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IS claims responsibility for U.K. attack


British-born Khalid Masood named as the assailant, had been arrested earlier for violent crimes

Man held in Antwerp for car-attack bid

Vidya Ram London

Ashokamitran, Tamil writer, is no more CHENNAI

Prominent Tamil writer and Sahitya Akademi award winner Ashokamitran died, aged 86, on Thursday night. His works powerfully portrayed the lives and struggles of the urban middle class. He is survived by wife and three sons. Born Thyagarajan, he assumed the pen name Ashokamitran. He was one of the few writers who wrote luently in both Tamil and English. SOUTH 쑺 PAGE 6 DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

No-conidence motion against Speaker fails CHENNAI

The no-conidence motion against Tamil Nadu Speaker P. Dhanapal, moved by the DMK failed. TAMIL NADU 쑺 PAGE 4 DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD


Khalid Masood, a lone, British-born attacker, who was known to police and had a string of convictions, was named as responsible for the attack on Westminster on Wednesday. The attack left four persons, including the alleged assailant dead, and around 40 others injured. Details of the 52-year-old attacker, who had been known by a number of aliases, emerged on Thursday, as reports suggested that the Islamic State (IS) had claimed responsibility, describing the assailant, who was shot dead just within the parliamentary security cordon, as one of its soldiers.

‘No prior intelligence’ Masood was known for a range of offences dating back as early as 1983, when he was convicted for criminal damage, the Metropolitan Police said on Thursday. “Masood was not the subject of any current investigation, and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack.”

Reuters Antwerp

For the fallen: Police oicers look on as a colleague lays lowers at the National Police Memorial beneath a list of those who were killed in the terror attack, in London on Thursday. AFP *

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Theresa May described Masood as a “peripheral figure,” who had been investigated several years ago in connection to concerns about violent extremism. “The case is historic. He was not part of the current

intelligence picture… There was no prior intelligence of his intent, or of the plot,” she said. Masood was born in the county of Kent, south-east of London, but had most recently lived in the West Midlands, a U.K. region which in-


Seeking a cure

cludes the city of Birmingham. The claim of responsibility from the IS was made via Amaq, the group’s news agency, according to Associated Press. BRITONS STAND UNITED; LONDON MOURNS VICTIMS 쑺 PAGE 12

Shiv Sena MP beats up AI employee Staff Reporter New Delhi

New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport witnessed dramatic scenes on Thursday morning after Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad reportedly hit an Air India employee repeatedly with his footwear as he was not allotted a business class seat on an all economy flight. The employee has since lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police. CONTINUED ON 쑺 PAGE 10

A man drove a car into a pedestrian street in Antwerp on Thursday, forcing people to jump out of its path, a day after an assailant rammed a vehicle into crowds in central London, police said. The car sped away leaving no one injured, but prosecutors said police later arrested a man suspected of being the driver, naming him as Mohamed R., a 39-yearold French national of North African origin. Officers found knives in the vehicle and a canister containing an unknown substance that bomb disposal officers were currently checking. Federal prosecutors, who typically handle cases of Islamist violence, did not give details but said they had been called in “based on all these elements and the events in London.”











AIADMK factions get new names, symbols To contest under ‘hat’, ‘electric pole’ Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

The Election Commission on Thursday allotted new names and symbols to the V.K. Sasikala and O. Panneerselvam factions of the AIADMK after freezing the party symbol and name ahead of the R.K. Nagar byelection in Chennai scheduled for April 12. As directed by the EC, the rival groups submitted their proposals for new names and symbols on Thursday morning. The Sasikala camp requested the name ‘All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Amma)’ and the ‘Hat’ as its election symbol. The Panneerselvam group requested ‘All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma)’ and the ‘Electric Pole’ as its symbol. Armed with the EC order, T.T.V. Dhinakaran, sporting a hat, filed his nomination. “I will definitely win in the by-election by a margin of several thousand votes,” he told journalists and reiterated that the AIADMK

