tirupati l saturday l october 09, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l anantapur EDITION Dmitry Muratov Maria Ressa Shock & awe as journalists who speak truth to power get peace nobel work angered the rulers of the Philippines and Russia, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, there was a collective gasp of surprise in the media. For, the last time a journalist got the prize was 86 years ago. German Carl von Ossietzky won it in 1935 for outing his nation’s secret post-war rear- E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e A Nobel prize isn’t something you normally associate with hard-nosed journalists who break stories and speak truth to power at risk to their lives. So when word got out that gritty Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, journalists whose mament programme. This year’s award to Ressa and Muratov was in recognition for their courageous fight for freedom of expression, Chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen of the Norwegian Nobel committee said. “At the same time, they are repre- sentatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions,” she added. “Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda.” Muratov (59) dedicated his award to six contributors to his newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, who had been murdered for their work exposing human rights violations and corruption in Russia. Despite the shock honour, the Kremlin congratulated Muratov. Ressa (58) faced years of litigation in the Philippines as the Rappler website she cofounded in 2012 carried critical reports on President Rodrigo Duterte. Rappler is known for its incisive investigative reporting, including bloody police drives against the drug mafia. “We’re going through a dark time, a difficult time, but I think that we hold the line,” she said after learning about the award. She was among the journalists named in the Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2018 for fighting media intimidation. The Nobel Peace Prize will be presented on DeP9 cember 10. 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 Air India flies to its former owner; no resale for five years Tata heirloom returns home Welcome winning BID back! L 18,000 cr Bag of gooDies 100% stake in Air India 100% stake in Air India Express the joint 50% stake in Air India SATS venture Air India’s 117 wide-body and narrow-body aircraft While admittedly it will take considerable effort to rebuild Air India, it will hopefully provide a very strong market opportunity to the Tata Group’s presence in the aviation industry Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus, Tata Sons Jobs, benefits protected Tata Group will have to retain all employees for a period of one year VRS benefits will be offered to those terminated after one year Employees will be provided gratuity and PF benefits as per laws Post-retirement medical benefits for those who have already retired or will retire in future will also be protected Around 5,000 employees are due to retire in the next five years An u r a d h a S h u k l a @ New Delhi SIXTY-eight years after it ceded control of Air India to the government, the Tata group on Friday won the bid to take over the national carrier, thus successfully completing the Centre’s multiple attempts to turn around and sell the debtridden airline. Talace Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Tata Sons, made the winning bid of `18,000 crore, said Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary in the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). Of the `18,000 crore, `15,300 crore would be the debt retained by the winning bidder and Tata Sons will pay `2,700 crore in cash, Pandey said. The transaction, however, does not include non-core assets such as land and building, valued at `14,718 crore. These will be transferred to the Air India Asset Holding Ltd. Air India has a debt of `61,562 crore at the end of August 31. After payout by the Tatas, `46,262 crore of debt will still remain with government entities. “The next step will be to issue the Letter of Intent (LoI) and then sign the Share Purchase Agreement following which, the conditions prece- Help tide over energy crisis, Jagan sends SOS to PM E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada `2,700 cr cash `15,300 cr Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy writes a letter to Prime Minister Modi on coal shortage on Friday | Express debt takeover Air India Express’ 24 narrow-body aircraft Control of 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports 900 such slots at airports overseas Air India Employees Total 12,085 Permanent 8,084 Contractual 4,001 dent would need to be satisfied by the successful bidder, the company and Government. It is expected that the transaction will be completed by December 2021,” read a finance ministry statement. “It has been ensured that the interest of the employees and retired employees would be taken care of,” the finance ministry added, clarifying on the fate of 12,000-odd employees of Air India. The Centre added that the winning bidder will retain all employees for one year. If they are retrenched after one year, they will be offered a voluntary retirement scheme. On Air India’s brand and logo, the government said the winning bidder will have to retain them for five years. The government had set the reserve price for the airline at `12,906 crore. Apart from the Tata group, Spicejet chairman Ajay Singh had placed a bid of `15,100 crore (`2,265 crore cash payment and `12,835 crore debt takeover). The process for disinvestment of Air India and its subsidiaries had commenced in June 2017. However, there was no bidder for the first round. The gover nment then reworked the terms and conditions and re-commenced on January 27, 2020. 