villupuram l thursday l october 21, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION India among countries with highest heat wave exposure Code red for a healthy future India and Brazil had the biggest absolute increase in heat-related mortality between 2018 and 2019, according a new Lancet report Steep rise in Extreme Drought events In addition to direct impacts on health, high temperatures can also affect people’s ability to work, says Lancet’s 2021 report, marked ‘code red for a healthy future’. Half of the total work hours lost globally occurred in the agricultural sector, the report noted. Pakistan, Bangladesh and India had the greatest losses aggregating three times the world average, it added ■ In 2020, up to 19% of the global land surface was affected by extreme drought in any given month. “Millions of farmers and construction workers could have lost income because on some days it’s just too hot for them to work,” said Prof Anthony Costello, executive director of the Lancet Countdown | P7 295 bn hrs Of potential work lost across the world in 2020 due to heat exposure 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 Nearly 10K students seek to do B.Sc agri/horti course in Tamil TN lags behind rest of N D H A M O T H A R A N @ Coimbatore The Tamil Nadu government’s announcement to offer professional courses in Tamil medium seems to have evoked a good response among the students with nearly 10,000 of them opting for agriculture courses in Tamil, despite only 120 seats being available. The Tamil Nadu A g r i c u l t u r a l U n ive r s i t y (TNAU) has introduced two courses — B.Sc Agriculture and B.Sc Horticulture — in Tamil medium starting this academic year at its Coimbatore campus. “This indicates that students are interested to learn agriculture in their mother tongue. Due to this, we expect these seats to get filled in the beginning of the counselling itself,” said M Kalyansundaram, Dean (Agriculture) at TNAU. The rank list will be released on November 2, after which the dates will be announced for the first phase of counselling. As many as 47,600 applications were received online for admissions to 11 undergrad- uate courses offered in 14 constituent and 28 affiliated colleges for the current academic year, Kalyansundaram said. ‘Should train them well’ K Ramasamy, former V-C says the institutions should understand that students select the course for job opportunities, and so, have to train them well for the same “However, the number of applications has come down by 1,500 compared to the previous year,” the dean added. Students might have opted for Tamil medium courses as they have a similar background in gover nment and aided schools, said N Kumar, ViceChancellor of TNAU. “It may be their language of comfort,” he added. continued on: p3 SC raps UP for foot-dragging on Lakhimpur Kan u Sarda @ New Delhi Hauling up the UP Police for not recording statements of vulnerable witnesses in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, the Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled it up for dilly-dallying and delaying the filing of the status report in the probe. Eight persons, including four farmers, were killed in the violence on October 3. “We think you are dragging your feet. Please dispel that impression,” observed a bench led by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana. The remarks came while perusing the UP government’s status report that was filed in a sealed cover just before the hearing. “We had expected it (report) yesterday and waited for it till late night,” the CJI told UP’s counsel, adding they hadn’t instructed filing it in a sealed cover. In the past, the court had faced criticism for the sealed cover procedure in sensitive cases like the Rafale scam. During the hearing, the bench asked as to why the police had recorded statements of only four out of 44 witnesses under Section 164 of the CrPC. “This statement (164 CrPC) has more evidentiary value; why haven’t you recorded them? Statement before police will not l e a d a ny wh e re, ” Ju s t i c e Suryakant said. Senior advocate Harish Salve, who also represented UP , claimed the probe into the kill- ing of farmers was still on and the process to record statements is ongoing. He said the police had recorded two FIRs — one related to the murder case allegedly involving the son of a Union minister after SUVs ploughed into farmers in the village, and the other in which the crowd lynched and killed those who were in the cars. Salve said 10 people have been arrested in connection Witness protection The bench told Salve to protect vulnerable witnesses. “You are in a better position to ascertain who needs protection. Record their statements and give them protection.” Salve said he will make sure the UP govt draws up a witness protection plan and will share the details on October 26, the next date of hearing with the farmers’ killing, of which four are still in police custody Saying it was only con. cerned with the attack on farmers, the bench asked whether the accused were taken into police custody. The counsel said prior to being sent to jail, the six accused were in police custody for three days. The bench then asked if the police themselves gave up the right to seek their police custody or the local court denied them custody . Stranded tourists being evacuated from the landslide affected area of Khairna in Nainital on Wednesday | PTI Uttarakhand toll at 52, rescue ops pick up speed V i n e e t U padh yay @ Dehradun WITH weather conditions improving in Uttarakhand, the magnitude of the calamity became clearer on Wednesday as the toll in rainrelated incidents touched 52. The figure is likely to go up as five people are still missing and some of the 17 injured are in critical condition. Sources said some of the missing could be buried under the debris of houses that were levelled by landslides. The torrential rains that battered the hilly state for the past few days have left roads blocked with boulders and villages without electricity . Out of four the shrines of the Char Dham Yatra – Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri – the route to Badrinath remains closed due to landslide. On Wednesday, Uttara- Ease of access for fliers from 11 countries S u m i S u k an ya D u tta @ New Delhi In fresh guidelines for international arrivals, India eased the screening process for countries with which it has reciprocal recognition of vaccination certificates. The new norms kick in from October 25. Fully vaccinated passengers from 11 countries — France, the UK, Germany Nepal, Bela, r u s, L e b a n o n , A r m e n i a , Ukraine, Belgium, Hungary and Serbia — with which India has a mutual recognition deal will not be required to undergo RT-PCR tests on arrival. Travellers from these countries, if fully vaccinated (at least 15 days before travel), will be allowed to leave the airport