T.T.V. Dhinakaran before iling his nomination in Chennai. M. VEDHAN *

(Amma) would eventually be identified as the real AIADMK and retrieve the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol. Mr. Madhusudhanan, who filed his papers as the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) candidate, said: “People of R.K. Nagar love O. Panneerselvam and me. They see him as a righteous and simple man. Since I am contesting as his candidate, I definitely have the chances to emerge victorious.” POWER OF A SYMBOL 쑺 EDITORIAL

Meat traders shut shop in U.P. Mohammad Ali Meerut

Meat traders in western Uttar Pradesh announced a strike on Thursday, hours after the State government sealed over 36 slaughterhouses and hundreds of retail meat shops across the State in its continued crackdown. Police said 43 persons had been arrested from various districts for alleged cattle smuggling, adding that 27 FIRs had been registered against 60 persons for the same. On the action against illegal slaughterhouses, Additional Superintendent of

Police, DGP headquarters, Rahul Srivastav said eight FIRs had been lodged in Meerut, Varanasi and Bareilly, and two illegal slaughterhouses each closed in Varanasi and Bareilly.

Price goes up The strike move has led to panic buying, with mutton vanishing from shop shelves and the price of chicken rising sharply. Former Mayor of Meerut and meat exporter Shahid Akhlaq told The Hindu that the State administration was acting “under tremendous pressure from the BJP government to

shut down all the slaughter houses — even those functioning with proper papers and records.” The BSP leader said that as a mark of protest on the illegal and illogical way of treating meat traders, the Association of Meat Traders had held a panchayat and decided to go on a complete strike till the administration repealed the “draconian approach of treating legal and illegal meat establishments with the same brush.” (With inputs from PTI) CONTINUED ON 쑺 PAGE 10 NO BEEF, NO TAKERS 쑺 PAGE 10

United front: Doctors and members of the medical teachers association protest at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai on Thursday, the fourth day of their strike to condemn the violence against doctors across Maharashtra. While the Bombay HC asked them to return to work immediately, CM Devendra Phadnavis mooted a panel to resolve security issues in hospitals. VIVEK BENDRE *

No pay, 500 Indians sufer in Bahrain Kallol Bhattacherjee NEW DELHI

A large number of Indian workers in Bahrain have sought the support of the Ministry of External Affairs, continuing the trend of difficulties faced by labourers from India in Gulf countries. The problem came to light when a group of workers employed with a Bahraini private company appealed to the government for help through social media networks. They said at least 500 workers had not received salary for months and were living on food handouts. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday instructed the Indian Embassy in Manama to help them. “Indian embassy in Bahrain is seized of the matter and will help them,” she said after followers on her Twitter page sought her intervention. Subsequently, the Indian embassy in Bahrain said in a message: “The matter has been taken up with the local Govt. Mission is working for a speedy resolution to the issue.” CONTINUED ON 쑺 PAGE 10


Ancient knowledge hub faces grim future Jacob Koshy NEW DELHI

The Traditional Knowledge Database Library (TKDL), a marquee organisation of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research that has fought biopiracy for decades, will cease to exist in its current form. It has no committed funds beyond March, most of its workforce has been removed and these staffers are litigating against CSIR. It will no longer be an organisation that once pro-actively scouted for intellectual property infringements by Indian and foreign companies on traditional knowledge in areas. TKDL is an online repository of about 300,000 formulations from Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems. Over two decades, the body translated, scanned and digitised texts from their Sanskrit, Arabic and Urdu originals. This was then made searchable, allowing patent offices in India, Europe, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Japan to check if patent applicants of herbal concoctions, creams and drugs were basing their

claims on available traditional knowledge. Even before TKDL opened, India overturned patents in the U.S. and Europe on neem and turmeric products. Between 2009 and 2015, 219 patents were denied to Indian and foreign companies based on TKDL’s challenges, including Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, Avesthagen, the government’s Central Council For Research in Unani Medicine, and Yale University in the U.S. Yet, the organisation was seen in pharmaceutical circles as a “patent blocker,” a person familiar with TKDL activities until 2012 said. “Over the years, it made it hard for companies, many Indian, to develop formulations and naturally there was lobbying against it,” the source said.