20 coal rakes for APGENCO sought Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy urged the Centre to initiate urgent measures such as directing the coal ministry and railways to supply 20 rakes of coal to APGENCO thermal units to tide over the energy crisis Indian and Chinese soldiers were involved in a physical scuffle last week along the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh near Yangtse in the Tawang sector for a few hours, it has emerged. The Indian Army detained a few Chinese soldiers before the situation was defused. The Army described it as a “physical engagement”, adding soldiers on both sides sustained minor injuries during the scuffle, as there was some pushing and shoving. There was no damage to Indian defences, sources said. “The engagement lasted a few hours but the situation was managed according to established protocols and mechanisms as agreed by both sides,” sources added. Aggressive patrolling from the Chinese side led to stand-off positions at multiple points in the three sectors of the 3,488-km LAC since last year. The next round of bilateral talks is expected soon. The engagement near Yangtse is in addition to an incident at Barahoti in Uttarakhand in August- S u n i t h a n att i ON Friday, the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept policy rates and stance unchanged but the key takeaway was about liquidity normalisation. That’s because the MPC’s job ends with policy rate decisions, but the central bank’s job begins soon after. Liquidity management is the operating procedure of monetary policy and ensuring adequate , liquidity – neither deficit nor surplus – is critical. Currently, we have surplus liquidity of `12-13 lakh crore with nowhere to go. For now, RBI is absorbing `4-6 lakh crore paying interest to banks Jab-o-meter Take your shot Oct 07 45,54,939 doses Oct 08 71,75,744 doses Total doses 93,90,86,001 NATIONWIDE oct 7 oct 8 Fresh cases 22,431 21,257 Recoveries 24,602 24,963 Deaths 318 271 statewide oct 7 oct 8 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Samples tested 643 693 839 97 8 6 48,028 48,235 end, where PLA troops reportedly on horseback had crossed the LAC on the Indian side and remained there for a few hours. In May 2020, a physical scuffle had taken place at Naku La pass area in Sikkim and on June 5, 2020, there was a stand-off at Kalapani area. Both were later resolved. Army Chief General M M Naravane had said last week, “The Chinese have deployed in considerable numbers across Easter n Ladakh and up to eastern command,” adding India was matching their deployment. Gradual, balanced approach, says guv ”Our approach (on liquidity) would be one of gradualism. We will move ahead in a balanced manner,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, adding that there is no need for undertaking further G-SAP operations in overnight, weekly and fortnight windows. The key here is the interest rate. Usually, banks park surplus funds with RBI at fixed rate reverse repo, currently set at 3.35%. But to encourage banks, RBI has begun variable rate reverse repo auctions, as overnight rates, or the short end rates, remained sticky due to liquidity glut. Following the 7- and 14-day auctions, rates are now closer to the operative policy rate of 3.35%. But RBI cannot go on paying banks, and system liquidity cannot remain in surplus forever. ANGRAU had adopted Thumuluru in September to promote all-round development of the village. ANGRAU V-C A Vishnuvardhan Reddy said, “We will provide regular weather bulletins to farmers to enable them reap a good yield. Farmer Production Organisations will be set up to sell farm produce at remunerative prices as part of development initiatives.” Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU) has adopted Thumuluru in Kollipara mandal to promote all-round development of the village by laying emphasis on modern methods of cultivation. About 1,700 families live in Thumuluru and majority of them are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. The village has a liter- A team of ANGRAU, led by Vice-Chancellor A Vishnuvardhan Reddy, conducts a study at Thumuluru in Guntur district | Express @ New Delhi Alarmed by the steep rise in petrol and diesel prices, which is adding to inflationary pressures, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday nudged the Centre to cut fuel tax. “Efforts to contain costpush pressures through a calibrated reversal of the indirect taxes on fuel could contribute to a more sustained lowering of inflation and an anchoring of inflation expectations,” he said. Noting that fuel tax is something the Centre has to act upon, Das said RBI is constant touch with government. “On E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The Indian School of Business (ISB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) and Andhra Pradesh Information Technology Academy (APITA) to make students more employable and industry ready . As part of the initiative, ISB will offer two joint certification