HYDERABAD THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 21, 2023 `9.00 PAGES 18 LATE CITY EDITION SC TO HEAR CHALLENGE TO QUOTA BEYOND 10-YR CAP FOR SC/STs IN LS The SC will hear pleas questioning constitutional validity of extending reservation beyond the 10 years to SCs and STs in Lok Sabha and assemblies FIVE-JUDGE BENCH TO HEAR FROM NOVEMBER 21 RIGHT TO CHOICE, EQUALITY VIOLATED: PLEA A five-judge Constitution bench set November 21 to start hearing the plea. The validity of the 104th amendment of the Constitution in 2019 shall be determined to the extent that it applies to the SCs and STs. The amendment had extended the SC/ST quota by 10 years and specified 2030 as the end-year for the provision of reservation. The Centre defended its decision ■ ■ The bench comprises Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and justices A S Bopanna, M M Sundresh, J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra The petitioner argued that grant of relentless and repeated extension to certain communities resulted in depriving the electorate of their right to choice in candidates and was violative of the right to equality Art 334 SCOPE OF AMENDMENT TO EXTEND QUOTA END-DATE UNDER STATUTE TEST 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 Indians not safe in Canada, hate crimes up, says MEA Y E S H I S E L I @ New Delhi Union Home Minister Amit Shah (L) and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi participating in the debate on the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday | PTI 454 ayes. 2 nays. Women’s Bill gets LS stamp. RS debate today 60 members of the Lok Sabha participate in eight-hour-long debate, 27 of them women P R E E T H A N A I R @ New Delhi THE Lok Sabha on Wednesday made history by passing the Women’s Reservation Bill by an overwhelming majority of 454 votes. Only two MPs voted against the bill that seeks to reserve one-third of seats for women in Parliament and all state assemblies. While supporting the bill, the Opposition made a strong pitch for extending the quota to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and the immediate implementation of the legislation in the upcoming 2024 elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present during voting. “The proposal has been passed with more than twothirds majority of the members present in the House,” announced Speaker Om Birla after the vote. The bill will now go to the Rajya Sabha. Also, at least half of state assemblies have to ratify it to become law. ON TRACK Modi to flag off B’luru-Hyd Vande Bharat EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad / Bengaluru PRIME Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate nine Vande Bharat trains, including Train No. 20704 Yeswantpur - Kacheguda route, connecting India’s tech hubs, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, on September 25. However, railway officials are awaiting confirmation from the PMO befo re m aking a n of ficial announcement. The Yeswantpur - Kacheguda Vande Bharat Express is expected to commence operations from September 25. The Yeswantpur - Kacheguda Vande Bharat Express will cover a distance of 609.8 km between the two cities in approximately eight hours and 30 minutes, reports quoted railway sources as saying. The train will depart from Yeswantpur at 2:45 pm and will arrive at Kacheguda at 11:15 pm. On the return journey, Train No. 20703 Kacheguda Yeswantpur will leave Kacheguda at 5:30 am and reach Yeswantpur at 2 pm. South Central Railway officials said that the Vande Bharat could also have stoppages at Mahbubnagar, Kurnool, Anantapur and Dharmavaram. Railway officials announced that a trial run of the Kacheg u d a - Ye sw a n t p u r Va n d e Bharat Express is scheduled for September 21. The train will reach Yeswantpur at 2 pm from Kacheguda and depart at 2:45 pm from Yeswantpur. The bill will come into force only after the delimitation exercise which will be preceded by the decadal Census. Several women Parliamentarians participated in the eight-hour-long debate, which saw spirited exchanges from both camps. Initiating the debate, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi made a strong pitch for caste census and bringing OBC women in the ambit of the law. She also urged the government to implement the quota immediately as any delay would be “gross injustice” to women. Dispelling the concerns of the Opposition, Union home minister Amit Shah said the next government will conduct the Census and the delimitation exercise immediately after the elections and set in motion the process of reservation. Hinting that the bill will become a reality after 2029, Shah asserted that the BJP has given more representation to the OBCs than those claiming to speak for them. “Nearly 29% or 85 BJP MPs, 29 Union ministers, and 365 of its 1,358 MLAs, which is over 27%, are from the OBC category “ Shah said. , Several Opposition leaders including DMK’s Kanimozhi, TMC’s Mahua Moitra, NCP’s Supriya Sule and others demanded the immediate rollout We want to see more and more women leaders. If I have to lose my seat for women’s reservation, so be it. We all have a limited shelf life. I have done my thing For the first time, it has been acknowledged in the House that it was not one particular family that got the bill for reservation for women in local bodies, but the government of Narasimha Rao KT Rama Rao, BRS working president Smriti Irani, Union minister of the reservation. While Supriya Sule termed the legislation a “post-dated cheque”, Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Badal targeted the BJP over its leaders being booked for crimes against women. On the demand for immediate implementation, Shah said it could lead to allegations of partiality He said that the mat. ter was best left to the delimitation commission, which would carry out the exercise with transparency Shah said the de. limitation panel was an appropriate forum as it would be chaired by a retired Supreme Court judge and have representation from political parties. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi was the lone MP who spoke against the bill saying it would provide quota only to “upper caste women” and exclude OBC and Muslims who have little representation in Parliament. AIMIM has two members in the Lok Sabha. Desperate couple held for kidnap of 6-month-old boy EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad NAMPALLY police on Wednesday reunited with his parents a six-month-old infant who was abducted from the Niloufer Hospital by a tragedystricken couple from Kamareddy who longed for a healthy baby . The abduction came to light after his mother, Fareeda Begum, lodged a complaint with the Nampally police on September 14 about the disappearance of her infant son. Swinging into action, the police, along with sleuths from Saifabad police station and the Central Zone Task Force, scoured hours of CCTV footage and zeroed in on a couple board- ing a bus to Kamareddy from the Jubilee Bus Stand. Briefing media persons, Central Zone DCP M Venkateshwarlu identified the accused as Katroth Mamtha and Katroth Srinu, who took the drastic step as they wanted a healthy child. The DCP said that Fareeda, accompanied by her mother, had taken her four-year-old son to Niloufer Hospital for treatment. While her mother attended to the elder son, Fareeda was tending to the younger one outside the ward. Meanwhile, Mamtha approached Fareeda and told her that she was there for her son’s treatment as well and gained CONTINUED ON P5 her trust. BACK ON TOP 1 Mohammad Siraj regains No. 1 spot in men’s ICC ODI bowling rankings 6 -wicketfinal haul in Asia Cup helps Siraj vault 8 spots Josh Hazlewood had dislodged Siraj from No.1 spot in March Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav moves down 3 places to ninth place 27 th spot for Jasprit Bumrah, up two places STEPPING up its diplomatic offensive against Canada, India on Wednesday issued an advisory for its citizens living in Canada and those planning to travel there “to exercise utmost caution”. The strongly worded communique came a day after India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a titfor-tat move and rubbished Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau’s charge that Indian agents killed Canadabased Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. “In view of growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution,’’ read a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs. The advisory cautioned that there has been a significant rise in threats targeting Indian diplomats as well as the Indian community “Indian nationals . are therefore advised to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen such incidents,” the statement said, asking Indian workers and students to register with the High Commission of Security beefed up around the High Commission of Canada, New Delhi | PARVEEN NEGI KHALISTAN GROUPS TARGET INDIAN MISSIONS Pro-Khalistan groups will stage protests outside Indian diplomatic missions in Canada on September 25. According to sources, the radicals may target the Indian flag and diplomats. They may also attack Indian nationals, accusing them of being RAW agents India in Ottawa or the Consulate General of India in Toronto and Vancouver. The diplomatic row, however, will not affect the military ties between the two countries. Canada’s Deputy Army Chief Major General Peter Scott is scheduled to attend a defence conclave in Delhi next week. Explaining the need to treat political stand-offs in isolation, Major General Abhinaya Rai, additional director general, MAJOR RELIEF KRISHNA TRIBUNAL REJECTS IA BY AP AGAINST PALAMURU E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad IN a major relief to Telangana, the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-2 on Wednesday dismissed the Interlocutory Application (IA) filed by the Andhra Pradesh government against the Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS) stating that it has no jurisdiction to hear the petition. The AP government had filed the IA on December 8, 2022, requesting the Tribunal to restrain Telangana from utilising 90 tmcft of Krishna waters for PRLIS. Tribunal chairman Justice Brijesh Kumar and members Justice Ram Mohan Reddy and Justice S Talapatra pronounced their verdict on Wednesday after perusing the voluminous documents filed by both sides and hearing their arguments. The Telangana government issued GO No 246 on August 18, 2022, to utilise 90 tmcft of water from Srisailam for PRLIS. “Restrain the Telangana from utilising 90 tmcft for PRLIS from 75% dependable flows from Srisailam reservoir, pending disposal of the present reference to the KWDT-II