Challenges end Since 2016 there have been no patent challenges by TKDL. The 100-odd employees — on project contracts — including Ayurveda experts, intellectual-property analysts and IT staff are down to about 50. Even they are likely to be terminated by March 31 and have launched

a dispute with CSIR in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). The dispute began in late 2015 but CSIR told CAT that funds for CSIRTKDL were sanctioned between April 2012 and March 31, 2017. There would be no “budgetary provisions for salary of staff beyond this date,” documents viewed by The Hindu show. Staffers, requesting anonymity, said salaries were not raised for five years, and they were told projects would end in March. This, in spite of only 60% of the digitisation of traditional texts being completed and a project to integrate 1,500 yoga asanas (with video) only 25% done. Girish Sahni, DirectorGeneral, CSIR denied reports that TKDL was dying. It would be “fully supported in an expanded, advanced way.” While he termed the matter of the employees sub judice, TKDL, he said, would align with India’s National Intellectual Property Rights Policy cleared by the Centre last May. This would allow public research institutions and private players to use TKDL for research and development purposes. M MA-MA





FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017




Friday, March 24

RISE 06:19 SET 18:28 RISE 03:11 SET 15:13 Saturday, March 25

RISE 06:19 SET 18:28 RISE 03:59 SET 16:06 Sunday, March 26

VC Search Committee to recommend names soon

Notice to State on desilting dams Special Correspondent MADURAI

RISE 06:18 SET 18:28 RISE 04:47 SET 17:00

A meeting of the committee has been planned for today Pon Vasanth Arunachalam MADURAI

After a prolonged delay, a three-member Madurai Kamaraj University ViceChancellor Search Committee is likely to submit its recommendation of three persons for the post to the Governor within a week’s time. A senior official from the university, citing a member of the V-C Search Committee, said that a meeting of the committee has been planned for Friday during which the three names are expected to be finalised. Though the committee was initially planning to submit its recommendations in the


first week of February, it got delayed due to alleged differences of opinion between C. Murukadas, Chancellor’s nominee and Convenor of the committee, and the remaining two members - Harish L. Metha, Syndicate’s nominee, and G. Ramakrishnan, Senate’s nominee. A few litigations filed questioning the appointment of Mr. Murukadas and contesting the ineligibility of Associate Professors to apply for the post of V-C, which were disposed of by Madras High Court, also contributed to the delay, sources said. Sources privy to the proceedings of the committee

said that the rift between the committee members was over Mr. Murukadas’s alleged attempt to thrust his choice of candidates, which was strongly resisted by the remaining two members. The committee had initially agreed to follow a points-based ranking system based on various parameters in finalising the three names to be recommended to the Governor for the post of the V-C. However, differences developed between the members in adhering to this system. Joint Action Council Madurai Kamaraj University ( JAC-MKU), a coalition of four teaching and non-

HC directs Home Secretary to act against spurt in crime

Water level MADURAI

Water level in Periyar dam was 111.30 feet (permissible level is 142 ft), with an inflow of 40 cusecs and a discharge of 225 cusecs. In Vaigai dam, the level stood at 23.03 ft (permissible level 71 ft), with an inflow of 75 cusecs and a discharge of 40 cusecs. The combined storage in Periyar credit was minus 44 mcft. There was no rainfall in the region during the 24 hours ending at 8.30 a.m. on Thursday, PWD officials said.

