vijayawada l friday l january 21, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION 19-year-old girl flies solo around world in 155 days Bad weather, visa issues vex 90-day target Rutherford will find herself in the Guinness World Records book after setting the mark that had been held by 30-year-old American aviator Shaesta Waiz since 2017. Her global flight in her ultralight Shark plane was supposed to take three months, but relentless bad weather and visa issues kept her grounded sometimes for weeks on end, extending her adventure by 2 months Belgian-British pilot Zara Rutherford has set a world record as the youngest woman to fly solo globally in a small aircraft 52,000 km, 41 countries, 5 continents ■ ■ In her trek of more than 52,000 km (28,000 nautical miles), she stopped over in five continents and visited 41 nations During her flight using visual flight rules (going on sight only), she steered clear of wildfires in California, dealt with biting cold over Russia and narrowly avoided North Korean airspace 18-year-old Travis Ludlow is the youngest to fly solo globally in a single-engine plane 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 Can’t box merit in narrow performance definitions: SC on OBC quota The Indian cricket board (BCCI) is on verge of cancelling the Ranji Trophy for a second successive domestic season citing a short window available up to the start of IPL in April. It’s bizarre considering the same board managed to host two IPLs overseas successfully, two Test series last year, and part of IPL at home during peak of second wave, and not to mention host of white-ball domestic events. Yet that the BCCI has failed to find a convenient window seems outrageous. The cancellation of the event will be a big bl w for the o next rung of up and coming cricketers. This will also hit hundr ds of players and e match officials financially for the second consecutive year. The BCCI is the only board the world over to not conduct its first-class tour nament last season and failure to do so this season too will reflect poorly on the organisational skills of the richest cricket board headed by a former captain. After BCCI was unable to host full-fledged domestic season in 2020/21, it included all the tour naments for the 2021/22 season. However, it did not have a window for the Ranji Trophy. While a third wave was not predicted at that stage, having held these events for the 2020/21 season in January-February 2021, the move to host them again within a year’s time raised eyebrows. After Ranji was suspended on January 4, the BCCI was hopeful of starting it at least in February and finish the group stages before the IPL (on April 2) and conduct the knockouts after it. But finding even a 35-day window for the group stages look improbable now as players have to enter bio-bubble P15 for IPL by March 20. 30.9 28.6 18.4 10.6 7.9 4.5 1.2 1.2 Africa ■ 22 3.6 3.3 Asia Dec-28 Dec Europe ■ 29 Dec-4 Dec North America ■5 Oceania Jan-11 Jan ■ 12 South America 1 2 3 Jan-18 Jan 4 5 6 7 8 2,68,833 16.66% 2,71,202 16.28% 2,58,089 19.65% 2,38,018 14.43% 2,82,970 15.13% 3,17,532 16.41% 2,64,202 India’s daily case load (Numbers in %) v en k ata k r i s h n a B @ Chennai Wary of interim order on EWS quota While dealing with EWS quota separately, the SC declined to pass an interim order staying the criteria. ”In matters involving challenge to the constitutionality of a legislation or a rule, the Court must be wary to pass an interim order, unless the Court is convinced that the rules are prima facie arbitrary,” it said 52.3 37.6 nomically weaker section. While giving its detailed order on Thursday the bench not, ed that the country is still in the 14.78% Trend of global new cases Ranji Trophy hits dead end for 2nd year ready upheld the constitutional validity of the OBC reservation while setting `8 lakh annual income limit for the quota for eco- 2,47,417 short window subsequent training and individual character. Crucially, open competitive examinations do not reflect the social, economic and cultural advantage that accrues to certain classes and contributes to their success in such examinations,” the court added. A bench of judges D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna in a brief order on January 7 had al- 13.11% THE Supreme Court on Thursday reiterated the constitutional validity of 27% OBC reservation in all-India quota seats in the NEET for undergraduate, postgraduate and dental courses, noting that merit cannot be reduced to narrow definitions of performance in an open competitive examination. The top court observed that certain classes may perform better in such examinations thanks to their social, economic, and cultural advantage. “Competitive examinations assess basic current competency to allocate educational resources but are not reflective of excellence, capabilities and potential of an individual which are also shaped by lived experiences, 22,775 2.05% 27,553 2.48% 33,750 3.84% 37,379 3.24% 58,097 5.03% 90,928 6.43% 1,17,100 7.74% 1,41,986 9.28% 1,59,632 10.21% 1,79,723 13.29% 1,68,063 10.64% 1,94,720 11.05% E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi @ Vijayawada 9 10 11 12 13 14 J A N U A R Y ■ Daily cases ■ Daily positivity rate 15 16 17 18 19 20 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi OVER 3 lakh more Covid-positive case were reported in the country on Thursday morning, but the ratio of deaths and active cases stayed low when compared to the disastrous second wave because of the ongoing vaccination drive. On the flip side, data shows that the virus is now travelling to new territories as there is a progressive increase in districts with more than 5% positivity rate (TPR). Smaller