under Section-89 proceedings,” the AP government’s IA had said. On February 2, 2023, Telangana filed its counter to the IA and AP later filed its rejoinder. This was followed by the surrejoinder by TS. The hearings concluded on July 14, 2023. “KWDT-II does not have jurisdiction to hear this IA. Liberty is given to AP to move appropriate forums,” the verdict on Wednesday said. “... where no allocation had been made earlier for PRLIS by any of the Tribunals constituted under Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956. A water dispute Tribunal cannot by itself entertain any dispute which would not be the subject matter of the reference to it. For the reasons given and the discussion held in this order, we find that this Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to entertain the applicaCONTINUED ON P6 tion moved,” the verdict said. strategic planning, pointed out that India still engages with China despite differences. Reacting cautiously to the India-Canada face-off, US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said both countries are close friends of the US. “Canada is an ally, a dear friend, trading partner and happens to share our border. Moments like this don’t define our relationship but slow down the progress,” he said in New Delhi. EXPRESS READ Warner Bros Discovery Hyderabad centre starts Hyderabad: Warner Bros. Discovery, the world’s leading media and entertainment company, inaugurated its Hyderabad Capability Centre on Wednesday. “I am proud to note that Warner Bros. Discovery with such marquee presence and brands in the media space has chosen Hyderabad for setting up its development centre,” said IT Minister KT Rama Rao | P4 Jagan to start working from Vizag from Dasara Vijayawada: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will start operating from Visakhapatnam starting Vijayadasami (Dasara), IT Minister Gudivada Amarnath said on Wednesday. In an informal chat, Jagan informed his colleagues that he will be shifting to Vizag in tune with the plan to establish the Port City as the executive capital of AP | P7 HC to police: No coercive action against Navdeep Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Wednesday directed the Hyderabad Police to refrain from taking coercive action against film actor Navdeep in a drugs case. The court said that if the investigators wished to examine or question the actor, they must adhere to procedures outlined in Section 41A of the CrPC | P5 OPEN SEASON OMG! Zero in NEET-PG entrance exam no bar for higher edu seat K A V I TA B A J E L I D AT T @ New Delhi THE Medical Counselling Committee on Wednesday said it has slashed the qualifying percentile for NEET-PG 2023 to zero across all categories. The decision was taken following a recommendation by the Union health ministry . So, now all those who appeared for NEET-PG entrance will be eligible to participate in counselling. The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association said a large number of students will now fill up the seats, which otherwise went vacant. “Over the past years, we have witnessed a persistent challenge in the form of vacant seats in medical institutions across the nation even after multiple rounds of counselling for NEET-PG,” said the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association. However, the move ignited a fierce debate among the medical associations and practitioners. While some hailed it, others decried it, saying that it will bring down the quality of future doctors. Earlier, many medical associations had demanded that the Interview beckons for all from top to bottom rank A fresh registration process and choice filling for round-three of postgraduate counselling will be reopened for candidates who have become eligible after the reduction of percentile cut-off be reduced to accommodate NEET-PG aspirants, as over 8,000 clinical and non-clinical seats in government and non-government colleges were vacant across the country . Dr Lakshya Mittal of United Doctors Front Association who had petitioned the government on behalf of Persons with Disabilities, who could not participate in the ongoing NEET-PG counselling session due to high cut-off, said it was a “big victory” for NEET aspirants. FAIMA (Federation of All In- dia Medical Association) Doctors Association chairman Dr Rohan Krishnan said the decision will “kill merit”. “This is a very worrying trend,” he told this paper. He said reducing the cut-off to zero is making a mockery of medical education in India and bringing down the healthcare standard in the country “This . will promote corruption and high fees in private medical colleges,” he said. Many doctors took to social media to raise objections to the cut-off mark. Dr Deepak Krishnamurthy, senior interventional cardiolo- gist in Sakra World Hospital, Bengaluru, posted on X (formerly Twitter), “Zero percentile is the new cut-off ! It is high time patients ask their treating doctors about their academic performance and how they got into their MBBS, PG and super specialty .” Dr Dhruv Chauhan, who is the national zonal coordinator of the Indian Medical Association-Medical Students Network, said that a student scoring 400 and a student scoring zero will be equal since both can get seats shows the death of merit of deserving candidates.
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