and self-monitor their health for 14 days. However, before boarding, they will need to upload a negative RT-PCR report and vaccination certificates on Air Suvidha portal. Each of them will also have to submit a declaration on the report’s authenticity and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise. Those partially or not vaccinated from these countries will need to submit themselves for Covid test at the port of arrival and undergo home quarantine for seven days. These will apply to all passengers coming from the rest of the world irrespective of their vaccination status, as India does not have a reciprocal arrangement with them. khand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami toured the rain-hit areas of the Kumaon region, instructing officials to prepare an estimate of the damage. Union Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to conduct an aerial survey on Thursday . With rains abating, rescue efforts have picked up speed. Apart from the National Disaster Response Force, Indian Army and Indian Air Force, the State Disaster Response Force, state police and local administration are carrying out the rescue and relief operations. The National Disaster Response Force said it has rescued over 1,300 people from flood-affected areas of the state. The federal force has pressed into service 17 rescue teams in the state. P8 Gangtok cut off as torrential rains pound Sikkim Kolkata: Heavy rains pounded the tiny Himalayan state of Sikkim and the tea growing region of North Bengal, causing landslides that cut off National Highway-10, the main road linking Gangtok with the rest of the country. Thousands of tourists, who thronged the hills during the Durga Puja season, got stranded because of torrential downpour in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts EXPRESS READ IPS officer’s sexual harassment: Madras HC raps department Chennai: “God save the (police) department,” said the Madras High Court on Wednesday. Justice Velmurugan, hearing a plea by suspended SP D Kannan seeking to discharge him from the case of a sexual harassment of a woman IPS officer, said, “When such allegations are made against an officer, how will the public have faith in them?” Unfortunately the government is also supporting them for some reasons to achieve their goals, the judge stated. He further noted that the court is a spectator sometimes, because it requires evidence. “This is a shame for the State, and we are going back to the dark ages,” the judge said | P4 ‘Address plaints against Thoothukudi petro project’ S G od s on W i s e ly D a s s @ Thoothukudi The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (Refinery Division), in an order dated October 6, has directed Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu to take appropriate action on complaints against ongoing land acquisition at Allikulam and surrounding villages in Thoothukudi for a private petroleum refinery project. The Thoothukudi district administration in February this year had earmarked 2,234.82 acre across seven villages surrounding Allikulam, for installation of a petroleum refinery project proposed by the Southern Pearl Refinery and Petrochemicals Private Limited (SPRPPL), a subsidiary of Kuwaitbased Al Quebla Al Watya. Following this, in June, Collector Dr K Senthil Raj appointed 125 revenue officials under a special District Revenue Officer for the acquisition of land. In May 2020, the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment Forest & Cli- mate Change, said such a polluting industry can not be allowed close to dense residential areas. It was suggested that the SIPCOT find a place at least 25 km away from the town and 10 km from any habitation and ecologically important areas. approved in 2020 The project proponent had planned to set up 10 MMTPA refinery and a 2 MMTPA integrated petrochemical plant for `49,000 crore and obtained Cabinet approval in January 2020 Over 9,521 people from seven habitats live about 1 km away from the proposed site, and over 15,000 residents live in Pudukkottai, about 10 km from the petroleum re f i n e r y p ro j e c t . A l s o, t h e Thoothukudi airport is only about 4.2 km away from the project site. The Uppar river that flows through Umarikottai, Kombadi, Allikulam, and other areas, is also fed by many jungle streams that meander through the site. Now, the public have alleged the site violates EAC recommendations. P3 South as 74% yet to take second dose of Covid vax E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ Chennai Only 26 per cent of the eligible population in Tamil Nadu have been administered the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine, as per the vaccination status on CoWIN portal at 6 pm on Wednesday With this, TN falls . behind the national average (29 per cent) and all other south Indian States — Andhra Pradesh (36 per cent), Karnataka and Kerala (33 per cent each), and Telangana (28 per cent). The data has given rise to concern among officials in the State even as Tamil Nadu prioritises those who are due for the second dose during the sixth mega vaccination camp, to be held on Saturday Accord. ing to officials from the Health department, vaccine hesitancy and a feeling that one dose is safe are the reasons for people not coming forward to get the second dose. The data also reveals that 73 per cent people have taken the first dose in the State, compared to the national average stands at 70 per cent people. Speaking to reporters at an event in Chennai’s Saidapet on Wednesday, Health Minister Ma Subramanian said as many as 57 lakh people are due for the second dose. “All eligible populations should be vaccinated. According to the WHO and ICMR, at least 70 per cent of the Facebook Fined $69.4 mn for withholding data Jab-o-meter Take your shot October 19 37,92,737 doses October 20 62,46,931 doses Total doses: 99,73,99,032 NATIONWIDE oct 19 oct 20 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 13,058 14,623 19,470 19,446 164 197 tamil nadu oct 19 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,179 1,407 16 oct 20 1,170 1,418 20 people should be vaccinated with the first dose,” said the minister. Officials have been instructed to find people due for the second dose and administer the vaccine during the sixth mega vaccination camp on Saturday , Subramanian added. “During the fifth camp, as many as 11 lakh people received their second dose, and about 10 lakh people were administered the vaccine in the fourth camp. We are expecting that 20 to 25 lakh people may take their second dose in the sixth camp,” the minister said. Tamil Nadu currently, has about 48 lakh vaccine doses in stock. Britain’s competition watchdog on Wednesday fined Facebook 50.5 mn pounds ($69.4 mn) for violating rules during the UK investigation into the firm’s purchase of Giphy | P9
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