villupuram l tuesday l january 18, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Deadline for feedback on GM food norms extended People can now submit feedback on the draft regulations till Feb 5, the FSSAI said on Monday. Original deadline was Jan 15 DECISION AFTER pressure from rss outfit The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s decision to push the last date comes in the wake of protests from anti-GM groups, activists, farmers and NGOs. Last week, the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), too, put its weight behind the anti-GM campaign shooting off a letter to the FSSAI asking it to withdraw its “irresponsible” proposals Nov 15, 2021 Blanket nod for use as ingredient? ■ ■ SJM co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan also launched an online campaign highlighting GM food’s impact on health and nature According to the draft norms, once the FSSAI grants approval, no other clearance is required for GM food to be used as an ingredient in any product, except infant food | P7 When the fssai released the draft guidelines on gm food 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 Drone strike kills 2 Indians in UAE Trouble to escalate after first attack by Houthi rebels, as Gulf nation says it has a right to respond E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi 25 years India’s policies are long-term: PM India’s policies are made not just for today’s needs but for the next 25 years, PM Narendra Modi said in his address at the World Economic Forum’s online summit on Monday | P7 Synonym of kathak, complete kalakaar IT’s called the safest country in the Gulf region. Yet, three people, including two Indians, were killed in a drone attack near the Abu Dhabi airport on Monday The ter. ror message was clear – don’t think the UAE is a safe place any longer. Yemen-based Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack. Tension in the region is set to rise as the UAE has vowed to retaliate. “This terrorist attack by the Houthi militia on areas and civilian facilities on Emirati soil... will not go unpunished,” UAE foreign ministry said. The identity of those killed could not be immediately known and the authorities are working on it, India’s Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir told this newspaper on phone. A Pakistani na- Iran-backed rebels Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack in UAE. The Houthis, backed by Iran, have in the past launched several cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia but this is the first time they are claiming an attack deep inside Emirates. Monday’s attack is reportedly a retaliation against the Saudi-led coalition’s offensive against the Houthis express read NEET row: TN all-party team meets Amit Shah Pandit Birju Maharaj 4 Feb 1938 - 17 Jan 2022 W hen Maharaj ji accepted his riyaaz in a store room for 4-5 my invite to take a work- hours till the sweat of his feet shop at my home in Con- made the floor slippery Then he . necticut, I was very nerv- would try his hands at various ous. But much to our surprise, instruments in the store. he turned out to be a simple man When he was 19-20, Maharaj ji immersed in dance and music. joined the Bharatiya Kala KendHe would eat home-made food, ra and started creating a grammake sketches on paper and af- mar for understanding every ter the workshop even invite all movement. He introduced many parents and sing for them. When new sams, the ending pose of a a life opens up before you like dancer. All these experiments that how does one start to de- were very well received by the scribe it! audience during the late 50s and Pandit Birju Maharaj was a early 60s. He also choreographed legend in his lifetime, a synonym many successful dance dramas. for Kathak and a complete KaMaharaj ji later joined Kathak lakaar, an artist par excellence. Kendra. As he had many interBorn as Brij Mohan Mishra in national students, he simplified the illustrious family his compositions by of Ishwari Prasad, making them numeriwith Kalka-Bindadin cal. He broke long Maharaj as his grandrhythmic composifathers and Achhan tions into playful Maharaj as his father, words for kids. Many he further added treof his complicated mendously to the reptihais (polyrhythmic ertoire of his technique) were made Neelima Beri heritage. playful for the audiMaharaj ji passed Director of Kalaleen Center ence while retaining away in Delhi on for Traditional Learning their complexities. Monday. He was 83. Maharaj ji perMaharaj ji started his taalim formed extensively all over India from his father at a very tender and abroad and recalled many age, but he was only nine when hilarious incidents from this his father passed away He then time. One particularly memora. learnt from his illustrious un- ble one was at Jhansi. The rowdy cles, Shambhu Maharaj and crowd was brought under conLachhu Maharaj. They had very trol by him by making an extemdifferent styles of dancing, one pore piece of Rani of Jhansi placing emphasis on the mascu- fighting the British. line style and the other on the Maharaj ji then set up his infeminine (Lasya). He told us sto- stitute, Kalashram. He was very ries of how he had to keep their fond of spicy street food and mastyles different for maintaining lai of Lucknow. He loved my peace with his uncles. paranthas and called me paranIn 1953, Kapila Vatsyayan, a thewali for quite some time. He disciple of Achhan Maharaj, also loved gadgets of all types called Birju to Delhi to work