chennai l saturday l september 11, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l late city EDITION after midnight dialogue, fifth test cancelled Following back and forth between both teams, final game, scheduled to begin in Manchester on Friday, scratched out 24-36 hours of high drama series result 2-1 as of now Following hectic parlays from Wednesday night to Friday morning, news filtered in that the game had been cancelled because of ‘Covid-related concerns’. However, ECB had said India ‘forfeited’ before they edited it out minutes later. The uncertainty began after assistant physio, Yogesh Parmar, tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday afternoon ■ ■ If the ECB takes the case up with the ICC, the world body will sit in judgment to rule whether the cancellation fulfills their ‘Covid’ acceptance norms. If they say ‘yes’, then India will win series 2-1 Both boards will work towards playing a one-off Test. As of now, India visit England again for six white ball matches in 2022 | P13 one first time that a test has been cancelled in this fashion 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 NMC blinks on new norms for PG medical edu I-T ‘survey’ Tax sleuths search offices of NewsClick, Newslaundry Exp r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ New Delhi S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi Income tax officials on Friday searched the offices of online media portals NewsClick and Newslaundry to peruse their financial records and verify certain remittances made by them. Both the online portals have run several stories highly critical of the government. While officials said these were ‘surveys’ and not raids, mobile phones of employees were reportedly seized and none was allowed to leave the premises while the survey was on. “The survey is related to tax returns and remittances they get from the overseas,” an I-T official told this newspaper, refusing to divulge any further details. People aware of the searches said some I-T officials had visited the Newslaundry office last month to serve summons, after which the firm submitted the papers. Similar searches were conducted on the premises of digital media platform NewsClick. In February this year, the Enforcement Directorate had raided the NewsClick office as well as the homes of its editors to probe suspicion of money laundering. The raid attracted criticism from journalists, who called it an attempt to gag independent media. NewsClick approached the Delhi High Court and was granted interim relief. Earlier in July, the I-T department had raided the offices of Dainik Bhaskar and Lucknowbased Bharat Samachar television channel. Both the media outlets had criticised the Centre’s mismanagement of the second Covid wave. In a separate operation, the I-T department said it has raided Ahmedabad-based media and real estate group Sambhaav and detected “unaccounted” transactions of over `1,000 crore. The National Medical Commission has agreed to make significant changes to the draft post-graduate medical education regulations 2021 bill, which had proposed common counselling for all institutions on the basis of national rankings but did not fix a minimum stipend for junior residents. Several doctors’ bodies, including the Indian Medical Association, had been demanding multiple changes in the proposed regulations. Senior officials at the Commission met representatives of the IMA on Thursday and accepted suggestions to modify various contentious clauses. For example, the draft had proposed common Central counselling for admission in all medical educational institutions for all PG broad specialty courses (diploma, MD and MS) based on the merit list of the National Exit NEXT exam Test (NEXT). The Commission agreed from 2023 to amend it to provide for simultaneThe NEXT exam — ous counselling at both national and state levels for their respective quothe common tas by competent authorities without examination for disturbing state reservation. final year MBBS It also accepted a proposal to specstudents that will ify a minimum stipend. IMA presialso double up as dent J A Jayalal, who participated in an entrance test Thursday’s meeting, told this newsfor PG medicine courses — is set to paper that while PG residents are paid up to `1,00,000-1,10,000 as monthbegin from 2023 ly stipend in some states, the figure is as low as `15,000 elsewhere. “If the purpose of the Commission is to usher sweeping changes such as uniformity in examination and syllabus, it should also ensure that our PG residents are paid uniform remuneration,” he said. The Commission has also agreed to relook the draft proposal to introduce a mandatory three-month residency for PG students in district hospitals. Jayalal pointed out that as district hospitals do not have teachers, it will not substantially aid the learning of PG students. He suggested that the training period be brought down to one month from the proposed three months. The Commission has now assured that the eligibility of super specialty courses for various disciplines will be subject to an expert group’s opinion. Also, faculty with PhD will be given special consideration. And the NEXT exam improvement will be allowed on an yearly basis. All these are part of the modifications to the draft bill released last month. adios ganesha Youths immerse Ganesha idols on the occasion of Vinayakar Chaturthi at the Pattinampakkam beach in Chennai on Friday. Meanwhile, defying the State ban on processions, a few Hindu outfits carried out public celebration across the State | P2 | p jawahar Employees keep their fingers crossed as Ford looks for buyers C S h i v a k u m a r @ Chennai A day after US auto giant Ford made a surprise announcement of exiting the country, workers are keeping their fingers crossed and awaiting a takeover of assets by another company The US auto ma. jor is believed to be in talks with potential buyers of its two plants — one in Chennai in Tamil Nadu, and Sanand in Gujarat. “It is too early to comment on it (the potential sale). It is a good asset and there is still time till June 2022. We hope some company will come and take over the asset by then,” a senior Tamil Nadu government official told TNIE. “If someone is keen to take over the facility, we will facilitate the transaction,” said the official, adding that the State government is closely monitoring the situation at the manufacturing plant at Maraimalai Nagar where 3,300 workers are employed. In Chennai, Ford is shutting down only the engine and vehicle What company says... Ford