100 liquor bottles seized DINDIGUL

More than 100 IMFL liquor bottles were seized and Murugan (47) of Manjampatti was arrested for smuggling them to a village on upper Kodaikanal hill near here on Thursday. His accomplice Surian (45) managed to escape. When the police intercepted two persons going on Polur Road on upper Kodaikanal with a bag, they found more than 100 bottles of liquor in it. The accused told the police that they purchased liquor from a TASMAC shop at Mannavanur and tried to smuggle them to Manjampatti. Acting on a tip-off, they seized few liquor bottles hoarded in a grocery shop at Manjampatti village. A case has been registered in this connection.

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Special Correspondent MADURAI

The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday directed the Home Secretary to consider a representation made to him by a litigant with respect to reported spurt in crimes such as murders, theft, chain snatching, robbery, rape and contract killings in the State and take appropriate action. A Division Bench of Justices A. Selvam and N. Authinathan passed the order on a public interest litigation petition filed by R.K. Basker (49) of Madurai. The order was passed despite vehement objection raised by Special Government Pleader M. Govindan to “baseless” allegations levelled by the petitioner against police. “The petitioner... has levelled allegations as if there is total law and order breakdown in the State. His

prayer seeking a direction to the Chief Secretary to issue appropriate instructions to the Home Secretary and the Director General of Police is also very general. I need time to file a counter affidavit,” he said. To this, Mr. Justice Selvam said: “All right Sir, what is erroneous or wrong in the prayer of the petitioner? He has cited so many criminal incidents. Even last week one murder was committed in Melur near here. I had also asked the Madurai Commissioner of Police to take effective action to control crime but no action has been taken so far.” When the SGP argued that the petitioner had not produced any acceptable supporting document in the ‘Typed Set’ of papers filed along with the PIL petition to substantiate his allegations, Mr. Justice Authinathan said: “Typed set is not necessary, newspaper

reports are enough. We see so many crimes reported in the papers every day.” In his affidavit, the petitioner had claimed that the government machinery and police department had done very little to keep criminal activities under control despite a specific order passed by another Division Bench of the High Court in another PIL petition, filed by one K.K. Ramesh of Madurai, on September 25, 2015. He pointed out that while disposing of the 2015 case, a Division Bench of the court had said: “We only expect the Home Secretary and the DGP to take stock of the nature of complaint which affects the public at large. Murder has become a common feature. It is reported in the newspaper today that one history sheeter has been murdered by another history sheeter right outside the District Court campus in Dindigul.”

70-year-old woman, son killed in road accident Special Correspondent Madurai

In a tragic accident, a 70year-old woman, A. Sebastianammal, and her son Arokiya Arulanandam (39) were killed when a lorry knocked down the twowheeler they were riding near Karupatti junction

Sri Lankan navy arrests 16 more ishermen Eight are from Rameswaram Special Correspondent Rameswaram

Two days after arresting 10 fishermen, Sri Lankan Navy arrested 16 more fishermen – eight each from Rameswaram and Jagadapattinam in Pudukottai district – in two separate incidents on Wednesday night on the charge of poaching in Lankan waters. The fishermen from the two places were fishing on the high seas when the Lankan navy arrested them and the arrests were confirmed on Thursday. Reports received here said the navy personnel from Sri Lanka’s Northern Naval Command arrested eight fishermen from Jagadapattinam when they were fishing northwest of Analathivu. In another incident, the naval personnel from North Central Naval Command arrested eight Rameswaram fishermen when they were fishing on the high seas north of Mannar.

Remanded The Rameswaram fisher-

river sand but not for silt, is it? We know how fast the works would be carried out, if you come to know that lot of river sand is available in dams High Court Bench

Though Additional Advocate General B. Pugalendhi contended that finding a place to dump the silt was a major issue, Mr. Justice Authinathan asked: “You can find places to dump river sand but not for silt, is it? We know how fast the works would be carried out, if you come to know that lot of river sand is available in the dams.”


