coimbatore l tuesday l june 21, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION gotabaya one step away from losing unfettered powers Sri Lankan cabinet on Monday passed the 21st Amendment to the Constitution to empower Parliament over the executive president Prez to be answerable to Parliament IMF begins talks to bail out colombo The latest amendment, which will soon be tabled in Parliament, seeks to annul the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave unfettered powers to the President. Under the 21A, the President will be held accountable to Parliament. When passed by Parliament, the 21A will also bar dual citizens from contesting elections to hold public office ■ ■ The development comes on a day when the IMF began bailout talks with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe The 21st amendment was supposed to be taken up in cabinet on June 6 but was delayed after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa reportedly asked the minister of justice not to take it up then $51 billion Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt. Of this, Colombo plans to repay $5 bn this year 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 Vedanta puts Sterlite plant on the block Says ‘national asset’ meets 40% of India’s copper demand S G o ds o n W i s e ly Da ss @ Thoothukudi PM hard-sells reform amid Agnipath stir Express News Service @ Bengaluru/New Delhi Apparently alluding to the ongoing protests against the short-term Agnipath military recruitment scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said any reform may seem unpleasant temporarily, but in the long term it would benefit the country . In his address at Kommaghatta where he laid the foundation stone for Bengaluru’s Suburban Rail and other infrastructure projects, Modi said, “The path of startup and innovation is not the one with ease, and taking the country on this path for the last eight years was also not easy. Several decisions and reforms may be unpleasant temporarily, but with time their benefits can be experienced by the country.” He did not mention Agnipath explicitly . With the government firm on executing the scheme, the Army on Monday issued its first notification on Agnipath. It made online registration mandatory for all c a n d i d a t e s, u s i n g t h e Army’s website www.joinindianarmy .nic.in to do so. The registration window will open in July. The streams for which candidates can apply include General Duty, Technical (aviation/ammunition examiner), Clerk/ Store Keeper Technical, Tradesman, etc. Rlys cancels more than 600 trains Anticipating trouble, more than 600 trains were cancelled on Monday following nationwide protests against Agnipath scheme e x p r e ss r e a d OPS asks for GC meet to be postponed Chennai: The crisis within the AIADMK due to the single leadership issue reached a crescendo on Monday after party coordinator O Panneerselvam demanded the postponement of the June 23 general council (GC) meeting. Senior leaders supporting joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami stoutly rejected the request. A plea has been moved in the Madras HC seeking adequate police protection for the meet | P2 ‘`400 cr tax evasion by MGM Group’ Chennai: The Income Tax department on Monday suggested that MGM Group indulged in tax evasion to the tune of over `400 crore by debiting non-genuine purchase bills in the books of accounts of varied businesses. This comes after sleuths raided 40 MGM properties in Chennai, Villupuram, Puducherry, Coimbatore, and Hyderabad. The department did not directly mention the MGM Group in its statement | P2 Vedanta Group has invited bids for the sale of its copper smelting plant at Thoothukudi, Sterlite Copper, which has been entangled in various legal and political issues in Tamil Nadu. However, the copper major’s sudden decision to sell the entire plant has evoked confusion and mixed responses. In conjunction with the Axis Capital, Vedanta invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from financially competent parties to buy the unit encapsulated with smelter complex (primary and secondary), sulphuric acid plant, copper refinery continu, ous copper rod plant, phosphoric acid plant, caprice power plant, oxygen generation unit and residential complex with amenities, along with an expansion project of 4,00,000 Metric Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA), on or before July 4, 2022. “The Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) plant is a national asset which has been catering to 40% of our national demand of copper and has played an integral role towards India’s self-sufficiency in