cities and towns have been particularly affected, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said. About 11 states and Union Territories have more than 50,000 active Covid cases, while 515 districts reported a weekly case positivity rate of over 5%. The national TPR stood at 16.41% on Thursday . The Centre has retained Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka Maharashtra and Delhi on its list of “states of concern”. On April 30, 2021, there were 3,86,452 new cases, 3,059 deaths, 31,70,228 active cases and 2% of the eligible population fully vaccinated. As against that, 3,17,532 new cases were logged Jab-o-meter on January 20, 2022, 380 deaths, 19,24,051 active cases, and 72% people fully vaccinated, indicating how jabs are life savers. “In this third surge of Covid, we are currently not witnessing severe illness and deaths due to high vaccination uptake. This shows that vaccines save,” Indian Council of Medical Research head Dr Balram Bhargava said. With Kerala reporting 46,387 new cases (TPR 40.22%), the state gover nment imposed fresh restrictions, including allowing only essential services to operate on the next two Sundays — January 23 and 30. In neighbouring Karnataka, the fresh case count was close to 48,000, of which 30,540 were in Bengaluru alone. However, there was positive news from Maharashtra, as it decided to open schools for offline teaching in classes 1 to 9 from Monday because of the declining viral load. In Telangana, the state government decided to do a doorto-door fever survey from Friday. A home isolation kit comprising medicines and other materials, would be provided to those who have Covid symptoms, state health minister T Harish Rao said. NATIONWIDE Jan 19 Jan 20 statewide Jan 19 jan 20 Recoveries 1,88,157 2,23,990 Deaths 441 491 Fresh cases 10,057 12,615 Recoveries 1,222 3,674 Deaths 8 5 Samples tested 41,713 47,420 Take your shot Fresh cases 2,82,970 3,17,532 Jan 19 62,39,005 doses Jan 20 60,79,373 doses Total: 1,60,32,25,244 Covid Tracker Chittoor and Visakhapatnam reported more than 2,000 new Covid cases each Three districts recorded a daily count of more than 1,000 each The daily Covid tally of five districts was between 500 and 1,000 Only East Godavari showed a declining trend in new infections West Godavari reported the lowest number of 216 cases for the second day The total number of recoveries increased significantly to 3,674 from 1,222 Visakhapatnam has the highest caseload of 11,088 West Godavari has the lowest caseload of 772 `1.18 cr fine collected from CAB violators Kadapa police have collected `1.18 crore as penalty from violators of Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) since January, 2021. The total amount has been collected from 1.29 lakh people and majority of them are two-wheeler riders. Special drives are being conducted to strictly enforce CAB AP logs 12k cases, 3.6k recoveries E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The spike in Covid-19 cases continues in the State. In the 24 hours ending 9 am on Thursday, 12,615 new Covid infections emerged from 47,420 samples tested. The daily positivity rate increased to 26.60%. According to a media bulletin released by the State Command Control Room, there was a quantum jump of more than 2,500 new Covid infections compared to Wednesday’s tally of 10,057 from 38,055 samples. With more than 12,000 fresh cases a day the cumulative , Covid count of the State increased to 21,40,056. Chittoor reported the highest number of 2,338 new cases, followed by Visakhapatnam with 2,117. Guntur (1,066), Vizianagaram (1,039) and Nellore (1,012) reported more than 1,000 cases each. The daily count of Anantapur (951), Kurnool (884), Prakasam (853), Kadapa (685) and East Godavari (627) was more than 500 each. Only East Godavari (627) reported a declining trend in the number of fresh cases. West Godavari (216) recorded the lowest number of Covid cases in the State for the second consecutive day . The number of recoveries increased significantly in the last 24 hours. A total of 3,674 Covid patients recovered, compared to 1,222 on Wednesday Now, the . cumulative recoveries in the State increased to 20,71,658. Five Covid fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours. Three deaths occurred in Visakhapatnam and one each in Chittoor and Nellore. The Covid toll increased to 14,522. The active caseload surged past the 50,000 mark and stood at 53,871. It was a net increase of 8,936 cases compared to Wednesday’s active caseload. Mooting the ‘One District One Airport’ concept in the State, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed officials to plan accordingly for the speedy execution of projects. Taking stock of the progress of port and airport projects in the State at a review meeting on Thursday the Chief Minis, ter said emphasis should be laid on development of infrastructure at the proposed airports in a uniform manner. The airport runways should facilitate operation of widebodied aircraft. The works related to expansion of the six existing airports in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Kadapa, Rajamahendravaram and Kurnool should be speeded up. The officials should also focus on the new airports at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram and at Dagadarthi in Nellore district, Jagan said. On being informed about the progress of airport development works, the Chief Minister asked the officials to lay emphasis on expansion of Gannavaram airport in Vijayawada to meet the increasing passenger traffic. Underlining the need to de- express read Don’t fall into trap on PRC: Perni to govt staff Vijayawada: Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) on