TIRUCHY l thursday l january 19, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Won’t let competition turn into conflict: U.S. & China US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Wednesday and pledged to manage their differences Dialogue and exchanges crucial, says Liu Both countries face Common issues Yellen’s first face-to-face meeting with Liu in Zurich is the highest-ranking contact between the US and China since their presidents agreed last November to look for areas of cooperation. For his part, Liu said Beijing is ready to work with Washington. “No matter how circumstances change, we should always maintain dialogue and exchanges,” he told Yellen | P9 ■ ■ “We should not allow misunderstandings, particularly those stemming from a lack of communication, to worsen our bilateral economic and financial relationship,” Yellen told Liu The meeting comes as the US and Chinese economies grapple with differing, but intertwined challenges on trade & technology Yellen Will soon travel to China, the U.S. treasury dept said after the meetng 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 1 Vinesh claimed that she knew 10-20 women wrestlers who told her about sexual exploitation by WFI chief 2 Olympian wrestlers also alleged that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is abusive and physically assaults players 3 Grapplers said WFI is run in arbitrary manner, added they won’t participate in global events until he is removed 4 Sports ministry has sought explanation from WFI and directed it to furnish a reply within the next 72 hours Top players open a can of worms, level sexual harassment charges against Brij Bhushan Wrestlers pin WFI chief on mat E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ Chennai Sports in the country has not seen such an uprising by players in recent times. In a dramatic turn of events, top wrestlers of the country staged a protest against their federation at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. The wrestlers accused Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual exploitation and demanded his immediate ouster. The grapplers, instead of joining their national camps, led by Olympic and world championships medallist Bajrang Punia and multiple worlds medallist Vinesh Phogat reached Jantar Mantar. They were joined by about 30 top wrestlers, including 2016 Rio Olympics medallist Sakshi Malik, worlds medallists Sarita Mor and Anshu Malik. With a few coaches too join- Country’s top wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Anshu Malik and Bajrang Punia stage protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Wednesday | Express ing them, the sit-in gathered steam and by evening the venue was brimming with activities, where Vinesh made startling revelations against the WFI chief. She alleged that he was sexually exploiting women wrestlers for years. Singh, a BJP member of parliament Survey not needed tn gets Automated land patta system B AN B U SELVAN @ Chennai Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday launched a new software for Tamilnilam portal, a land record database, to eliminate the need for surveyors to survey land parcels for issuing pattas for subdivided land. Hitherto, physical survey is mandatory to assign new survey numbers for subdivided land parcels. The new software will integrate the layouts approved by the Directorate of Town & Country Planning (DTCP) and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the portal will automatically assign a survey number for each subdivided plot. The land titles of sub-divisions created by the software will then be transferred to the layout owner or property developer’s name. “When a person purchases a plot in DTCP or CMDA approved layout, the title assigned to the property will be transferred to the new owner automatically As the land reg. istration software is also integrated with Tamilnilam portal, the title change (patta) of a property will reflect online within a few minutes after registration of the property said an ,” official from the survey and settlement department. The revenue department gets 1.5 lakh applications per year for patta transfers involving sub-division changes for plots in layouts. Online patta transfer mainly gets delayed due to shortage of surveyors. CONTINUED ON: P5 from Kaiserganj (UP), denied all charges saying he can be hanged if they are proven. “I know at least 10-20 women wrestlers who have told me about the sexual exploitation they faced at the hands of (the) WFI president. They told me their stories. I can’t take their Shubman shatters record book S h a h i d F a r i d i @ New Delhi A special CBI court on Wednesday reopened the case of a fake report filed by Mulayam Singh Yadav in the Supreme Court in 2019, which claimed that the agency had given him and his family members a clean chit in a disproportionate assets case. The CBI had last month filed a closure report claiming it was unable to track the people