back home. But she was adamant. “I wanted to go to school very, very badly So we somehow got . there even without an umbrella,” said the teenager who hadn’t met her friends in what seems like forever. A student of Sharda Sen Rajkiya Kanya Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, she added that getting back to school was an exhilarating experience for her. “I met new teachers in Class XI HC order on insurance cover held in abeyance B A N B U S E LV A N @ Chennai THE Madras High Court on Wednesday kept in abeyance its order which mandated bumperto-bumper insurance cover for new vehicles sold from September 1. It has adjourned the matter to September 13 when it will hear the General Insurance Council (GIC), a statutory body constituted under the Insurance Act which represents the collective interests of non-life insurance companies in India. The GIC had moved the court last week asking it to grant the insurance companies 90 days’ time to introduce the new breed of five-year insurance policies after due approval from the insurance regulator. The court on August 4, had ordered that a five-year bumper-tobumper insurance is a must for all new vehicles. The State transport depart- ment also on Tuesday issued a circular to all Regional Transport Offices to verify the policy when registering new vehicles starting Wednesday At present, . no company offers a five-year bumper-to-bumper insurance leading to much ambiguity on the issue. Justice S Vaidyanathan, who had also passed the original order, issued an interim order on Wednesday keeping the previous order in abeyance. The court also appreciated the government for acting quickly and issuing a circular. Meanwhile, new vehicle registration was disrupted across the State on Wednesday and ambiguity prevailed in vehicle showrooms over the insurance coverage. The dealers informed vehicle buyers that they may have to shell out more if the bumper-to-bumper insurance is implemented in the comP5 ing days. and it was an amazing day. I was dying to go to school,” she chirped. But not everyone in Delhi was as lucky as Sanjana. Himanshu and Nandini, siblings and classmates in Class IX, said that they were yearning to go to school but couldn’t. The heavy rains coupled with rumours of how flooding increased the imminent threat of Covid accounted for a large degree of absenteeism (far lower than the allowed 50% limit) in the Capital. As schools reopened in several states — Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura, Delhi, Meghalaya and Arunachal — with strict Covid-19 protocols in place, nostalgia met trepidation down the middle. While the closure in Rajasthan only stands at five months, most parents are still apprehensive as only around 20% `25 LPG price up for 3rd time since July Petrol, diesel prices cut Petrol price was cut by 10 paise a litre diesel by 14 paise on Wednesday. Petrol price in Delhi is now at `101.34 per litre, while diesel price is `88.77 a litre have given written consent to send their children for physical classes. With kids yet to be vaccinated, parents continue are a worried lot. Dr Rekha Moolchandani, the mother of a Class 12 student, said she was not ready to send her son to school as the vaccination process for students is yet to start. “The third wave may hit any time and sending them to school is not safe. My son is comfortable studying online and we support him as he is safe,” she said. Schools in all 75 districts in UP reopened, but private schools deferred it because of a lack of consent from parents. Madhya Pradesh had a similar problem with attendance figures stuck around 15-20%. The turnout was similarly low in the Northeast, where states like Meghalaya have only vaccinated about 72% of the teachCONTINUED ON P5 ers. Pre-NEET Academic Total Service Non-Service docs docs year 2013-14 157 66 91 2014-15 134 63 71 2015-16 145 57 88 2016-17 160 45 115 Post-NEET THE number of doctors in government service securing admissions to super speciality courses has witnessed a drastic fall since the Union government introduced the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in 2017-18. If the trend holds, doctors fear there won’t be enough specialists in government service in a decade. ADMISSIONS TO SUPER SPECIALITY COURSES EXPRESS READ Bharathiar University ex-VC faces graft charges Coimbatore: Former V-C of Bharathiar University, A Ganapathy, has been booked again by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) for alleged irregularities in appointment of faculty. Six faculty members, who allegedly helped him, were also booked. Reacting to the development, Ganapathy said, “DVAC has not conducted any inquiry with me.” The current V-C, P Kaliraj, said the Syndicate would decide future course of action after consulting legal experts. ENS 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 134 178 297 311 8 28 28 50 Source: Directorate of Medical Education 126 150 229 261 doctors in super speciality courses has not reached the pre-NEET figures. While 15.7 per cent of seats were secured by service doctors in 2018-19, only 9.42 per cent bagged seats in 2019-20. The figure rose to 16 per cent in 2020-21. Before NEET, TN conducted a State-level entrance examination, and also reserved 50 per cent seats for government service doctors. Further, in 2016, the Timed for 2016 state elections Hakim is the transport and housing minister and Mukherjee looks after panchayat affairs in Mamata’s cabinet. Mirza is now under suspension. The sting footage showed representatives of a fake firm approaching people resembling Trinamool leaders and offering bribe. It was aired days before the 2016 Bengal polls 1000 LPG cylinder price was hiked yet again by `25 on Wednesday the third hike since July 1. After , the latest price rise, a 14.2-kg non-subsidised cylinder costs `885 in Delhi and Mumbai, `900 in