A Central Government Standing Counsel representing Union Ministry of External Affairs assured the Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday that all out efforts would be taken to airlift the body of a Sivaganga-based electrician who died at Riyadh in Saudi Arabia on March 11. The assurance was given before Justice V. Parthiban who was seized of a writ petition filed by S. Santhi (40), wife of the deceased employee Sethu Rajendran, seeking a direction to the Centre to bring the mortal remains of her husband for performing the final rites at their native village. The judge adjourned the hearing on the writ petition to April 6 after recording the submission made by the counsel.


It’s not always scorching

Says newspaper reports are enough to demand action

The truck that hit their motorbike fell into roadside gorge 0

teaching associations of the university, has also wrote to the Governor to ensure transparency in the functioning of the committee. “Now, it appears that the committee members have come to an amicable understanding on who the three names are going to be,” a source privy to the proceedings said. Claiming that the recommendations will be submitted to the Governor’s office, he said, “We are not sure if the R.K. Nagar by-election will have a bearing on making the appointments. If not, then the appointment of V-C will happen soon after the submission.”

The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday ordered notice to the State government returnable by June 13 to a public interest litigation petition seeking a direction to it to desilt eleven major dams and reservoirs in the State in order to increase their storage capacity. A Division Bench of Justices A. Selvam and N. Authinathan passed the order on the petition filed by K.K. Ramesh of Madurai who sought for a direction to desilt Aliyar reservoir, Amaravathi dam, Bhavanisagar dam, Kallanai dam, Kodiveri dam, Krishnagiri dam, Mettur dam, Papanasam dam, Pechiparai reservoir, Perunchani dam and Sathanur reservoir.

can ind < > “You places to dump

‘Worker’s body will be airlifted’

of the arrested < > One ishermen, who sufered a head injury in the attack, has been admitted to Government Hospital in Jafna U. Arulanandham President, ARIF

men were produced before the court in Mannar and sent to judicial custody in Vavuniya prison till April 6, U. Arulanandham, president of Alliance for the Release of Innocent Fishermen (ARIF), said. The Jagadapattinam fishermen were produced before the court in Kayts and lodged in Jaffna prison till April 4, along with 10 other fishermen arrested on March 20, he said. Royappu (35), one of the arrested fishermen, who suffered a head injury after he was allegedly attacked by the Lankan navy personnel, was admitted to the Government Hospital in Jaffna, Mr. Arulanandham said.

near Sholavandan on Thursday morning. Police said the two were returning home in Rayapuram near Sholavandan after visiting Meenakshipuram near Nilakottai when the lorry proceeding towards Mattaparai hit their motorbike.

They were killed on the spot. The truck went off the road and fell into a roadside gorge. The driver, Chelliah (54), and four load men sustained injuries. Sholavandan police are investigating.

The evening magic: An evening scene under Albert Victor bridge in Madurai.



Exempt basic agricultural produce from GST: Forum Special Correspondent MADURAI

Welcoming implementation of GST from July, Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants Association has sought exemption of basic agricultural produce and their derivatives from tax. In a memorandum submitted to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi on Thursday, a copy of which was released here, the association said when agricultural produce and their derivatives were packed and branded for retail sale to en-

sure hygiene and health for consumers, they should be exempt from tax, as otherwise it would go against the government’s policy. Food business operators would not be able to sell their products in retail without a brand name. Under the proposed GST, if a food business operator was levied tax for his branded retail food product, then inflation would rise and affect the end consumer. The delegation of the forum, led by association

president S.P. Jeyapragasam, suggested that from the foodgrain stage (paddy, gram, moong, toor, masur, peas, wheat, millet etc.,) to the derivatives stage (rice, urad dhal, gram dhal etc, and food products such as urad flour, gram flour etc), they must be exempted from GST when bulk packing to retail packing was carried out. Association secretary S.V.S.S. Velshankar and Madurai MP R. Gopalakrishnan formed part of the delegation, a press release said.