who had fabricated the report cited by Mulayam. Special judge Anjani Mahajan on Wednesday took cognizance of the CBI’s claim that the report was fake but rejected its closure report. It ordered further investigation on the modus operandi of the culprits, including probing the involve- ment of any insider in the forgery It asked the investigation . officer to file a supplementary report by March 24. Mulayam had filed in the SC a 17-page note purportedly prepared by the CBI as proof of the agency giving him and his family a clean chit. The CBI forensically examined the note and came to a conclusion that it was fake. It said “the note was fake and fabricated and the signatures of officers were lifted from some other documents and affixed on the note.” The agency informed the special court that “the handwriting expert of CFSL, New Delhi has opined that the 17-page review note is a forged one and the said note contains a forged signature of DIG/AC-II.” 1 While BJP runs the Tripura government, it is a junior partner in Nagaland and Meghalaya Part y positions Nagaland Polling date Total seats: 60 Present strength: 59 Feb 27 NDPP 42 BJP 12 NPF 4 Ind 1 Vac 1 2 The Congress and the CPM are exploring an alliance in Tripura 3 Trinamool is trying to expand its footprint outside Bengal by contesting these polls E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e Meghalaya Polling date Feb 27 Total seats: 60 Present strength: 42 UDP 8 BJP 2 PDF 2 Ind 1 TMC 8 NCP 1 NPP 20 Vac 18 4 Elections in February so as not to disturb board examinations scheduled in March 5 Tripura Polling date Feb 16 Nagaland Assembly term ends on March 12, Meghalaya’s on March 15 and Tripura’s on Mar 22 Total seats: 60 Present strength: 53 BJP 33 IPFT 4 CPM 15 Cong 1 Vac 7 Used Tamizhagam in historical, cultural context, comment misconstrued: Ravi S K U MARESAN @ Chennai Following the controversy over his ‘Tamizhagam’ remark, Governor RN Ravi on Wednesday said he had referred to the state as ‘Tamizhagam’ only in historical and cultural context and construing it as his suggestion to change the name of Tamil Nadu is ‘erroneous’ and ‘far-fetched.’ “In those days, there was no ‘Tamil Nadu’. I referred to the word ‘Tamizhagam’ as a more appropriate expression. With- out understanding the basis of my speech, arguments that the governor is against the word ‘Tamil Nadu’ have become a topic of discussion. Hence, I am giving this clarification to put an end to it,” said the statement issued by the R a j B h ava n o n Wednesday . The statement came on a day when the governor left for Delhi for the second time in a week. A DMK delegation last week met President Droupadi Murmu and handed over a letter sent by CM MK Stalin expressing disappointment over the actions of the governor, including the changes he made to the governor’s address. The Raj Bhavan’s statement evoked sharp reactions from leaders of the DMK alliance and some outfits as they argued that ‘Tamil Nadu’ has been in use since the Sangam age for the past 2,000 years. CONTINUED ON: P5 @ Chennai / Erode The bypoll for Erode (East) assembly constituency will be held on February 27. Votes will be counted on March 2. The seat fell vacant after the sudden demise of the 46-yearold E Thirumahan Everaa. Everaa, the great grandson of Dravidar Kazhagam founder Periyar E V Ramasamy and son of Congress leader and former union minister EVKS Elangovan, had won the seat with a margin of 9,000 votes in 2021. It is the first bypoll for the 16th assembly of the state. According to the ECI’s notification, filing of nominations for the bypoll would be allowed between January 31 and February 7. Scrutiny of nominations will be on February 8 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is February 10. Sources in the DMK alliance said that as per the poll pact, the seat would be given to the Congress and DMK would support the candidate. The ruling alliance exuded confidence that its candidate would win the seat with a higher vote share. The AIADMK camp, meanwhile, is tight-lipped over seat allocation. In the 2021 election, the seat was allotted to former union minister GK Vasan-led TMC (M) but the party lost the seat to Congress candidate. Corporation Commissioner K Sivakumar has been appointed as the electoral officer for the constituency. Speaking to reporters, K Sivakumar said, “Political party advertisements across the constituency have been ordered to be concealed. Statues of leaders will be covered. Appointment of election officers will be done on Thursday .” CONTINUED ON: P5 V V Ba l a k r i s h n a @ Hyderabad Dispose of maintenance cases quickly, says HC CBI court reopens assets case against Yadav family The EC on Wednesday announced holding Tripura polls on Feb 16 and those for Nagaland and Meghalaya on Feb 27. Counting of votes: March 2 EC: Byelection for Erode East seat will be held on Feb 27 Hints of KCR front to take on BJP in 2024 express read Chennai: The Madras High Court has expressed