COIMBATORE l wednesday l march 15, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 14 l LATE CITY EDITION Facebook confirms layoff buzz, to slash another 10,000 jobs Facebook parent Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social media firm will cancel low priority projects and not fill 5,000 vacant positions Recruiting, tech teams to be cut to size Zuckerberg said he underestimated the indirect costs associated with these projects. In a statement released on Tuesday, the company said it will reduce the size of its recruiting team and make further cuts in its tech groups in late April, and then its business groups in late May. “This will be tough and there is no way around that,” Zuckerberg said in a mail to employees $86-92 bn Some Management layers to be removed ■ In a bid to increase efficiency “we will make our organization flatter by removing multiple layers of management”, Zuckerberg said, adding that managers will be asked to become individual contributors ■ Individual contributors will report to every level, so that information flow between people doing the work and management will be faster Revised annual budget of meta in 2023, down from earlier estimate of $95 bn 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 SC dismisses plea to hike Bhopal gas tragedy relief Directs Centre to use `50 crore parked with RBI for pending claims, if any S h r u t i K a kk a r @ New Delhi Trinamool Congress MPs holding their separate protest at the Parliament House complex over the Adani row during the Budget session, in New Delhi on Tuesday | PTI Oppn unity in disarray as parties hold separate protests against Centre ties was also evident at the Opposition party meeting called CRACKS in the Opposition by Congress chief Mallikarjun ranks once again came to the Kharge in the past two days to fore on Tuesday during pro- fine-tune strategy for the Partests demanding a Joint Parlia- liament session. The AAP was mentary Committee (JPC) present, but TMC stayed away probe on the Hindenburg re- on both days. port, which accused the Adani The AAP and the Congress group of fraud and stock are at loggerheads in several manipulation. states. The tension between Soon after the Lok both the parties escaParliament lated after the arrest Sabha was adjourned logjam in the morning due to of AAP leader and protests over Rahul Delhi deputy CM ManParliament Gandhi’s remarks, the proceedings were ish Sisodia in the DelCongress and several hi liquor scam case. paralysed on other parties, includ- Tuesday with the While all the other Oping the DMK, CPM, position parties conBJP seeking JDU, RJD, NCP SP and , demned the arrest, the Rahul Gandhi’s others staged a protest apology and the Congress welcomed it. outside Parliament de- Congress waving The Congress was also manding a JPC probe. missing from the list placards with However, the division quotes from PM of signatories after 10 among the opposition Narendra Modi’s parties wrote to the was apparent as the speeches during PM lambasting the BRS and AAP chose to his foreign trips misuse of agencies. stand a little away Similarly, the BRS from other parties, holding and TMC share rocky ties with placards demanding a JPC the Congress because the parinvestigation. ties believe the grand old party Raising the same demand, is trying to play a big brother’s the TMC chose to go alone by role. During the recent Meghaholding a protest at the Mahat- laya assembly election camma Gandhi statue inside the paign, Congress leader Rahul Parliament complex. Gandhi called the TMC the B The disunity among the par- team of the BJP . PR E E THA NAIR @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Centre’s curative plea seeking additional compensation of over `7,400 crore for the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy from Union Carbide (UCC), which is now owned by Dow Chemical. It sharply criticised the Centre for not framing an insurance policy for the victims despite the SC’s directions in a review verdict. Calling it gross negligence, the bench said, “The Union cannot be negligent on this aspect and then seek a prayer to fix the responsibility on the UCC.” The bench pointed out that a settlement can be set aside only if there is a claim of fraud. “Either a settlement is valid or it is to be set aside in cases where it is vitiated by fraud. No such fraud has been pleaded by the Union and their only contention relates to a number of victims, injuries and costs that were not contemplated express read Vengaivayal: Collectorate blocked by caste Hindus Pudukkottai: A protest by 300 caste Hindus from Iraiyur resulted in the entrance to the Pudukkottai collectorate being closed by police for two hours on Tuesday. The caste Hindus were demanding imposition of Section 144 on Vengaivayal where SC persons reside | P4 Zoho’s Sridhar Vembu refutes Forbes’ allegations Chennai: Zoho Corp founder Sridhar Vembu on Tuesday refuted allegations, reported in Forbes magazine, that he had abandoned his wife and son, who has autism, and had transferred of personal assets to his family members amid divorce proceedings | P12 No Muslim outreach, says RSS gen secy H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on Tuesday said it had no outreach programme for Muslims intellectuals, but was ready to meet if the initiative came from the other side. Talking to the media after the three-day meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Partinidhi Sabha, the apex decision-making body of the RSS at Samalkha near Panipat, its general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said, “RSS leaders are meeting Muslim intellectuals and their spiritual leaders on their invitation. The initiative is from that side; there is no outreach from the Sangh.” Last year, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had met former Rajya Sabha MP Shahid Siddiqui, former election commissioner S Y Quraishi, Lt Gen (Retd) Zameer Uddin and former Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung. In January this year, RSS leader Krishna Gopal had met a few Muslim leaders. Asked to comment on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the RSS, Hosabale said, “As a prominent leader of the opposition, he should speak more responsibly and see the reality He may have his own ... political agenda.’’ On the question of same-sex marriage, he said the Sangh is on the same page as the Centre, adding marriage can take place only between two persons from opposite genders. CM MK Stalin gave the first copy of the Organic Farming Policy for Tamil Nadu to Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam at the secretariat on Tuesday | Express CM unveils policy to boost organic farming in TN T M u r u g a n a n d h a m @ Chennai CHIEF Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday released the state’s first Organic Farming Policy aimed at conserving and protecting soil health, agroecology, and biodiversity besides providing safe, healthier and environmentfriendly food. The policy will be reviewed after a period of five years. State-level and district-level committees will be formed to monitor the progress. “Tamil Nadu has great potential for the production and supply of organic produce in relation to the global demand and expanding domestic and overseas markets. This necessity for an environmentallysafe food supply system has initiated the need for framing the organic farming policy. The organic farming policy will help to ensure, upscale, and support chemical-free organic agricul- ture in TN,” the policy said. According to the policy a base, line survey will be conducted in all districts to identify potential areas to be brought under organic farming. A state gene/germplasm bank will be instituted to preserve traditional cultivar seeds of all crops. Block-level model organic farms will be developed and maintained in government and private arms. Agriculture Secretary C Samayamoorthy said the government will help farmers switch to organic farming in a phased manner. “Six or seven decades ago, our ancestors followed organic farming but due to the green revolution use of pesticides increased. Since new generation farmers are away from it, the government is motivating them to return to their roots and cultivate traditional varieties which don’t need pesticides,” he said. P7 at the time when the settlement was effected.” A five-member Constitution bench comprising justices S K Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, A S Oka, Vikram Nath and J K Maheshwari, while expressing dissatisfaction over the Centre’s inability to furnish any rationale for raking the matter up after more than two decades, directed it to use a sum of `50 crore lying with the RBI to satisfy pending claims if any in accordance with the Bhopal Gas Scheme Disaster Act, 1989. The bench noted that the settle- ment amount of $470 million that was paid by UCC was sufficient to compensate the claimants and said the Centre’s claim for a top up had no foundation in any known legal principle. The court made this observation after considering the government’s stand that all the claims were adjudicated by the Commissioner in accordance with the procedure established by law. It cited the Welfare Commissioner’s 2009 order as per which pro rata relief nearly six times the amount of compensation was disbursed to the victims as compared to the motor vehicles accident claims. “It was known that medical facilities will have to be extended to rehabilitate people and there was bound to be environmental degradation... This cannot be a ground to seek annulment of the compromise particularly as the settlement has to be reached in an expedient manner,” the Constitution bench said. Imran supporters clash with police to resist his arrest Express news service Protests broke out in various Pakistan cities on Tuesday after ousted prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan posted a dramatic video message saying he may be killed or jailed but his supporters must continue their fight against the present government. The message was posted soon after clashes between PTI workers and police officials who reached Khan’s Lahore residence to arrest him in the Toshakhana case. A large nu m b e r o f P T I wo rke r s equipped with clubs and sticks were present outside Khan’s residence to resist the police. According to local media reports, police fired tear gas shells and water cannons to disperse PTI supporters, who pelted stones, resulting in injuries. Both Khan’s supporters and policemen were injured in the clashes. Islamabad DIG (operations) Shahzad Bukhari, who was leading the police team, was among the injured, reports said. In the video message, Khan urged his supporters to come out to protest. “They think that after my arrest, the nation will fall asleep. You have to prove them wrong,” 70-year-old Khan Punjab to chargesheet 9 over PM security breach H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh The Punjab government has finally decided to chargesheet nine senior officials who were indicted