India head, Anurag Mehrotra, assured the company would continue full customer support operations with service, aftermarket parts and warranty support besides promising to compensate dealers assembly plants. Ford Business Centre and the product development centre that cater to the global operations, employing more than 10,000 employees, would continue to operate, the official said. Industry officials said there were rumours over Ford shutting down its manufacturing facilities Health Secy tells Collectors to be on alert as Covid-19 positivity rate rises marginally E X P RE S S NE W S S ERVI C E @ Chennai NATIONWIDE sep 09 sep 10 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 43,263 40,567 338 34,973 37,681 260 tamil nadu sep 9 sep 10 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,596 1,534 21 1,631 1,523 25 Jab-o-meter Take your shot September 9 64,15,260 doses September 10 56,91,552 doses Total doses 72,97,50,724 Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan on Friday asked all District Collectors and Greater Chennai Corporation officials to be on alert as the Covid-19 test positivity rate (TPR) has been on a rise for the past seven days. While the rise has been marginal, a few doctors said they were seeing a minor spike in the number of patients getting admitted of late. The TPR, which stood at 0.97 per cent on September 4, reached 1 per cent on Friday In his message to . the Collectors, Radhakrishnan underlined that, unlike earlier, the current rise in cases is not linked to an increase in the number of tests, but is due to more people testing positive for the infection. The Secretary told TNIE a few districts like Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Coimbatore, Erode, Tiruppur, Nagapattinam, and Madurai were seeing TPR fluctuations. A worrying trend is the emergence of new clusters, mainly from work places, functions, and hospitals. On Friday 17 , clusters, amounting to 46 cases were reported in TN, including in Chennai. For instance, five cases were detected from one family in Mugalivakkam in the city . P3 in India when its much-hyped joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra was called off on January 1. Post that, the company was said to have held discussions with around half-a-dozen automakers such as MG Motors and Citroen to lease out its factories for contract manufacturing. The company more recently held talks with homegrown mobility company Ola, which recently launched its first electric scooter. According to industry sources, in July Ola had emerged as a frontrunner for taking over the factories for contract manufacturing of its electric vehicles. Amid uncertainty Ford employ, ees said they would want Chief Minister MK Stalin to intervene and protect their livelihoods. The general secretary of the Chennai Ford Employees Union, Senthil Kumar said the union has decided to oppose the management’s decision to shut down operations. He said that the company will open its shutters on Monday after a weeklong holiday . continued on: p3 ‘Promoted’ Ravi to hold naga brief too The Nagaland government and insurgent group NSCN-IM may feel relieved that Governor R N Ravi has been moved out of the state, but it is no less than a promotion for the former spook. Ravi will not only serve in a more important state, he will continues to be the Centre’s interlocutor in the Naga peace talks – at least for now. The Nagaland government was unhappy with him for his alleged interference in its affairs, while the NSCN-IM was livid with him over his handling of the “Naga political issue” | P10 killed for quill Poaching of Madras hedgehogs for ‘medicine’ raises alarm S S e n t h i l K u m a r @ Coimbatore THE small insectivorous mammal that looks like a pincushion with legs, commonly known as Madras Hedgehog or the South Indian Hedgehog, is being killed in large numbers, according to experts, for use in traditional medicine. The quills that grow as a thick layer on the back of the Paraechinus nudiventris, similar to that of the porcupine, are used in Siddha and other local remedies, and is the main reason these animals are killed. Experts called for a population study of the species and for it to be brought under the Wildlife Act to prevent poaching. Known as mull-eli locally trans, lating to ‘thorn-mouse’, the species is commonly found in the southern part of the country. In many parts of TN, the animal’s quills are dried, powdered, and mixed with honey in traditional medicine a ‘cure’ for coughs. D Raja Shankar, a Siddha doctor from Palayamkottai, who has been practicing for over two decades, said, “We have been providing both quill powder and a thailam (balm) to those presenting with cough.” He claimed that people who have taken the concoction have responded well and recovered. “It could be given to anyone, from a newborn to the elderly and , depending on their health, they will be cured,” he claimed. Dr Brawin Kumar of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Tirupati, who spearheads research on the species, said cattle owners and the members of the public capture and kill the animals and give it to Siddha practitioners. Apart from its use in traditional medicine, habitat alteration, road accidents, and other anthropogenic activities are the reasons cited for the animals dying. However, Brawin and forest officials said there are no official records on the numbers of the Madras hedgehog in the wild, making it difficult to protect the species.P7 express read Four held for gangrape in Kancheepuram Chennai: The Kancheepuram district police have arrested four men for allegedly gangraping a 20-year-old woman in a farmland in Melkathirpur village in Kancheepuram district. A search has been launched for one more accused. Five Sections of the IPC have been slapped against the four, police said. All of them have been remanded to judicial custody | P3 Cong stir to include civil society groups New Delhi: In a bid to put pressure on the Centre over its “anti-people policies”, the Congress plans to rope in civil society groups, activists and youths to strengthen its agitation against the BJP-led government in the coming months. The party’s ninemember panel under veteran party leader Digvijaya Singh will meet on September 14 to take the strategy forward | P9 Taliban execute saleh’s brother in panjshir The Taliban have executed the brother of ex-Afghan vice-president Amrullah Saleh who became one of the leaders of anti-Taliban opposition forces in the Panjshir valley | P11
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