chennai l wednesday l november 24, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 20 l late city EDITION W.H.O. warns of 7 lakh COVID deaths in europe by spring ‘Vulnerable groups need booster dose’ The World Health Organization’s Europe office said its projections showed the 53-country region could top 2 mn Covid deaths in total Delta variant a big risk to the region WHO Europe, based in Copenhagen, also cited the growing evidence of a decline in protection against infection through vaccines. It said a ‘booster dose’ should be given as a priority to the most vulnerable populations. This, however, is at variance with the Geneva-based parent organisation’s position that boosters must be put off to free up jabs for poorer nations ■ Three factors driving the increase are the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus, an easing of restrictive measures like requirements for mask-wearing and physical distancing in places, and large swaths of the European population that remain unvaccinated, WHO Europe said | P16 1.5 million Cumulative Covid deaths reported in the region; 4,200 fatalities per day 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 15 injured 26 new legislative proposals and 3 old ones lined up for the upcoming winter session of Lok Sabha Bill to amend ST list in UP before polls MA N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi The BJP’s social engineering for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections appears to be taking shape, with the government listing a legislative proposal to amend the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) for the poll-bound state in the upcoming winter session of Parliament. A similar bill to amend the list of STs in Tripura, where the BJP is facing heat from the Trinamool Congress, is part of the proposed legislative business. In all, 26 new bills and three others that had already been introduced, have been lined up for the forthcoming session. The bulletin released by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday also listed a bill to repeal the three contentious farm laws that were enacted by Parliament last year. While Parliament had earlier this year amended the list of SCs in Tamil Nadu following a recommendation from the state government, a senior minister in the UP Cabinet said the state administration hasn’t yet forwarded any such proposal. He, however, added that Parliament on its own can amend the list of STs in the state to address long pending demands of certain communities. As for Tamil Nadu, Parliament had classified certain castes in the SC category ahead of the Assembly elections in the state. Legal axe to fall on most private cryptocurrencies While Sonabhadra and its adjoining districts of UP have tribal concentrations, there has been a growing demand for the inclusion of fisherfolk in the state in the list of STs. The fishermen community is electorally influential. “The Constitution (Scheduled a n u r a d h a s h u k l a @ New Delhi Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021” seeks THE Centre plans to bring a to amend the list of STs pertainbill in the forthcoming winter ing to UP A parallel one for Tripu. session of Parliament to prora has been listed in the agenda hibit all private cryptocurrenof the official busicies in the country ness for introduction, but with certain Indian Maritime consideration and exceptions. Fisheries Bill passing in the Lok According to the Sabha. Parliamentary bulAn Indian Maritime The BJP’s poll manletin detailing the Fisheries Bill, which tra in UP incidentally , , legislative busiproposes sustainable for the 2014 and 2019 ness for the Lok development of Lok Sabha elections Sabha, the Cryptofisheries in India’s and the 2017 Assemcurrency and Regexclusive economic bly polls had been the ulation of Official zones and responsible consolidation of the Digital Currency harnessing of fisheries n o n - Ya d av o t h e r Bill, 2021 seeks to in high seas has also backward classes “create a facilitabeen listed (OBCs), with focus on tive framework for the most and extremecreation of the ofly backward castes, which were ficial digital currency to be ispreviously supporting the BSP . sued by the Reserve Bank of With the rival Samajwadi Party India”. making attempts to stitch a larger While the bill seeks to propre-poll alliance with smaller parhibit all private cryptocurrenties that have distinct caste idencies in the country, “it allows tities, the BJP is trying hard to for certain exceptions to proplay catch-up, knowing full well mote the underlying technolothat multiple caste groups in UP gy of cryptocurrency and its have the numbers to change the uses”. Notably the bill does not , electoral outcome. use the word ‘ban’. According to sources, a 3-6 month exit period could be offered before preventing the trading, mining and issuing of cryptos so that existing investors have the opportunity to exit after declaring their investment for the purpose of taxation. The Centre had planned to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 in Parliament in the past two sessions, but dropped it due to strong opposition from the Reserve Bank of India, investigative agencies and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which