by a Supreme Court-appointed committee that probed the security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state on January 5 last year. Sources said former chief secretary Anirudh Tewari, retired director general of police S Chattopadhyaya, additional director generals of police G Nageswara Rao and Naresh Arora, inspector general Rakesh Aggarwal, deputy inspector general Inderbir Singh, then deputy inspector general Surjeet Singh (now retired) and senior superintendents of police Harmandeep Singh Hans and Charanjit Singh will figure in the chargesheet. Their files have been sent to the Chief Minister’s Office for approval. Tewari has already been issued a show cause notice. It is learnt that Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla had last week asked Punjab Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Januja to submit an action taken report, as the AAP government appeared to be sitting on the panel’s findings. The panel that indicted the officers was headed by retired Supreme Court judge Indu Malhotra. Sources said the Centre was considering options to act against the officers under the Special Protection Group (SPG) Act, if it is unsatisfied with the state government’s reply . The report, submitted on August 25 last year, was forwarded to Punjab a month later. It said the security breach was “a colossal failure in planning and coordination”. Thiruppugazh panel Imran Khan’s supporters clash with riot police in Lahore on Tuesday | AFP More forces roped in Despite PTI cadre’s resistance, Imran’s arrest seems imminent as more force including riot personnel and paramilitary forces have been called in to help police said in the video. “If something happens to me and I am sent to jail or if I am killed, you have to prove that you will struggle without Imran Khan and not accept the slavery of these thieves,” he added. The Toshakhana case is about concealing information about the expensive gifts he retained from the Toshakhana (state depository where gifts given to government officials by foreign dignitaries are kept). Khan was accused of selling the expensive gifts he had received as the prime minister, in violation of rules. TN told to build reservoir near Chennai, expand Poondi S GURUVANMI K ANATHAN @ Chennai THE Thiruppugazh Committee, which was set up in November 2021 to devise strategies for flood prevention and water management in Chennai, submitted its 650-page final report to Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday . As per the report, which has yet to be made public, the committee has advised the Tamil Nadu government to go for the earlier-proposed Ramenjeri Reservoir near Uthukottai in Tiruvallur district and augment the Poondi Reservoir’s water storage capacity from 3.2 thousand million cubic feet to 5.2 TMCft, a committee member told TNIE. The 14-member committee, led by the retired IAS officer V Thiruppugazh, has proposed underground water storage amenities such as sumps in commonly accessible locations to satiate future water requirements. In all, it has made 365 recommendations after inspecting the city . Stalin said his government had formed the committee to find a permanent solution to the miseries of recurring floods. After the massive floods in 2015, the state faced floods during the northeast monsoon period in 2021. The CM appreciated the panel’s efforts and said that, as per the committee’s recommendations, the government has completed 80% of flood mitigation works, leading to a no-water stagnation situation in the last monsoon. Dedicated to ilavarasan Perumal Murugan’s Pyre on int’l Booker longlist E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Chennai Perumal Murugan’s novel ‘Pyre’ is among the 13 books that have been longlisted for this year’s International Booker Prize. This makes him the first Tamil writer on the Booker Prize Foundation’s list, that was announced on Tuesday . The novel, translated from Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, deals with honour killing. It narrates the tale of an inter-caste couple who elope, setting in motion a story of terrifying foreboding. The Tamil version ‘Pookkuzhi’ is dedicated to R Ilavarasan, a Dalit youth found dead on a railway track after his inter-caste marriage with a caste Hindu woman saw him targeted and the woman forcefully separated from him. The 56-year-old writer told TNIE he believed talking about the subject will raise more awareness. “I don’t believe a novel will bring about drastic change immediately. However, it is a way of spreading views. When topics such as honour killing are discussed in literature, cinema and news, there is a chance of it changing the minds. Such incidents will also get reported,” said Murugan, who was born in Thiruchengode. “I wrote the book in 2012. Its English translation came out in 2017 and the UK edition in 2021,” he said, expressing joy at his novel making it to the long list. Murugan’s novel ‘Madhurubhagan’ was translated to English as ‘One Part Woman’ by Vasudevan, who won the Sahitya Akademi’s Translation Prize for the work. The winner of the International Booker Prize will be announced on May 23. The prize money of GBP 50,000 is divided equally between the author and translator. Geetanjali Shree and translator Daisy Rockwell won the prize in 2022. When topics such as honour kiling are discussed in literature, cinema and news, there is a chance of changing the minds. Such incidents will also get reported Perumal Murugan
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