displeasure over family courts delaying maintenance cases and ordered a court in Chennai to dispose of a maintenance case within three months. “The Supreme Court has issued directions that maintenance cases should be disposed of within a prescribed time limit,” Justice P Velmurugan said | P2 names now but I can definitely reveal the names if we get to meet the prime minister and the home minister of the country Vinesh said while address,” ing the media. She, however, clarified that she never faced such exploitation. She also alleged that several coaches at the national camp in Lucknow, too, exploited women wrestlers. Vinesh had more harrowing tales to recite. “I have received death threats from people who are close to the WFI president (because she dared to draw PM’s attention to several issues plaguing Indian wrestling when she met him after Tokyo). If anything happens to any of us sitting here, only the WFI president will be responsible,” she charged. Singh, 66, who was elected WFI president for a third consecutive term in February 2019, called it a plot on behalf of an industrialist. P11 Feb dates for Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya polls Shubman Gill celebrates his double hundred against New Zealand in Hyderabad on Wednesday I pti With his 149-ball 208, Shubman Gill became the fastest Indian, and joint second-fastest overall, to score 1,000 runs in ODIs He became the youngest male cricketer ever to score a double ton in ODIs India post 349 runs and beat New Zealand by 12 runs TWO months after the launch of Bharat Rashtra Samithi, party chief and Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday brought ‘like-minded non-BJP and non-Congress leaders’ — three chief ministers and two Opposition leaders — on one platform. A s a m a m m o t h c r ow d cheered him on at the Khammam public meeting, Rao, flanked by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab CM Bhagwant Singh Mann and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, and Left party leaders, elaborated upon his agenda for a better India. Emphasising upon the need to “boot out the divisive BJP”, Rao, Kejriwal, Vijayan and former UP CM Akhilesh Singh Yadav took turns to explain to the crowd the need for a change at the Centre. The bonhomie among the leaders appeared to indicate a possible alliance at the national level. Khammam, a district Billboards of KCR with Bhagwant Singh Mann, Arvind Kejriwal, Akhilesh Yadav and Pinarayi Vijayan at the Khammam rally which is known for its secular, leftist leanings, seemed to form the ideal backdrop for the fervent appeals of the leaders against “religious sectarianism” of the BJP . While Rao spoke of ending water wars and improving the lot of farmers by taking his schemes like free power and Rythu Bandhu to a national platform, Vijayan described the meeting as a new beginning where like-minded parties would fight to topple the BJP . Blaming both the Congress and the BJP for the present-day problems of the country, KCR said that would implement Dalit Bandhu, Mission Bhagi- ratha, Rythu Bandhu and other schemes of Telangana across the country. “We will provide free power to tillers across the country like in Telangana. It will cost around `1.45 lakh crore per year. We will also nationalise the Visakhapatnam Steel Factory if it is sold by the , Narendra Modi government.” Covid disruption School shutdowns hurt students’ learning ability: Survey A m i t Pa n d e y @ New Delhi Prolonged school shutdowns due to Covid-19 have set students back by over 10 years in terms of their basic reading and maths skills, a new survey showed. According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)-2022, children’s basic reading ability is down to pre-2012 levels and their maths skills to 2018 levels. Glaring drop in basic reading skill Class III Class V Class VII Children in govt or private schools who can read at Class II level dropped from 27.3% in 2018 to 20.5% in 2022 Students who can at least read a Class II level text fell from 50.5% in 2018 to 42.8% in 2022 69.6% of children could read basic text in 2022, down from 73% in 2018 “The percentage of children in Class 3 in government or private schools who can read at Class 2 level dropped from 27.3% in 2018 to 20.5% in 2022,” the survey said. Similarly, the percentage of 5th grade students who can at least read a text at the Class 2 level, dropped from 50.5% to 42.8%. Notably states that had high, er reading levels in 2018 witnessed a sharp decline in 2022 with Kerala dropping from 52.1% to 38.7%, Himachal Pradesh from 47.7% to 28.4% and Haryana from 46.4% to 31.5%. The most affected states in terms of reading ability are Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, with their figures dropping from 22.6% to 10.3% and from 18.1% to 5.2%, respectively . Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Haryana recorded decline in maths skills, the survey said.
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