KOTTAYAM l wednesday l may 18, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION all green card petitions to get processed in 6 months? An advisory panel has voted to recommend the US president that all green card applications be processed in six months will push for streamlining of process could benefit thousands of Indians The President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (PACAANHPI) has recommended that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) remove redundant steps, introduce automation wherever possible and improve its internal dashboards and reporting systems to speed up the process ■ ■ Additionally, the panel will recommend that the National Visa Center, which schedules and conducts visa interviews, double its human resource capacity over the next three months The proposals, if adopted, may benefit thousands of Indians, some of whom have been waiting for decades to get green card 4,21,358 pending interviews in april. only 65K family green cards issued in 2021 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 Protect ‘Linga’, Wholesale inflation at record high of 15% let Muslims free entry to pray: SC ‘Totally against judicial decorum’ “Ajay Kumar Mishra performed his duties as advocate commissioner very irresponsibly. A probe shows that a private photographer was engaged by him and he kept giving media bytes that were totally against judicial decorum,” trial court judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar said was passed ex-parte without serving to us...What was the tearing hurry the way the premises was sealed?” he asked. However, the bench refused to issue a stay order. The court issued notices to the petitioners and the UP government and posted the matter for next hearing on May 19. Meanwhile, a couple of fresh petitions were filed seeking permission to perform puja of the ‘Shivalinga’. Water level in all major dams in the state remains low even after the heavy rain in the last few days, and there is no need for any fear that the dams will be opened triggering flood, say authorities. The widespread rainfall brought by Cyclone Asani and the IMD forecast of an early onset of monsoon have caused concern among people about possibility of a flood. However, the KSEB and irrigation department authorities said there is no need for concern as the water level in all major dams stood around 30 per cent of their storage capacity . In 2021, Cyclone Tauktae which arrived ahead of monsoon brought heavy rains forcing the irrigation department release water from some of its dams with many raising fears about a possible situation simi- WATER LEVEL IN MAJOR KSEB DAMS (Read as dam, storage in million cubic metre, percentage) Idukki 548.76 30% Sabarigiri 139.92 30% Sholayar Idamalayar 9.66 6% 309.95 30% Banasurasagar 39.95 20% lar to 2018 floods. There is no such situation prevailing now as all major dams have low water level, the authorities said. Meanwhile, most of the dams have started receiving 1.31% Karti got K50 lakh from Vedanta Group: ED According to the FIR, Advantage Strategic Consulting, a company linked to Karti, got D50 lakh from the Vedanta Group to organise visas for 263 Chinese nationals in 2011, when P Chidambaram was Union home minister. steady inflow over the past few days. The inflow in Idukki dam which stood at 0.5 MCM on May 10 reached 5.74 MCM at 7 am on Tuesday The water level . in the dam rose by 2 feet to touch 2,340.12 feet. The full reservoir level of the dam is 2,403 feet. However, there is no significant increase in inflow in Idamalayar dam, the second largest reservoir of KSEB. Storage in Sholayar dam has been brought down to 6 percent to facilitate dam maintenance works which are expected to be completed by May 20. Among Irrigation dams Neyyar has a storage of 72 percent, while Kallada reservoir has only a storage of 32 percent. The Malampuzha dam has only 31 percent storage. The state received 93 percent excess rainfall during the premonsoon period from March 1 ● More on P4 to May 17. Eye on byelection, CM Pinarayi softens stand on SilverLine E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ T”Puram Toning down the rhetoric on SilverLine ahead of the Thrikkakkara byelection, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday sought to strike a conciliatory note with the masses, saying the government will not throw people into the streets in the name of development. “The government will ensure maximum protection and security to the people. That’s why adequate rehabilitation packages are given,” he said. Pinarayi, however, meticulously avoided mentioning SilverLine in his speech, inaugurating the handing over of houses under Life mission. He said many projects which were perceived as impossible were made a reality by the state. It’s important to implement big development projects that will create a better living environment. Referring