S Somanath’s family celebrates his elevation as Isro chief at their residence at Ambalamukku in Thiruvananthapuram | express thrissur l thursday l January 13, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Eminent Rocket scientist Somanath is new isro chief Dr S Somanath, who is at present director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, will take over from incumbent K Sivan on Friday Combined tenure of three years Played key role in chandrayaan-2 Somanath’s appointment as Space Secretary and Space Commission chairman is for a combined tenure of three years including extension. The post of ISRO chairman, Space Secretary and Space Commission chief is usually held by one person. Somanath did his B Tech in Mech Engg from TKM engg college Kollam and masters in aerospace engg from IISc Bangalore | P2 ■ ■ Among his achievements are the successful flight of an electric propulsion system in GSAT-9 and the development and qualification of CE20 cryogenic engine and the C25 stage Somanath was also instrumental in developing the GSLV Mk-III rocket, which was chosen to fly the Chandrayaan-2 mission 10th Somanath will be the 10th chairman of the premier space organisation CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI In season of Aaya Rams and Gaya Rams, another UP minister resigns N a mita B a j pa i @ Lucknow In what is being seen as a realignment of political forces in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, a second BJP minister quit the Yogi government in as many days, while the party poached a couple of lawmakers from the Congress and the Samajwadi Party as also a former MLA from Akhilesh Yadav’s party . A day after UP minister Swa- mi Prasad Maurya created a flutter by putting in his papers, his colleague Dara Singh Chauhan followed suit on Wednesday Speculation about his exit . had started doing the rounds after Maurya left on Tuesday. Both are serial party-hoppers. Chauhan was holding the environment and forest portfolio in the Yogi cabinet. He had last defected from the BSP to the BJP in 2015 and was soon ap- pointed chairman of the state backward commission. A sitting MLA from Madhuban in Mau district of eastern UP, Chauhan is a prominent leader from the Most Backward Classes (MBC). In his resigna- t i o n l a t t e r t o G ove r n o r Anandiben Patel, Chauhan accused the BJP government of ignoring Dalits and backwards and tampering with their reservation rights. While Chauhan had yet to re- serial party-hopper does it again Dara Singh Chauhan represented the BSP in Rajya Sabha in 1996; SP in RS from 2000-2006; BSP again in Lok Sabha from 2009-2014; lost 2014 LS polls on BSP ticket before defecting to the BJP a year later Court says it is groping in dark about project status, calls for clarification from govts; adds no project of this magnitude can be realised by making war cry HC asks Centre to make stand clear on SilverLine, slams state govt’s haste E xpress N ews S ervice @ Kochi THE Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the Union government to clarify its stand on the SilverLine and inform it “whether the project is on”. The court also pulled up the state government for the “egregiously improper” way it conducted the survey for the project. Considering a batch of petitions challenging the survey being conducted by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) for the project, Justice Devan Ramachandran said there was nothing before the court now to show that the project was underway . The court said it was groping in the dark as there was hardly any infor mation about the project before it. “Nobody knows the stand of the Union government. The survey is being done under the Survey Act. We do not know whether the survey is done under the 2013 Act. There should be some clarification from the gover nments,” the court observed. The HC, therefore, directed the Assistant Solicitor General of India to appear before it and furnish inputs regarding the project on the next date of hearing on January 20. The court told the state government that the issue had arisen because of its haste in implementing the project. “You have obstructed access to homes. What you have done is egregiously improper. Look at the kind of stones you laid. Surveys can be conducted for any project, but it has to be as per the law. If such large Leviathan-like stones were laid for each project, it would be difficult to move around in the state,” the court said. ● More on P4 People do not agree with the arguments of the vested interests against development projects. Hence, the government will strongly go ahead (with the semi high-speed rail line) — Pinarayi Vijayan, CM Now, mild cases can leave hosps in seven days E xpress N ews S ervice @ New Delhi The Centre on Wednesday revised its hospital discharge policy for Covid-19 patients, categorising them as mild, moderate and severe, adding mild cases can be discharged seven days after testing positive without a repeat test. However, mild patients must be without fever for three consecutive days before discharge, the advisory stated. As for moderate cases, if there is resolution of symptoms and patients maintain oxygen saturation greater than 93% for three successive days without oxygen support, they can be discharged. ICMR director general Balram Bhargava said there was no need to test mild patients before home isolation as there is enough evidence to suggest that people do not spread infection after five days of infection, if they do not have symptoms. NATIONWIDE jan 11 jan 12 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,68,063 1,94,720 69,959 60,405 277 442 statewide jan 11 jan 12 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 9,066 2,064 19 12,742 2,552 23 Jab-o-meter Take your shot January 11 76,68,282 doses January 12 66,77,685 doses Total doses 1,54,50,27,669 CM: Project has Centre’s nod SilverLine has the Union government’s approval, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said. The Union government and the Railway Board have given approval to acquire land for the project, he wrote in an article published in Chintha weekly. P4 Blatant lie: Surendran BJP state president K Surendran has termed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s claim that the SliverLine project has got the Centre’s approval a blatant lie. Land acquisition for the project will happen only over the dead bodies of BJP workers, he said at the BJP state leadership meet. BJP state