sought a complete ban on cryptos alleging such digital money is used to fund terrorism etc. Currently there is no regula, tion or ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country Ear. lier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a meeting on cryptocurrencies with senior officials, dropping hints that strong regulatory steps would be taken to deal with the issue. TN to focus on industrial development, TN tells sc ‘Can re-form FinTech companies and job creation panel probing E x p ress N e ws S er v i c e @ Coimbatore In order to create employment opportunities, Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday gave a big push to industrial growth in the State. During an investment conclave held in Coimbatore, presided over by the CM, memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for 59 projects with a cumulative investment of `35,208 crore were signed. Once operational, these projects are likely to create employment opportunities for 76,795 people. Attending the investment conclave at Codissia Trade Center in Coimbatore, the CM also laid the foundation stone for 13 projects with an investment commitment of `13,413 crore and an employment potential for about 11,681 people. He also inaugurated 10 projects with a cumulative investment of `13,928 crore, which would provide employment for 3,944 people. In a bid to transform Tamil Nadu into a leading global destination for FinTech firms by 2025, the CM unveiled a FinTech Policy , which would focus on increasing financial inclusion and FinTech adoption rate by promoting digital solutions for the traditional express read Heavy rains to lash Tamil Nadu from tomorrow Chennai: The Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) here said another rain-filled low pressure area (LPA), which is forming in the Bay of Bengal, will move to the South Tamil Nadu coast and kickstart widespread heavy rainfall in several parts of the State starting November 25 | P2 Reliance Jio loses 1.9 crore subscribers in September New Delhi: Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea lost 1.9 crore and 10.77 lakh subscribers in September, respectively, while Bharti Airtel added 2.74 lakh users, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. “Total wireless subscribers decreased from 1,186.72 million at the end of August to 1,166.02 million at end of September,” it added | P13 Five killed in gas cylinder blast in Salem ‘At this pace, TN will rank first in industrial growth’ CM MK Stalin speaking at the conclave in Coimbatore on Tuesday | U Rakesh Kumar 59 Projects for which MoUs were signed at the conclave `35,208 cr During the conclave, Stalin said: “Investor meets have been conducted once in two months. If we travel at this speed, there is no doubt we will have the first place in industrial growth in the country. As on IPRS (Industrial Park Rating System), Tamil Nadu has been ranked first. It is a proud moment for us.” He added that the State’s economy is not far from reaching one trillion US dollars The cumulative investment that the projects would bring in financial sector. The new policy stresses on industry-academia linkages to create a FinTech knowledge ecosystem comprising universities, research institutions, design innovation labs, and FinTech firms. It calls for developing seamless and transparent Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Consumer (B2C), Government-to-Government (G2G), Government-to-Busi- 76,795 $10 million People For aerospace and expected to defence sectors in get employed next 10 years ness (G2B), and Government-toCitizen (G2C) financial transactions efficiently . With an aim to ensure regionally balanced development across TN, the policy will offer incentives to firms starting operations in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. The policy also proposes setting up of neo-TIDEL parks in these cities, which would be developed by TIDCO. more on: P4, P5 Jaya’s death’ E x p ress N e ws S er v i c e @ New Delhi The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the death of former TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai needs to be probed as it is a matter “eminently in public interest”. Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the State before a Bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari, said: “All the government wants is an inquiry .” The State’s counsel told the court that if it was issuing orders, TN was ready to reconstitute the commission by appointing one more judge, such as retired SC judge Justice R Bhanumathi. He mentioned that if a technical member to the commission had to be appointed, retired Madras HC judge Justice CT Selvam could be considered. The statement came while responding to a petition filed by the Apollo Hospitals alleging bias on the part of the government-appointed Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission inquiring into the former CM’s death. P4 Didi draws Cong rebels; to meet PM today R i c h a S h a r m a @ New Delhi West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made some minor acquisitions during her latest trip to Delhi, inducting disgruntled elements from the Congress to expand the national footprint of her Trinamool