Chennai, and `911 in Kolkata. The last price change was on August 17, when the price was raised by `25. On July 1 also, the price was hiked by the same amount. LPG prices have gone up `190 since the beginning of 2021 and `290 since last September. The prices have more than doubled since September 2014, when a cylinder cost `427. This is the 9th hike in LPG prices in the past one year, during which the price was cut only once, on 1 April, by `10. Hitting out at the Centre for the LPG price hike, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, “The Centre has earned `23 lakh crore from the GDP , not Gross Domestic Product but Gas Diesel Petrol. Now my question to the government is, where did they spend this `23 lakh crore.” A NEET divide in super speciality medical admissions According to data from the Directorate of Medical Education, less than 17 per cent of service doctors got super speciality seats post-NEET, compared to over 40 per cent before 2017. In 2017-18, the first year of admissions based on NEET, only six per cent of service doctors secured seats. While the figure improved slightly in the next three years, the representation of service Subrata Mukherjee E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi FEWER SERVICE DOCS S I N D U J A J A N E @ Chennai Firhad Hakim Supreme Court directed TN to forgo the policy of providing super speciality seats only to domicile students and allow students from other States also to apply . Dr T Janakiraman, an anaesthesiologist in Chennai, said, “Government hospitals are run by State funds with no contribution from Centre. So, we cannot open TN medical seats for CONTINUED ON: P5 everyone.” TWO Trinamool Congress ministers, one party lawmaker, a former mayor and an IPS officer were named as accused in the Narada sting money laundering chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate in a Kolkata court on Thursday All five had been arrested on May 17 . by the CBI in a separate case on the sting operation filed by it, a fortnight after the Trinamool returned to power with a thumping majority for the third straight term, drawing charges of political vendetta. The five persons named as accused in the ED chargesheet are ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, MLA Madan Mitra, former mayor of Kolkata Sovan Chatterjee and IPS officer S M H Mirza. The fact that the CBI chose not to go after two other heavyweight accused, Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy, both defectors from the Trinamool to the BJP, had strengthened allegations that the probe agency was a caged parrot. By then Suvendu Adhikari had become Leader of Opposition in West Bengal. Mukul Roy later did a ghar wapsi, heading back to the Trinamool. To do a balancing act, the ED on Thursday sought the court’s permission for further probe against both Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy . Others on its list for further probe are Trinamool MPs Kakali Ghosh Dastidar, Prasun Banerjee and Aparupa Poddar and former MLA Iqbal Ahmed. The court accepted the ED’s request to allow summoning of the accused to its Kolkata office on November 16. It told the ED to send summons to the three Trinamool lawmakers through the office of the Speaker of the state Assembly and summon Chatterjee and Mirza directly The CBI . had secured prosecution sanction from Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar instead of the Speaker, which had triggered an uproar. “The ED submitted the chargesheet holding the five accused guilty of laundering money during the course of the Narada sting operation. They have been summoned by the agency to follow the next course of action,’’ said ED’s lawyer Abhijit Bhadra. 800 770 695 720 645 860 820 835 795 810 Refill cost (`) 600 595 400 885 LPG cylinder price in Delhi Sep Dec 16 04 15 25 01 01 01 17 01 2020 2020 Dec 20 Feb 20 Feb 21 Feb 21 Mar 21 Apr 21 Jul 21 Aug 21 Sep 21 Note: Price is of 14.2 kg non-subsidised cylinder Source: IOCL The subsidies on LPG cylinders are now limited to those in remote locations. Beginning May 2020, standard direct benefit transfer subsidies for domestic LPG were eliminated, with the government taking advantage of the crash in global crude oil prices to equalise the price of subsidised and unsubsidised cylinders. As a result, the government’s total subsidy burden on LPG has come down from `22,726 crore to `3,658 crore in 2020-21. Iconic building to rise on Marina: Muthusamy EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai MINISTER for Housing and Urban Development, S Muthusamy, on Wednesday announced that a huge complex that would become the capital city’s iconic building, would be constructed in a 25.16acre land at Pattinapakkam (Foreshore Estate). “The complex will be built in collaboration with a Singaporelike country. Studies in this regard are going on,” said the minister. He was replying to the discussion on the demands for grants for his department in the State Assembly . Trees situated in this 25 acres of land would be uprooted and replanted to another place, said Muthusamy. Additionally, 10 saplings per tree will also be planted by the Housing Department. “For a long time now, the multi-storey LIC building has been portrayed as one of Chennai’s landmarks, even in movies. Now, with the construction of this complex, visitors to the city will definitely not want to miss this. It is very hard to find such a huge extent of land within the city he added. ,” Muthusamy also said that the Greater Chennai Corporation will be expanded by including a few parts of Arakkonam, and the Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts after eliciting views of the public. This is being done considering the expeditious growth in areas lying adjacent to the city and to meet infraP4 structure requirements.
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