unit will meet the PM against giving approval for the project. P4 Left govt to spend big on PR, advt campaign M S V i d ya n a n d a n @ T’Puram THE proposed handbook on SilverLine fundamentals, to be be published by the Information and Public Relations Department (IPRD), will bleed the state exchequer at least `3.5 crore, according to sources. The IPRD has invited tenders for printing and supplying 50 lakh copies of a 36-page booklet. Titled SilverLine Ariyendathellam, the booklet will be a layman’s guide to the `64,000-crore project. The publication of the booklet is part of an advertisement and public relation blitzkrieg planned by the Pinarayi Vijayan government to drive home the relevance of a semi high-speed rail line connecting the state’s north and south ends. The government has directed the IPRD and the Kerala Rail Development Corporation (K-Rail), the special project vehicle, to conduct joint awareness programmes on a large ● More on P4 scale. Retail inflation at 6-month high E xpress N ews S ervice @ New Delhi DEALING a twin blow to expectations of a healthier economy in the post-Covid era, latest data showed retail inflation is shooting up while industrial activity is losing steam. According to figures released by the National Statistical Office on Wednesday retail , inflation flared up again in December 2021 to 5.6%, on higher food, clothing and footwear prices. This is the highest monthly retail inflation recorded in the past six months and is within kissing distance from the Reserve Bank of India’s upper limit of 6%. According to analysts, low base effect could have led to food and beverages prices rising 4.5% in December compared with 2.6% in November. However, economists welcome the softening of fuel, oil and fat prices. World Bank projections World Bank has retained India’s GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal at 8.3%. It also upgraded its growth forecast for FY23 and FY24 to 8.7% & 6.8%, respectively M’wood women’s issues: Govt sits on report after spending `1.06 cr T o b y Ant o n y @ Kochi THE state government is sitting on the Justice K Hema Commission report regarding issues faced by women in Mollywood for which `1.06 crore was spent from the exchequer. The department of cultural affairs revealed the expenditure details of the commission in the reply to an RTI query from social activist Raju Vazhakkala. The three-member panel was chaired by Justice K Hema. Actor Sharada and former IAS officer K B Valsala Kumari were the other members. The panel was formed on July 1, 2017 after the actor abduction case, in which film star Dileep is an accused, kicked up a major public debate in the state. The panel handed over its report to the state government on December 31, 2019. However, no action has been taken based on the report till now. The state government has also not tabled the report in the state assembly . In a television channel programme, Culture Minister Saji Cherian said a committee headed by the department secretary with two undersecretary-ranked officers as members has been appointed to study the findings and recommendations of the commission and file a ● More on P4 report. KNOW THE PANEL 3-member commission was chaired by Justice K Hema Actor Sharada and former IAS officer K B Valsala Kumari were the other members The panel was formed on July 1, 2017 after the actor abduction case kicked up a huge public debate veal his destination, Akhilesh tweeted his photograph with Chauhan, welcoming him to the SP fold and calling him an apostle of social justice. For his part, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya urged both Maurya and Chauhan to reconsider their decisions. “If any family member strays, it is very sad. I can only appeal... please don’t get on a sinking ship. Big brother Dara Singhji, please reconsider,” Maurya tweeted. Chauhan hails from the Loniya-Rajput community a sub, caste of the MBCs that constitutes 3% of UP’s population. They have clout in eastern UP . His joining the SP would strengthen Akhilesh’s efforts to bring non-OBCs on board to project his party as a rainbow of all castes. The Loniya-Rajput commu- nity is mainly concentrated in and around east UP districts of Ghazipur, Mau, Azamgarh, Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Pratapgarh. As for the BJP’s acquisitions of the day sitting MLAs Naresh , Saini (Congress) and Hari Om Yadav (SP), and former SP MLA Dharampal Singh joined the party on Wednesday. Both Saini and Yadav represent P8 backward classes. CM, Cong spar on Dheeraj murder EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kozhikode/Kannur THE war of words between the Congress and the CPM over the killing of SFI activist Dheeraj Rajendran continued, with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday accusing the Congress of vitiating the peaceful atmosphere prevailing in the state. “Where does the culture of stabbing right on the spot on the chest come from?” he asked, inaugurating the valedictory function of the CPM district conference at the Kozhikode beach. Without directly referring to the Alappuzha murders of SDPI and BJP leaders, he said “the communal forces are looking for an opportunity to derail the peaceful atmosphere in the state. Unfortunately, Congress has also joined forces. The murder of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurates the CPM district conference at Kozhikode beach on Wednesday | T P Sooraj Dheeraj indicates this,” he said. The CM also came down heavily on the comments by some Congress leaders to justify Dheeraj’s murder. “Some are trying to justify the horrific murder that happened in Iduk- ki. Congress went to the extent to say that Dheeraj invited his death. Did we hear anyone from Congress condemning or discouraging the violence?” Pinarayi asked. Speaking in Alappuzha, state Congress chief K Sudhakaran said the CPM was celebrating the martyrdom of Dheeraj and added the incident was being used to turn the campuses in the state into battlefields. “The party leaders have purchased eight cents of land in Kannur to construct a memorial of Dheeraj immediately after his death. While the procession carrying the dead body of Dheeraj was progressing, the party leaders and workers enjoyed a ‘mega Thiruvathira’,” Sudhakaran said, referring to the traditional dance organised in connection with the CPM Thiruvananthapuram district con● More on P4 ference at Parassala.
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