at but not in black colour. He was Sangeet Bharati. He would go to also the first Kathak artist to rethe school every morning and do ceive the Padma Vibhushan. Ma Su flags possibility of cases going up after Pongal holidays KV N a v ya @ Chennai THE Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Monday warned of the possibilities of a sharp surge in Covid-19 cases in the State, post Pongal. The rate at which Covid cases spread had dropped marginally during the last two days. “While there has been an increase of about 2,000 cases per day over the last one week, the count only increased by nine or 10 in the past two days. It could be because of Pongal holidays, due to which many people did not come for testing. The numbers might see a rise once the holidays end,” said the Minister. On Monday the State recorded 23,443 fresh cases, which is 532 , cases less than Sunday’s number. While 1,36,559 people were tested on Sunday 1,35,751 people came up for tests on Monday The Minister said , . districts might witness a rise in cases too, as a lot of people from Chennai had travelled to their hometowns for the festival. The spread is high in Chennai and it accounts for 39.46 per cent of active cases. P2 Chennai: A delegation of TN MPs that met Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum seeking exemption from NEET said the minister had promised to discuss the issue with Union Ministers for Education and Health and inform the decision to CM Stalin. Shah had also promised to release `6,230.45 crore by January 31, P4 TN got 1,43,902 cr investment in 9 mths Chennai: Tamil Nadu has emerged as the most attractive business destination in the country by securing investments worth `1,43,902 crore from April to December 2021, a government statement, said on Monday. Gujarat, with `77,892 crore and Telengana with `65,288 crore stood second and third | P4 Custodial death: CM orders CB-CID probe tional also died in the explosion. All the injured are said to be out of danger. According to reports, boobytrapped drones were launched at the storage facility of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) in Musaffah Industrial area, which sparked multiple explosions in the Emirate capital. The area is just 22 km from the city centre and has an oil pipeline network including 36 storage tanks, from which heavy vehicles transport fuel across the country . The UAE is a key member of the Saudi-led coalition that has waged war against the Houthis since 2015. The Houthis had recently threatened to launch strikes against the UAE after losing the key area of Shabwa, which is near the city of Ma’arib in north-east Yemen and is considered as central to the war. Saudi forces and UAE-backed ground troops tried pushing back the Houthi advance. Shia militias in Iraq have also been threatening the UAE in the past few days. This suggests that this attack may have been well orchestrated. Saudi-led coalition had issued a statement that they had destroyed three drones in southern Saudi Arabia. However, it provided no evidence to substantiate the claims. It has been targeted by Yemen through drones and missiles. The first confirmation of the death of Indian nationals came through a tweet by the Abu Dhabi police. Indian ambassador Sudhir, however, averred that the UAE is a very safe place. China grew at 8.1% in 2021 on low base effect E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi CHINESE economy grew 8.1% in 2021, the fastest in 10 years, driven by low base effect. The annual growth rate is lower than economists’ average estimates of 8.4%. However, GDP growth in the fourth quarter at 4% bettered analysts’ expectation of 3.6%, data released on Monday showed. Macroeconomic futures showed that fixed asset investments in 2021 grew 4.9%, beating expectations of a 4.8% growth. Investment in real estate rose 4.4%, while that in infrastructure was up 0.4%. Investment in manufacturing shot up by 13.5% in 2021 from a year ago. Industrial production registered a 4.3% year-on-year growth in December 2021 beating analyst’s estimate of 3.6%. Though the 2021 growth rate looks impressive, it is more a recovery from the Covid-driven slump in 2020, when growth had fallen to 2.2%. Analysts are not bullish on China as growth may slip again in future. According to a recent World Bank report, China’s growth will moderate to at 5.1% in 2022, owing to lingering effects of the pandemic and tighter regulations in certain sectors. It expects GDP to grow at 5.2% in 2023. Retail sales in December only grew 1.7% against analysts’ expectation of 3.7% . Unemployment rate among 16-24 age group remained high at 14.3%. Consumer spending in rural areas remains below prepandemic levels. Foreseeing a slump in GDP growth in 2022, China’s central bank on Monday cut key lending rates by 10 basis points, for the first time since April 2020. R-Day tableau binned: Upset CM goes to PM T M u r u g a n a nd h a m @ Chennai THE Tamil Nadu’s tableau proposal for the ensuing Republic Day parade in New Delhi was rejected by the Centre on Monday It has evoked widespread disappointment . in the State. That the experts’ committee had asked TN officials to portray ‘some freedom fighters of national fame’ in the tableau has drawn flak from all quarters because the tableau proposed by Tamil Nadu has the portraits of well-known freedom fighters such as Subramania Bharathi, VO Chidambaranar, Rani Velu Nachiyar Panel: VOC, and Maruthu Brothers, among others. Bharathi not The move follows a similar