TIRUNELVELI l friday l september 22, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION Aadhaar not mandatory for electoral roll authentication The Election Commission told the Supreme Court that it is not mandatory to provide Aadhaar number for electoral roll authentication ECi promises to make clarificatory changes not must even for E.W.S. Admissions: HC Rule 26B of the Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules 2022, notified last year, said “every person whose name is listed in the roll may intimate his Aadhaar number to the registration officer in Form 6B”. Lawyers for the poll panel argued that providing Aadhaar number was not mandatory under Rule 26B, and it will make clarificatory changes in Forms 6 and 6B ■ ■ Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court ruled that Aadhaar number is not mandatory for admission to a private unaided recognised school under any of the categories of economically weaker section (EWS) The court upheld an order by a single-judge bench staying the Delhi government’s decision to make Aadhaar must for EWS admissions 66.2 crore Aadhaar numbers already uploaded for finalising electoral rolls: ECI 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 Canada loses Indian visa power It’s safe haven for terrorists, says MEA; Ottawa told to downsize its diplomatic headcount Y e s h i S e l i @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi replying to the debate on the women’s bill in the RS Staggering 215-0 for women’s bill ernment, wondering why it took nine-and-a-half years to introduce the bill despite promHistory was made in the Ra- ising it in the BJP’s election jya Sabha on Thursday with all manifesto in 2014. She also 215 members present in the faulted the ruling BJP for not House voting in favour of the inviting President Droupadi Women’s Reservation Bill after Murmu to the inauguration of a 11-hour debate. There was no the new Parliament building. vote against it nor was there Congress president Mallikarany abstention. jun Kharge, in his address, deExpressing his gratitude, manded that the legislation be Prime Minister Narendra Modi made effective immediately inin his reply to the bill stead putting it off till said it will create a Sibal point the Census and delimnew confidence itation exercises are “We don’t know among the people. All completed. members of all par- who will come to BJP president J P power, but they ties played a signifiNadda attacked the must make a cant role in empowerCongress for demandi n g w o m e n a n d statement that if ing an OBC quota they don’t enhancing nari shakwithin the reservacomplete the ti, the PM observed. tion for women lawprocess by 2029 He urged the memmakers. Sharply critithey will resign bers to vote for the bill cising Congress leader as PM and HM,” collectively thus send, Rahul Gandhi obserKapil Sibal said ing a new message to vation that there were all the women. only three OBC secreIn all, 72 members participat- taries at the Centre, Nadda ed in the discussions. Some Nadda said OBC reservation in from the Opposition called it a services was implemented only post-dated cheque, while others after a Supreme Court order in panned it as an election gim- 1992. “Can he tell us as to how mick aimed at electoral gain in many OBC secretaries were the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The there between 2004 and 2014? Opposition also sought the The Congress has always been carving out of an OBC quota anti-OBC,” Nadda alleged. within the Nari Shakti Vandan In her intervention, Union Adhiniyam. finance minister Nirmala SithInitiating the discussion, araman said the BJP does not Congress MP Ranjita Ranjan play politics in matters related came down heavily on the gov- to women. R A J ESH K U M A R T H A K U R @ New Delhi Man kills 2-yr-old nephew to spite mom, stuffs body inside speaker Express News Service @ Kallakurichi A two-year-old boy who went missing on Sunday at a village in Kallakurichi district was found dead, with his body dumped inside a speaker at his home on Wednesday. The accused, V Rajesh (22), uncle of the murdered Thirumoorthy, was arrested on Wednesday and remanded to Cuddalore central prison as per a court order on Thursday . According to Thirupalapandal police, Rajesh, brother of the boy’s father V Gurumorthy (24), allegedly murdered the child to take revenge on his sister-in-law G Jegadeswari after she refused to accede to his demands for a relationship. The woman had also threatened to disclose his proposition to the family if Rajesh troubled her again. The brothers working as drivers in Bangalore came back to their home at Thirupalapandal village near Tirukoilur a few weeks ago after Gurumorthy suffered injuries in an accident. After Thirumoorthy went missing on Sunday evening, his father filed a missing complaint at Thirupalapandal police station on Monday. “On Wednesday, as foul smell emanated from a speaker at home, family members and neighbours opened it and found the child’s body stuffed inside it.” P5 Bilateral tensions escalated further on Thursday as India ordered suspension all visa services to Canadian citizens and asked the Canadian High Commission in India to downsize their staff to bring parity with Indian diplomats. India went on to describe Canada as a safe haven for terrorists, with Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi revealing that extradition of 20-25 individuals had been sought based on their antecedents but there was no response to the demand. The foreign office also said Canada did not share any specific information on the killing Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June on its soil, which triggered the stand-off. wanted criminal killed in Winnipeg Gangster Sukhdul Singh Gangster Sukhdul Singh a.k.a Sukha Duneke, a wanted criminal in Punjab, was killed in the Canadian city of Winnipeg by unidentified people, in what is believed to be due to inter-gang rivalry. He had 18 cases against him, including that of murder It added that there was a degree of prejudice in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations on Indian role in Nijjar’s murder. As for the visa suspension, Bagchi said, “Our diplomatic staff in the High Commission and Consulates in Canada are working under threats and in that situation it would not be viable to continue issuing visas. Therefore, we have decided not to provide visa services for the time being. Canadian citizens from third countries too cannot apply for visas.’’ India expects Canada to downsize its staff at its High Commission and Consulates. “We need diplomatic parity. Their numbers are higher here than ours in Canada. Canadian diplomats also interfere in our domestic affairs,’’ said Bagchi. Giving it a different spin, the cauvery dispute SC upholds board’s 5k cusecs fiat, Bins tn’s plea for more S h rut i K akkar @ New Delhi The Supreme Cour t on Thursday refused to interfere with the orders of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) directing Kar nataka gover nment to release 5,000 cusecs of water per day to Tamil Nadu for 15 days. A bench of Justices BR Gavai, PS Narasimha and PK Mishra, which considered Tamil Nadu government’s plea to direct Karnataka to release 24,000 cusecs of water per day, took note of the fact that both CWMA and its tech- nical committee CWRC were holding meetings once every 15 days to assess the situation and said the factors taken into consideration by the panels while issuing the directions were not “extraneous.” “ B o t h C W RC a n d CWMA have experts from India Meteorological Department, water resource management, and agriculture. After taking several factors into consideration, both the authorities have directed Karnataka to release 5,000 cusecs of water to be realised by Tamil Nadu at Biligundulu. We are not the competent authority We have told you ear. RBI wants to lower wilful defaulter threshold to `25 lakh, expand scope D i pak M o n d a l @ New Delhi The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday issued revised draft norms for banks and financial institutions to deal with wilful defaulters. According to the guidelines, banks have to examine large accounts to see if borrowers are sitting on cash and not repaying. Any borrower who has defaulted `25 lakh or more despite having the capacity to repay will have to be identified as , wilful defaulter. If the borrower has diverted or siphoned off funds, or sold assets given as security for loan, the wilful de- faulter tag will be slapped. The tag will also apply if a borrower has failed to honour the commitment given to the lender to infuse equity. The same fate awaits guarantors who don’t honour their guarantee despite having the means to do so. RBI has proposed a separate category of defaulters with outstanding above `1 crore. Earlier, the guidelines on wilful defaulters were meant for scheduled commercial banks and financial institutions. The revised norms have bigger scope and are applicable to lenders (banks, NBFCs), asset reconstruction companies, and credit information companies. Once a person or entity is identified as a wilful defaulter, criminal action will follow. These are draft norms, open to feedback from stakeholders. RBI will accept suggestions till October 31 after which it will release final norms based on the feedback received. Members of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike stage protest in Bengaluru on Thursday `560 crore relief for six lakh TN farmers Chennai:The CM on Thursday announced `560 crore relief to six lakh farmers across the state for crop losses during 2022-2023 due to drought, flood, cyclone and unseasonal rain | P4 lier too. There is CWMA. We sitting in court 4 of the Supreme Court cannot ascertain how much water each state needs,” Justice BR Gavai, presiding judge, said. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Tamil Nadu, submitted that the two authorities, despite having express read Zero cutoff shows NEET benefit is zero: Stalin Chennai: The CM on Thursday said by reducing the NEET PG cutoff to ‘zero’, the BJP-led union govt has accepted that the test’s benefit is zero and it has nothing to do with merit. “NEET has become a formality, devoid of any real eligibility criteria,” he said | P2 HC asks Udhaya not to comment on EPS Chennai: The Madras HC on Thursday restrained Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin from spreading derogatory messages against AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami. Justice RN Manjula passed the interim order on a plea filed by EPS | P2 g l o b a l b o d y ’ s a cc r e d i t a t i o n Indian med graduates can now practice abroad K a v i ta Baj e l i d att @ New Delhi Medical graduates from India will now be able to practice and pursue post-graduate studies abroad as the National Medical Commission, India’s top regulatory body for medical education and professionals, said it has received the coveted World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) Recognition Status for 10 years. “The National Medical Commission (NMC) has achieved the remarkable feat of being granted the coveted World Federation for Medical Education Recognition Status for a re- Canadian High Commission in Delhi said it will temporarily adjust its staff presence to ensure safety of its diplomats. “With some diplomats receiving threats on various social media platforms, Global Affairs Canada is assessing its staff complement in India,” the High Commission said. For his part, Trudeau said in