Congress ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Sources said her party is in touch with leaders from across the Opposition spectrum, including members of the grand old party’s G23, which had raised a banner of revolt earlier this year over lack of reforms in the Congress. Some of them are expected to switch to the Trinamool in the coming months as it has made its national ambition clear. To help realise the national ambition, election strategist Prashant Kishor has been working with the party on a long-term basis. Javed Akhtar with Mamata Banerjee | PTI “It is part of the party’s national expansion plan. It was felt that we need to have a national presence if Mamata is to challenge Modi in the 2024 elections,” said a senior Trinamool leader. Mamata is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and discuss a slew of issues, including the controversial expansion of BSF’s juris- diction and allocation of central funds for Bengal. With her party MPs meeting home minister Amit Shah on Monday complaining about attacks on its cadre in Tripura, she could flag it, too, during her one-on-one with Modi. The CM is also expected to meet some Opposition leaders to discuss strategy for the winter session of Parliament and the formation of a united front against the BJP, though there is no word yet about interacting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. The Congress is cut up over Mamata providing sanctuary to its rebels. Those who joined the Trinamool include Congress leader Kirti Azad, former Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar and expelled JD(U) MP Pavan Verma. She also met lyricist Javed Akhtar, her second such meeting with him in as many trips to Delhi. Sa ba r i M @ Salem Maha Vir Col Babu B Santoshi and Manjula, the wife and mother of Galwan hero Colonel B Santosh Babu (R), receive his posthumous Maha Vir Chakra from President Ram Nath Kovind in Delhi on Tuesday. Maha Vir Chakra is the second highest wartime gallantry award | PTI India, US to open up strategic reserves to bring down oil price E x p ress N e ws S er v i c e @ New Delhi IN a coordinated move led by the US, India will release about 5 million barrels of crude oil from its emergency stockpile to bring down the oil prices in the global market. According to sources, the stocks will be released over the next 7-10 days. “We are working on releasing stocks from our strategic reserves in coordination with other nations,” said an official in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. A White House release earlier in the day said the US would release 50 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserve to bring down energy costs, in coordination with India, China, Japan, South Korea and the UK. The US Department of Energy will release the reserve in two ways — 32 million barrels in the next few months and 18 This is the first barrels as part of a sale of oil that time that India, Congress had previously authorised, which has 38 mn barrels of crude the White House said. Oil prices registered an all-time oil in underground high in 2021, and according to US in- caverns, is vestment bank Goldman Sachs, it releasing its may hit $90 per barrel by the end of reserve stocks this year. India is the world’s thirdlargest oil consumer and importing nation. It has a store of 5.33 million tonnes or about 38 million barrels of crude oil in underground caverns at three locations on the east and west coasts. It includes 1.33 million tonnes of storage at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, 1.5 million tonnes at Mangaluru and 2.5 million tonnes at Padur (both in Karnataka). The stock, as per reports, will be sold to refineries of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, which are connected by pipeline to the strategic reserves. 1st ever Five people, including a couple, were killed, and 15 others injured on Tuesday after the explosion of a commercial cylinder triggered the collapse of two buildings here. Chief Minister MK Stalin has announced a solatium of `5 lakh to the kin of the deceased. He also announced `50,000 each to those injured in the blast. The explosion occurred around 6.30 am in a building on Pandurangan Vittal Street near Karungalpatti, which houses three apartments. According to sources, Rajalakshmi, a resident, turned on the gas cylinder at her house without realising there was a leak, resulting in an explosion. In the impact of the blast, the entire building and a house nearby collapsed. Two more houses in the neighbourhood sustained damage. While Rajalakshmi (52) died on the way to the hospital, four others were found dead beneath the debris. The deceased were identified as her son’s mother-in-law Ellammal (88), another resident of the building named Karthick Ram (18), Padmanaban (49) and his wife Devi, who resided in the adjacent house. Continued on: P5 Jab-o-meter Take your shot Nov 22 63,98,165 doses Nov 23 68,35,617 doses Total doses 1,18,35,73,646 NATIONWIDE Nov 22 Nov 23 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 8,488 12,510 249 7,579 12,202 236 tamil nadu Nov 22 Nov 23 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 750 843 13 741 808 13
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