rejection by well known the Centre of proposals by Kerala and West Bengal. Expressing his deep disExperts’ panel appointment, Chief Minister MK Staasks TN to portray ‘freedom lin on Monday sought the immediate intervention of Prime Minister Narenfighters of national fame’ in dra Modi to include TN’s tableau showtableau that has casing the freedom fighters of the State in the R-Day Parade. well-known “Exclusion of the tableau will deeply figures such as hurt the sentiments and patriotic feelSubramania ings of the people of Tamil Nadu. That Bharathi, VOC the committee chooses to ignore and and Rani Velu reject all the seven designs shown to it Nachiyar as per the modifications suggested by its members is unacceptable. This is a matter of grave concern to the State of Tamil Nadu and its people,” the Chief Minister said in his letter to the Prime Minister. Stalin said Tamil Nadu was not called for the fourth round of meetings and it was informed that the State has been left out while shortlisting. Sources said during the previous DMK regime too, TN was denied an opportunity but was later included after then Information Minister Parithi Ilamvazhuthi wrote to the Centre. P4 Chennai: Chief Minister MK Stalin on Sunday announced a solatium of `10 lakh to the family of Prabhakaran, a disabled man who allegedly died due to custodial torture after being arrested by Namakkal police in a theft case, and ordered a CBCID probe into death. One constable and two SIs have already been suspended in the case | P4 6, including two students, drown in Tiruppur dist Express NEWS S ERVIC E @ Tiruppur Punjab poll postponed to February 20 New Delhi: The poll panel on Monday said Punjab election will be held on February 20 instead of February 14 in view of Guru Ravidas Jayanti. Various parties including the Congress and BJP had urged the EC to postpone the voting as thousands of Guru Ravidas followers travel from Punjab to Varanasi to celebrate his birth anniversary | P8 final showdown at Alanganallur At least 300 tamers took on 1,020 bulls on Monday. First-prize winner, Karthik, drove home a car | Express Covid wave ebbing in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata? National growth rate of active cases dipping? “The national growth of active cases has been declining for the past couple of days. Testing may have declined a bit. But the TPR has not really gone up much despite a change in strategy towards more targeted testing,” pointed out health economist Rijo M John NATIONWIDE jan 16 jan 17 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,71,202 2,58,089 1,38,331 1,51,740 314 385 tamil nadu jan 16 jan 17 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 23,975 12,484 22 23,433 13,551 20 Jab-o-meter Take your shot January 16 39,46,348 doses January 17 68,95,050 doses Total doses 1,57,91,63,478 S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi Though the ongoing third wave of Covid-19 continues to be building in the country , the curve in a few big cities may have started to bend. An analysis of daily Covid cases and deaths in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata shows that the wave may have already peaked there. Mumbai logged 7,895 new cases on Sunday; its figures have been declining since January 7 when the city had a whopping 20,971 fresh cases. The earlier one-day high for Mumbai was 11,163 cases, registered on April 4 last year during the second wave of the pandemic. In Delhi, where the daily Covid cases had crossed 30,000 on two days late last week, less than 28,000 were recorded on Sunday Though . the number of tests, too, dropped a tad in the city the , good news is the fall in the test positivity rate (TPR) — under-28% now after crossing 30% earlier. Kolkata, which had shown an explosive TPR of over 70% for several days, is also reporting a marginal de- cline. Also, the daily case count in the city is now under 6,000 as against 10,000plus earlier. A senior member of the national Covid-19 task force told this newspaper that the gover nment is watching these numbers closely, adding the wave appears to be ebbing. “However, we will need to see the trend for about 10 days before reaching a conclusion,” he said. Health economist Rijo M John pointed out that at the national level, too, the most comforting factor is the low level of hospitalisation. SIX people, including two school students, drowned in Amaravathi River at Dharapuram in Tiruppur district on Monday evening. According to police sources, a group of 30 friends and relatives of Annamalai Garden at Iduvai in Tiruppur city left for , Dindigul district on Monday morning for taking part in a festival at Muniyappa Temple at Ottanchattram town. After the festival, eight people returned to Tiruppur in a van. When they reached Dharapuram-Karur Road, near Amaravathi New Bridge, they parked the van along the road and decided to take a dip in the river. As soon as they entered the water, all the eight got sucked in by the river’s strong water currents, and they started shouting for help. A group of villagers, who tried in vain to rescue them, informed Dharapuram fire services personnel. A team of firemen managed to rescue Saran (16) and Jeeva (17) an admitted them to Dharapuram Government Hospital. Police identified the victims as M Amirtha Krishnan (18), R Sridhar (17), T Yuvan (19), T Mohan (17), M Sakkaravarman(18), and R Ranjith (20), a college student. Mohan and Sridhar are school students.
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