to the National Highway development in the state, the CM said the government has been offering good compensation for land acqui● More on P4 sition. NEW BOOK OUT Indigenise Islam to check Arabisation: Muslim Council M P P r a s h a n t h @ Kozhikode AS PART of encouraging regional varieties of Islam and to prevent the religion from being perceived as a monolithic one, The World Muslim Communities Council in the UAE has brought out a book titled Theology, Jurisprudence and Syncretic Traditions: Indianisation of Islam. The book seeks to ‘demonstrate a unique perspective of indigenisation of Islamic faith’ in the backdrop of the discussions on ‘ rabiA sation’ of the religion that is being projected as the ‘true’ representation of Islam. “There are some issues in promoting Arab culture as Islamic and presenting Islam as mono-centric,” said The ordinary traders who promoted Islam were neither representatives of state power nor recognised religious authorities — Muslim Council book the Council’s senior researcher Dr Abbas Panakkal. The book contains articles by Dr Sebastian R Prange of University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Dr Moin Ahmad Nizami of Oxford University and Dr Faizan Mustafa of NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. Prange has coined the term, Monsoon Islam, to denote the particular variety of the religion that was spread through the Arab traders who travelled to South Asia following the direction of the monsoon winds. ● More on P4 Apr 2022 Oct 2021 Apr 2021 -1.57% Apr 2020 Apr 2019 Oct 2018 Apr 2018 Oct 2017 Apr 2017 Oct 2016 Keeping up the pressure on senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram, the CBI on Tuesday conducted raids and searches at his son Karti’s residence and office premises across nine cities, in a fresh case relating to alleged acceptance of `50 lakh bribe for facilitating visas for Chinese employees working for a power project in Punjab. The raids were carried out at Chidambarams’ properties in Chennai, Mumbai, Koppal (Karnataka), Mansa (Punjab) and Jharsuguda (Odisha), CBI sources said, even as the agency was wary of disclosing the nature of documents it seized in the course of its operations. Chidambaram’s son Karti is alleged to have taken the bribe in 2011 for facilitating visas for about 300 the Chinese employees working at the Talwandi Sabo Power Project in Punjab. Oct 2019 0.00% -1.9% Apr 2016 Oct 2015 -4.76% 3.24% 3.62% 0.87% -3.42% 10.74% Oct 2020 1.27% E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Current rain and early monsoon: Dams have enough storage, no need to worry E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi 3.68% 3.72% CBI raids premises of PC, karti in cash-for-visa case A CBI official gestures to the media during a raid on former Union Minister P Chidambaram’s residence in Chennai on Tuesday | R Satish Babu 15.08% 13.83% 5.54% 3.85% Apr 2015 The Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi that is in the eye of a storm | PTI 6.70% 5.06% Oct 2014 The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that the area where a ‘Shivalinga’ was indicated to have been found in the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi a day ago should be fully protected, but the rights of Muslims to enter and offer prayers must not be infringed. The court was hearing a petition challenging a Allahabad High Court order that had permitted the inspection and videography of the premises. “In order to obviate any dispute on the meaning and content of the order of the trial judge, the operation and ambit of the order dated 16 May 2022 shall stand restricted to the extent that the District Magistrate, Varanasi shall ensure that the area where the Shivalinga is stated to have been found, as indicated in the order, shall be duly protected. The above direction shall not in any manner restrain or impede the access of Muslims to the mosque or the use of the mosque for the purpose of performing namaz and religious observance,” a bench led by Justice D Y Chandrachud said in its interim order. Senior advocate Hufeza Ahmadi, appearing for the Anjuman Islamia Masjid Committee, sought a stay in the trial court’s proceedings in Varanasi. “The order (to seal the wuzu khana where the Shivalinga was said to have been found) policy committee may frontload rates by another 25-50 basis points. FY23 could thus further see rates going up by 100-125 basis points, with the RBI now showing its intent to keep real rates above neutral,” said Madhavi Arora, lead economist at Emkay Global Financial Services. making sense of WPI peak y-o-y (%) Oct 2013 P r at h m a S h a r m a a n d N a m i ta B a j pa i @ New Delhi/Lucknow Apr 2014 Advocate commissioner leading survey of Gyanvapi sacked; 2 more days to file report India’s wholesale price-based inflation jumped to an all-time high of 15.08% due to acrossthe-board rise