kottayam l tuesday l march 14, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Retail inflation declines marginally to 6.44% in Feb Still above RBI’s upper tolerance band The inflation rate based on the Consumer Price Index had peaked to a threemonth high of 6.52% in January 2023, while it stood at 6.07% in February 2022. The rate for the food basket was 5.95% in February 2023, lower than 6% in January. Except for November and December 2022, retail inflation has remained above RBI’s upper tolerance band of 6% since January 2022 Retail inflation fell marginally last month compared to that of January, on account of a slight easing in prices of food and fuel items Urban inflation inches up, show data ■ Rural inflation stood at 6.72% and urban inflation at 6.1% in February 2023 compared to 6.85% and 6%, respectively, in January 2023 ■ According to experts, the worst phase of inflation may be behind us. On Sunday, RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee member Ashima Goyal said inflation in India is likely to come down over the year | P10 250 points rbi’S Cumulative RATE hike SINCE mAY LAST YEAR TO CONTAIN RISING PRICES 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 made-by-India cinema gets first Oscars Av i n a s h R a m a c h a n d r a n Indian cinema first knocked at the door of the Academy Awards in 1958 with director Mehboob Khan’s seminal work, Mother India. Since then, this quest has been an obsession almost, with films like Salaam Bombay and Lagaan going agonisingly close. Of course, our artists like Bhanu Athaiya (Gandhi), A R Rahman, Gulzar, and Resul Pookutty (Slumdog Millionaire), have all won the Oscars, but those were all films made in India, but not by India. And now, finally, a documentary called The Elephant Whisperers and the song Naatu Naatu from RRR have made the world turn in our direction. Naatu Naatu started as a Telugu song, became an Indian phenomenon and then a worldwide rage, gaining momentum in the lead up to the Oscars, where it has won the ‘Best Original Song’ award, defeating the likes of Rihanna, and Lady Gaga. Accepting the award, composer MM Keeravaani said, “There was only one vision in my mind, Rajamouli’s M M Keeravaani (right) and Chandrabose accept the award for Best Original Song for Naatu Naatu from RRR at the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday | AP mind, and my family’s mind too. RRR has to be the pride of every Indian and must put me on top of the world.” It was also a lovely touch to see Deepika Padukone introducing the Naatu Naatu performance at the Oscars and to see singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava perform it. While the win of Naatu Naatu was a first for Indian cinema, producer Guneet Monga has cemented India’s place iconic rrr still as an impor- Brimming with pride on seeing the world groove to #NaattuNaattu . Congrats to dear MM Keeravaani & Chandrabose for making country proud. SS Rajamouli , Ram Charan & Tarak, proud of all of you for taking Indian cinema to the top of the world — Mammootty tant force in the Documentary category by winning her second Academy Award for The Elephant Whisperers. She previously won the same award for Period. End of Sentence (2019). Guneeth shared the award with Kartiki Gonzalves, the director of The Elephant Whisperers, and said, “I stand here to speak about the sacred bond between us and the natural world. For respect of the indigenous community and empathy towards other living beings and finally for co-existence.” What a beautiful coincidence that the triumph should come on National Elephants’ Continued on: P9 Day! Exceptional! The popularity of ‘Naatu Naatu’ is global. It will be a song that will be remembered for years to come. Congratulations to @mmkeeravaani, @ boselyricist and the entire team for this prestigious honour. India is elated and proud. #Oscars - Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up - Michelle Yeoh, who won the Best Actress Oscar for Everything Everywhere All At Once Big congrats to MM Keeravaani Garu, Chandrabose, SS Rajamouli, Kaala Bhairava, Rahul Sipligunj, Prem Rakshith, Jr NTR and Ram Charan and the entire RRR crew for making India stand tall again! The nation bows to you! — Mohanlal Centre asks for report on dumpyard blaze in Kochi 7 MPs complain to KC against K Sudhakaran E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @Kochi C y n t h i a C h a n d r a n @ T’Puram The Centre has intervened and asked for a report from Kerala on the fire that broke out at Brahmapuram dumpyard, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday . “Have asked Kerala state government to submit a report on the incident of fire at Brahmapuram waste dumping yard in Kochi. Centre will support the state to ensure public health measures,” Mandaviya tweeted after Union Minister of State V Muraleedharan met him to seek the Centre’s intervention in the issue. Muraleedharan said Kochi has become “unlivable” due to the toxic fumes from Brahmapuram. “Thousands have relocated to other parts of the state due to the smoke,” he told reporters in Delhi. Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court directed the secretary of the Kochi Corporation to place before the court the chronological details of the passing over of the management of the plant to a third party The secretary should ex. plain the manner and mode in which the decisions regarding the plant are taken. The Bench headed by Justice S V Irked by party state president K Sudhakaran sending warning notices to MPs K Muraleedharan and M K Raghavan, seven Congress parliamentarians from Kerala on Monday approached national general secretary (org anisation) K C Venugopal. They pointed out that PCC president cannot issue notices to AICC members. It’s the second time in less than two months that MPs from Kerala are approaching Venugopal with grievances against Sudhakaran. On Monday, several Kerala MPs, who are in Delhi for the budget session of the Parliament, met him. Muraleedharan and Raghavan, accompanied by Benny Behanan, Kodikunnil Suresh, Anto Antony Hibi Eden , and Dean Kuriakose, went to the AICC general secretary’s resi● More on P4 dence. UDF councillor Tibin Devasy who got injured in police lathi charge during a protest at the Kochi corporation demanding the mayor’s resignation over the Brahmapuram issue | A Sanesh Protest fire rages Protests rocked the assembly and Kochi corporation on Monday over the Brahmapuram fire. The UDF boycotted the assembly proceedings, alleging a nexus between government and private contractors and demanded CBI probe into the cause of fire. Bhatti also asked the secretary to place before it the details of the payments made by the corporation to the contractors or staff under the head of collection, transportation, handing over, treatment, or any other head for the P2 past seven years. well done 7 women come together to dig well for friend S a j i m o n P S @ Pathanamthitta Every summer is an ordeal for Jessy Sabu and her family . A homemaker living a hand-tomouth existence, Jessy, 45, along with husband Sabu and three children, has been facing acute shortage of potable water during summer. However, they are a relieved lot this time. T hanks to seven women who came together to help their friend Jessy get potable water by digging a well on the premises of her Jessy Sabu with her friends house at Naranammoozhy in Pathanamthitta. Though they faced potable water shortage every year, the unprecedented rise in temperature this time made things worse for the family residing in ward 2 of Naranammoozhy panchayat. For 2,000 litres of water, they required `1,000 to pay private tanker lorries. The water lasts barely a week. Every summer, Jessy hires an autorickshaw for `400 to go to the Pampa river around 7km away to wash clothes. The family depends on tanker lorries for potable water throughout the year, but its price rises sharply ● More on P4 during summer. I don’t have words to express my gratitude. We dug up to 4 metre till Monday and saw some water. We hope to get water once we go around 7-metre deep. The rocky land has made the task challenging. Jessy Sabu Same-sex marriage case ‘seminal’, sent to Constitution bench S h r u t i K a k k a r @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Monday referred to a fivejudge bench a batch of petitions seeking legal recognition to same-sex marriage under various statutory regimes such as the Hindu Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act and Foreign Marriage Act. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud said the pleas raised issues of seminal importance and posted them for final disposal from April 18. “We are of the view that it would be appropriate if the issues raised are resolved by the bench of five judges of this court with due regard to Article 145(3) of the Constitution. Thus, we direct it to be placed before a constitution bench,” the court said. It also acceded to a petitioner’s request for live streaming of the proceedings. The bench during the hearing also remarked that the adopted child of a gay or lesbian couple does not have to be gay or lesbian. The remarks came after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that the moment marriage as a recognised institution between same sex is sanctified, the question of adoption will come up. Parliament will then have examine it from perspective of the child’s psychology “This is a legislative function. . It will then be about adoption. Parliament will have to see psychology of a child who has not been reared by a father and a mother — these are the issues. Parliament will have to debate and take a call in view of our ethos,” Mehta remarked. Outside Parliament, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju said: “The government is not interfering in the personal life of anybody But when it comes to . to marriage, it is a matter of policy .” express read Literacy activities set for revival T’Puram: Literacy activities in the state, that were moving at a slow pace of late, are set for a revival with the launch of ‘New India Literacy programme’, to be implemented in all 14 districts with assistance from the Centre. In the first phase of the fiveyear programme, being funded jointly by the Centre and state in a 60:40 ratio, a target has been set to provide basic literacy to around 85,000 people above the age of 15 years. P4 Ruckus in Parl over Rahul’s remarks New Delhi: The second leg of the Budget session of Parliament began on a disruptive note on Monday after Opposition and Treasury benches locked horns over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s speech in London. With the government demanding Gandhi’s apology for his ‘democracy under attack’ remark, both the Houses plunged into chaos, leading to adjournment of proceedings for the day.
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