courses in Business Literacy and Behavioural Skills through APSSDC and Digital Literacy and Entrepreneurial Literacy through APITA. The programmes would be offered as foundational elective courses in an asynchronous format, considering the possible changes that might be part of the National Education Policy . Graduating students (Technical and non-technical institutes), ITI students, those employed in the industry and unemployed youth are eligible for the skill development P4 programme. ANGRAU plans to make agriculture more profitable B a n d h a v i Ann a m @ Guntur continued on: P10 the petrol and diesel front, we have flagged the issue... now it is for the government to consider all the aspects and take a decision beyond that I have nothing to add,” he added. After a near three-week halt, fuel prices are now going up in tandem with the rise in Brent crude prices. Prices of petrol and diesel a g ain touched fresh highs on Friday after they were increased for the fourth consecutive day . In the national capital, the petrol price rose 30 paise to `103.54 a litre, while diesel was sold at `92.12 a litre. In the financial capital Mumbai, petrol price on Friday stood at a whopping `109.54 while diesel cost `99.92. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e MoU to mould industry-ready generation rural development Agri university adopts Guntur village to aid ryots GENCO plants are operating at less than 50% of their 90 MU/ day capacity because of coal shortage. The Central Generating Stations (CGSs) have also not been able to supply more than 75% of their 40 MU/day capacity,” the Chief Minister explained. Jagan further said that AP has not been executing contracts with coal-based plants to absorb energy from 8,000 MW, and that the State has been “heavily” relying on market purchases to meet the shortfall in energy But the market pric. es also surged steeply owing to the international energy crisis and the demand thereof, he exP4 plained. With economy on recovery curve, Told govt fuel tax cut can RBI begins squeezing out money rein in inflation, says Das Minor India-China troop scuffle at LAC MAYA N K SI N G H @ New Delhi Informing that the State thermal units only have coal stocks for a day or two left and that the average power prices in spot markets shot up by three times, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has sent an SOS to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking immediate intervention to ‘avert chaotic conditions’ due to the unfolding energy crisis. He requested that urgent measures such as directing the coal ministry and railways to supply 20 rakes of coal to APGENCO thermal units, supply of deepwater gas from ONGC and Reliance to 2,300 MW nonworking/stranded gas units and others be initiated to tide over the energy crisis. In the letter written to the Prime Minister on Friday, he noted that power demand in Andhra Pradesh post-Covid has shot up by 15% in the last six months and by 20% last month. He elaborated that AP has been meeting the grid demand of 185 million units (MU) to 190 MU daily. “Power generation stations operated by APGENCO, which meet about 45% of State’s energy needs, hardly have coal stocks for one or two days and generation from these could be impacted further. AP- acy rate of 75% and 66% of women are literates. Farmers cultivate paddy turmeric, banana and other , crops. A majority of farmers are not reaping good profits. A study team of ANGRAU had come to know that agriculture was not profitable to most of the farmers in the village while conducting a trial run of pesticide spraying on crops in Thumuluru using drones and decided to extend help P4 to them. majestic Lord Malayappa Swamy rides China Sesha Vahanam at Tirumala on Friday as part of Brahmotsavams | Express UP gets it from Supreme Court for failing to arrest Union min’s son CJI’s cryptic comment on CBI probe “We hope the state will take necessary steps. Because of the sensitivity of the issue, we are not making any comment. And CBI may not be a solution for reasons you better know... because of persons... Better some other mode you find out,” CJI Ramana told Harish Salve K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi Expressing dissatisfaction at the way the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in UP is being probed, the Supreme Court on Friday said the state government should show some seriousness in dealing with it. “Your seriousness is only in words and not in your actions,” Chief Justice of India N V Ramana told senior advocate Harish Salve, who appeared for the UP government. “Is this the way you treat (murder) accused in other cases as well?” the CJI asked, when Salve said the UP Police have issued summons to accused Ashish Mishra, son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, to appear at 11 am on Saturday, since he failed to turn up for questioning on Friday . When Salve said the summons was issued to the accused since the autopsy report did not find bullet wounds on the bodies of the eight victims, the court asked, “Is this a ground for not taking custody?” Salve, however, conceded, “The manner in which this car was driven, it leaves no manner of doubt that the allegations (of farmers mowed down) are true.” The CJI asked the state to direct the DGP to protect the evidence. The case will be heard after the Dasara.
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