in prices, including those of food and fuel. Continuous high inflation — both retail and wholesale — would further put pressure on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to hike interest rates in its June monetary policy . The WPI inflation has been in double digits perpetually for the last 13 months. Overall inflation in food articles was recorded at 8.35%. In the food basket, the highest inflation was observed in the items like vegetables, potato, fruits and wheat at 23.24%, 19.84%, 10.89% and 10.70%, respectively Crude pe. troleum and natural gas rose by 69.07% year-on-year, while petrol witnessed a surge in prices by 60.63%. In the fuel and power baskets, inflation stood at 38.66%, whereas in manufactured products it was 10.85% and oil seeds 16.10%. Also, oore inflation accelerated for the third consecutive month to 11.1 per cent from 10.9 per cent in March 2022. “We see June’s policy to be super-live, and the monetary Apr 2013 M o n i k a Ya d a v @ New Delhi Just a few days ago, retail inflation data registered an eightyear high at 7.79% in April. In a bid to tame inflation, the RBI this month raised the repo rate by 40 basis points to 4.4% and cash reserve ratio by 0.5%. Meanwhile, days after the Union commerce ministry banned wheat exports, on Tuesday it gave some relaxation to consignments registered with the customs on or before May 13. It also allowed a wheat consignment headed for Egypt, which was already under loading at the Kandla port. “The order served three main purposes: ensure India’s food security and check inflation, it helps other countries facing food deficit, and it maintains India’s reliability as a supplier. The order also aimed to provide a clear direction to the wheat market to prevent hoarding,” the Centre said in a statement. express read L1,000-cr expansion plan at Paper Products Kochi: After the successful revival of erstwhile Hindustan Newsprint Ltd, the state government aims to implement a D1,000-crore capacity expansion plan, which will help the Kerala Paper Products grow into a leading player in Indian paper industry, Industries Minister P Rajeeve said here on Tuesday. P5 Four wanted in 1993 Mumbai blasts held Ahmedabad: The Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad has arrested four persons wanted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, officials said. Abu Bakar, Saiyad Qureshi, Mohammad Shoeb Qureshi alias Shoeb Bawa and Mohammad Yusuf Ismail alias Yusuf Bhatka, all residents of Mumbai, were on the run for 29 years, they said | p8 GPS for vehicles, B&W uniform for drivers in new academic year KEY POINTS Speed governors Drivers should not have history of drunken driving, speeding and substance abuse Drivers must have ID cards Attenders equal to the number of doors No standing passengers Crew will have to keep a record of travelling children Maximum speed limit of 30 kmph in the school zone The driver of a school bus must follow a model driving behaviour as children tend to get influenced by them Antony Raju, Transport Minister E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram VEHICLES of educational institutions should have speed governors and GPS while drivers must wear uniform and carry identity cards from the start of the next academic year as per the guidelines issued by the Motor Vehicles Department on Tuesday . The drivers should have at least 10 years’ experience including five years in handling heavy vehicles, according to the guidelines. They should wear white shirt and black pants. Employers must ensure the drivers do not have a history of drunken driving, speeding or substance abuse. “The driver of a school bus must follow a model driving behaviour as children tend to get influenced by them,” said Transport Minister Antony Raju. The number of attenders should be equal to the number of doors on the vehicle to ensure safe boarding and deboarding of children. No standing passenger should be allowed. The crew will have to keep a record of the number of children and produce it at the time of inspection. Vehicles should display ‘educational institution’ on their front and rear while private vehicles that transport schoolchildren must carry the display board ‘On School Duty’. The vehicles should maintain a maximum speed limit of 30 kmph in the school zone and 50 kmph on other roads. The doors of vehicles should have locks, shutters and side barriers for windows. All school vehicles should carry a first-aid kit. Emergency exit and fire extinguisher are mandatory Cool. ing films on glasses and curtains will not be allowed. A school staff shall be designated as the route officer for each vehicle. The name of the educational institution and contact number shall be displayed along with the emergency numbers — childline (1098), police (100), ambulance (102), fire force (101).
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