copper,” Vedanta said in its official statement. It said the copper smelter contributes `2,500 crore to the government exchequer and 95% of market share in sulphuric acid in TN. “In the best interest of the country and the people of Tamil Jab-o-meter Take your shot June 19 2,80,136 doses June 20 11,31,327 doses Total: 1,96,30,25,832 file picture Nadu, we are exploring options to make sure the plant and the assets are best utilised to meet growing copper demand of the nation,” the statement added. A senior official from TN’s Industries Department told TNIE the matter is sub-judice and refused to comment. Speaking to TNIE, Thoothukudi Member of Parliament Kanimozhi Karunanidhi said the State government is of the view not to open any such hazardous industries polluting the environment. “TN g ove r n m e n t s t a n d s f i r m against reopening the plant,” she said, adding the legality of the sale of a plant entangled in litigation is yet to be explored. She said Vedanta’s decision to sell the plant was not communicated to the State government. Sterlite Copper, functioning in the Thoothukudi SIPCOT premises since its inception in 1996, had grown to become one of the leading copper producers in the country, and multiplied its operating capacity to 4,00,000 MTPA. Timeline Oct 31, 1994: Foundation stone laid Mar 20, 1996: Fishermen besiege vessel laden with raw material for Sterlite Oct 14, 1996: TNPCB grants Consent To Operate July 5, 1997: Plant closed after gas leak leads to 96 women being hospitalised Mar 2, 1999: Eleven All India Radio staff hospitalised due to gas leak Sept 21, 2004: Supreme Court Monitoring Committee finds non-compliance of waste management to environment standards Aug, 2005: Production capacity triples from initial 391 tonnes per day NATIONWIDE June 19 June 20 tamil nadu June 19 June 20 Fresh cases 12,899 12,781 Recoveries 8,518 8,537 Deaths 15 18 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 692 243 0 686 257 0 Sinha’s name in Prez play after Gandhi, too, opts out E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi/Kolkata A day before the second meeting of the Opposition over the upcoming Presidential elections, attention turned towards ex-finance minister Yashwant Sinha possibly entering the ring after retired diplomat and former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi declined to be their candidate for the polls. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had tossed up the names of National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and Gandhi for the high post after NCP leader Sharad Pawar opted out last week. But Abdullah threw in the towel a couple of days ago. With Gandhi, too, conveying his disinclination, the Trinamool quietly injected the name of Sinha, a BJP import into its party, who has been ascerbic about the Modi government’s functioning. Class 12 pass percentage higher this year KV N av ya @ Chennai Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, the pass percentage in the Class 12 State Board exams is 1.4% higher this year than in 2020. However, the Class 10 pass percentage is 5% lower than it was in 2019. Students in Classes 10 and 12 were declared ‘all pass’ in 2021, and in 2020 this was the case for Class 10 students alone. This year, 90.07% of Class 10 and 93.76% of Class 12 students cleared the State Board exams, the results of which were announced on Monday . The Class 12 pass percentage was 92.3 in 2020, 91.3 in 2019, and 91.1 in 2018. As for Class 10, the pass percentage was 95.2 in 2019 and 94.5 in 2018. A total of 4.06 lakh (96.32%) girls passed the Class 12 exam, compared to 3.49 lakh (90.96%) boys. Among Class 10 students, girls outshone boys by 8.55%, with 94.38% of girls passing, compared to 85.83% of boys, School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi said. Kanniyakumari recorded the highest Class 10 pass percentage (97.22%), followed by Perambalur (97.15%) and Virudhunagar (95.96%). The highest Class 12 pass percentage was recorded in Perambalur (97.95%), followed by Virudhunagar (97.27%) and Ramanathapuram (97.02%). “Class 12 students did better because they had special classes and went to school even during the pandemic. This wasn’t the case for Class 10. Moreover, Class 12 students are under pressure to join good colleges. The learning gap for higher secondary students is yet to be bridged,” said K Balaraman, a teacher in Chennai with two decades of experience. Concurring, R Parthiban, a volunteer under the Illam Thedi Kalvi scheme, said, “The scheme is for students in Classes 1-8. It could be extended to Classes 9 and 10. P4
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