Thursday appealed to employees’ union leaders not to distort facts on Interim Relief. Reiterating that the Jagan Mohan Reddy government is employee-friendly, he urged employees not to fall into the trap of some vested interests on PRC. Meanwhile, the AP JAC, AP JAC Amaravati, Secretariat Employees’ Association and Government Employees’ Association decided to join hands and chalk out a future course of action on the Pay Revision Commission after holding a meeting on Friday | P4 R - DA Y PARADE Tribute to AP freedom fighters in Kalamkari art S G u r u S r i k a n t h @ Vijayawada A masterpiece of Kalamkari art with freedom fighters from Andhra Pradesh as a theme on a 750 metre-long scroll will be one of the scrolls reflecting the Indian history and art forms at Rajpath in New Delhi on the Republic Day . It was created by I Sudheer, a 34-year-old Kalamkari artist from Srikalahasti in Chittoor district. Speaking to TNIE, Sudheer says it is a rare honour for him and his team. They have strived to make the masterpiece express the nuances of Kalamkari art and at the same time A 750 metre-long Kalamkari art scroll created by I Sudheer of Srikalahasti for the R-Day | ExPress highlight 10 freedom fighters from Andhra Pradesh, who played a pivotal role in the struggle for Indian Independence. They include Alluri Sitarama Raju, Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy, Pingali Venkaiah, Potti Sriramulu, Gottipati Brahmaiah, Acharya NG Ranga, Gouthu Latchanna, Kalluri Chandramouli, Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu and Kaneganti Hanumanthu. In an open gallery at Rajpath, the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) will showcase gigantic scrolls, each over 750 metres long, painted by over 500 artists from across India. Sudheer and his team have the rare distinction of being part of that pan-India team. Kalamkari is an ancient style of hand painting done on cotton or silk fabric with a tamarind pen, using natural dyes. ‘Kalamkari’ is derived from a Persian word ‘kalam’ means pen and ‘kari’ refers to craftsmanship. Kalamkari art involves 23 tedious steps of dyeing, bleaching, hand painting, block printing, starching, cleaning and more. Motifs drawn in Kalamkari art span from flowers, peacocks and paisleys to epic characters of Ramayana and MahaP4 bharata. the counselling process due to the pendency of this petition, the bench said: “The petitioners challenged the very criteria for the determination of the EWS, which would not only require us to hear the matter at length but would also entail us to hear all interested parties. We deem it necessary to allow the counselling session to begin with the existing criteria.” CM moots ‘One dist, One airport’ plan E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Virus spreading to remote corners 515 districts have test positivity rate of over 5%; toll low compared to second wave due to vax drive; Maharashtra to reopen schools midst of a pandemic and any delay in the recruitment of doctors would impact the ability to manage the pandemic. “Due to this, we hold that the reservation for OBC candidates in the All India Quota seats for UG and PG medical and dental courses is constitutionally valid,” the bench said. Citing the delay in Statue of Equality Artisans give final touches to 11th-century Vaishnavaite saint Bhagavad Ramanuja’s statue in Hyderabad, to be inaugurated by the PM next month | S Senbagapandiyan velop port infrastructure in the State, he said construction of nine fishing harbours and three ports should be taken up on a priority basis. The officials informed him t h a t B h av a n a p a d u a n d Ramayapatnam port works will begin soon. Fishing harbours at Uppada (East Godavari), Nizampatnam (Guntur), Machilipatnam (Krishna), and 5 fishing harbours in second phase Construction of five fishing harbours will be taken up at Budagatlapalem, Pudimadaka, Biyyaputhippa, Vodarevu and Kothapatnam in the State in the second phase. Tenders for the five fishing harbours will be finalised soon, officials said Juvvalapalem (Nellore) will be completed by October in the first phase. In the second phase, construction of the remaining five fishing harbours will be taken up at Budagatlapalem (Srikakulam), Pudimadaka (Visakhapatnam), Biyyaputhippa (West Godavari), Vodarevu and Kothapatnam (Prakasam), the officials said. Army in touch with PLA to get back teen E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ Guwahati THE Indian Army on Thursday contacted the People’s Liberation Ar my (PLA) through hotline, a day after BJP leader and Arunachal Pradesh MP Tapir Gao said a 17-year-old Indian boy was abducted by Chinese soldiers. A defence spokesman tweeted: “Indian Army immediately contacted PLA through hotline. Assistance from PLA has been sought to locate and return him as per protocol.” The statement also comes in the wake of the Congress targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Dear PM, how dare Chinese Army transgress into our territory again? Why is Govt not listening to the earnest appeal of its own MP?” said Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala. Meanwhile, China’s foreign ministry on Thursday denied such an incident happened. “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army controls borders in accordance with the law and cracks down on illegal entry and exit activities,” a Chinese spokesperson said. Upper Siang Superintendent of Police Jummar Basar said the police were trying to ascertain the facts. “Tribals will never cross the border. But, we can’t stop them from going into forests. They rely on the forests for their daily needs,” the SP said.
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