New York — on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly — that he had a direct and frank conversation with his counterpart Narendra Modi in Delhi, in which he shared his concerns. “We call upon India to work with us with full transparency for accountability and justice. We are a country of the rule of law. We are going to continue to do the work necessary to keep Canadians safe and to uphold our values.” markable tenure of 10 years,” the Union health ministry said in a statement. All 706 existing medical colleges in India will become WFME-accredited. Medical colleges that will be set up over the next 10 years will also receive WFME accreditation. Medical graduates from India can now practice or pursue postgraduation in countries like the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the health ministry statement said. “With NMC being WFME accredited, all the Indian medical students will become eligible to apply for the Education Commission on Foreign Medical Education (ECFMG) and United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). The recognition will further enhance the quality and standards of medical education in India by aligning them with the global best practices and benchmarks,” the ministry said. It will also facilitate academic collaborations and exchange, the statement said. “WFME’s recognition underscores that the quality of medi- cal education in India adheres to global standards. This accolade empowers our students with the opportunity to pursue their careers anywhere in the world,” Dr Yogender Malik, member of the Ethics and Medical Registration Board and head of media at NMC, said. The WFME is a global organisation dedicated to enhancing the quality of medical education worldwide. Its accreditation programme plays a pivotal role in ensuring that medical institutes meet and uphold the highest international standards of education and training. acknowledged there was deficient rainfall since August and the state was eligible for of 7,200 cusecs of water, reduced the volume to 5,000 cusecs a day “I have so much . backlog and he says that I’m reducing 50%… what will happen to my standing crop?” asked Rohatgi. P5 3 days after ‘split’ BJP, AIADMK signal truce, but Annamalai won’t apologise T M uru g a n a n d h am @ Chennai Three days after the AIADMK called off its alliance with the BJP the leaders of both parties , on Thursday indicated that there is still room for rapprochement between them. Sellur K Raju, a senior AIADMK leader, said his party does not have any issue with the BJP or its state unit but the AIADMK cadres have been hurt by the views expressed by BJP state president K Annamalai on late leader Arignar CN Annadurai. Hours later, Annamalai also said there was no issue between AIADMK and BJP and both parties want Narendra Modi to be the PM again. “That’s the common thread that links us,” he said. The BJP chief, however, said he would not apologise for his comments on Anna. Speaking to reporters in Madurai, Sellur Raju said, “Did any of our leaders say anything against the BJP? What we said was the way the state BJP president had expressed certain views was wrong. AIADMK cadres hold Muthuramalainga Thevar as God while Anna is our leader. We don’t have any issues with the BJP since PM Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda treat Edappadi Palaniswami with respect.” But when asked whether the alliance would continue, Raju said, “Our leadership has already announced its decision.” Speaking to reporters in Coimbatore, Annamalai said, “I don’t have any issues with AIADMK.” P4 NO NEWS ON ANNADURAI APOLOGY IN TNIE, DINAMANI ARCHIVES | P4 Low household savings due to high consumer spending, says FinMin Express News Service @ New Delhi The government has refuted claims of distress after a recent RBI data showed the net household financial savings have fallen to a 50-year low of 5.1% in 2022-23. In a clarification issued on Thursday, the finance ministry said the fall in household savings is because of higher borrowings for purchase of real estate and vehicles. “Changing consumer preference for different financial products is the real reason for fall in household savings and that there is no distress as is being circulated in some circles,” read a statement. The ministry added that the concern over the drop in net household savings is unwarranted as the figures cited are ‘flow’ numbers (or net additions in FY23), and that the overall household savings remain almost static. In the clarification, the ministry said households added net financial assets of `22.8 lakh crore in FY21, nearly `17 lakh crore in FY22, and `13.8 lakh crore in FY23. “So, they added less financial assets to their portfolio than in the previous year and the year before, but it is important to note that their overall net financial assets are still growing,” it said. The drop in net financial assets (net financial savings of households) in FY23 is due to a Net household savings at 5.1% Net household savings declined to a 47-year low of 5.1% of gross domestic product in FY23 as compared to 7.2% recorded in the previous year, as per the data released by the Reserve Bank in its latest monthly bulletin sharp rise in additional financial liabilities, which grew from `5.9 lakh crore in FY22 to `15.8 lakh crore in FY23. “They added financial assets by a lesser magnitude than in the previous years because they have now started taking loans to buy real assets such as homes,” it added. Financial liabilities have been incurred to buy real assets. “Vehicle loans have been growing at double digits since April 2022 and more than 20% (yoy) since September 2022. The household sector is not in distress,” it said.
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