8-year-old girl sexually assaulted Special Correspondent TIRUNELVELI

Sivagiri police have arrested a teenage boy and are searching for two others for sexually assaulting an eight-year-old Dalit girl. The police said the three boys sexually assaulted the girl after stuffing her mouth with a cloth and taking her to a public toilet recently.

MADURAI TODAY RELIGION Selva Vinayagar Temple: Discourse on ‘Thirumandiram’ by Shanmuga Thirukumaran, Railway Colony, 7.30 p.m. Ramakrishna Mutt: Yoga class, Vivekananda auditorium, 6 a.m.; Bhajan and aarathi, New Natham Road, 6.30 p.m. Panniru Thirumurai Mandram: Thirumurai Pannisai class, Adi Street, Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, 6 p.m. Thiruvalluvar Mandram: Discourse on ‘Avvai Kural’ by A.K.S. Thirumavalavan, Sakthi Velammal Nagar, S.S. Colony, 5 p.m. Kuttiah Swamigal Mutt: Discourse on ‘Kambaramayanam’ by Tiruchi K. Kalyanaraman, 165 South Veli Street, 6.30 p.m. St. Lourde’s Church: Special prayers, K. Pudur, 6.30 p.m.

CULTURE Saiva Siddantha Sabai: 60th anniversary celebrations, irst day discourse by Siva. Gandhi on ‘Vedantha Thelivaam’ North Adi Street, Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, 6 p.m. Gandhi Memorial Museum: Interreligious prayer meeting, Dr. T.R. Dhinakaran presides, Peace Park, 4.30 p.m. International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre: Yoga and meditation classes; 444 KK Nagar East Ninth Street, 6 a.m., 6.30 p.m., 10 a.m.and 4 p.m.(for women) Prajapita Brahmakumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya: Free rajayoga meditation classes; 36 Meenakshi Nagar, P and T Nagar; 40 Sambandamoorthy Street; 47 B CMR Road and 357 Anna Nagar, 6.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. Topkids: Osho dynamic meditation, Alagarkoil Road, K. Pudur, 6.30 a.m.

GENERAL Madurai Kamaraj University: 10day training programme on ‘Eco-me-

dia and wash science communication,’ third day, discussion on ‘Tanks and water resources of Madurai region’ by Dhan foundation, Central Instrumentation Centre, 10 a.m. Thiagarajar College: Department of Tamil conducts ‘Sangamam Kalai Vizha 2017,’ Tamil cinema director Thangar Bachan, chief guest, secretary K. Thiagarajan presides, Tholkaapiar Arangam, 4 p.m. Madura College: ‘Pulari ‘17,’ cultural event, R. Madhu of Urumu Dhanalakshmi Vidhyalayam, Tiruchi, distributes prizes, D. Ramasubramanian, president, Madura College Board, presides, Auditorium, 3 p.m. Vellaichamy Nadar College: Seminar on ‘Emerging facets of English literature,’ I. Meera Rao of Government Women’s College, Mysuru, speaks, Mahendravel presides, M. Dhanasekarapandianar Auditorium 10 a.m. E.M.G. Yadava College for Women: Talk on ‘Social awareness for women’ by advocate Jayaseelan, ESR Alamelu Ammal Memorial Conference Hall, 2 p.m.

MADURAI Boarding & Lodging Hotel EMPEE, Nethaji Road Ph: 0452-2341525 / 6/ 7 A/c, Non A/c, Suite, Executive, Deluxe Rooms, Veg. Restrnt., Conference Hall.


Sermathai Vasan College for Women: Meeting on ‘Challenges college students face today in society,’ B. Ananthavalli speaks, Conference Hall, 10 a.m.; Hostel Day celebration, M. Subramanian, vice-president, Nadar Mahajana Sangam, Tirunelveli district, chief guest, 5 p.m.

Boarding & Lodging

Madurai Central JCI: Nature walk to Sathuragiri, assembling point at Ashok Bhavan near Periyar bus stand, 10 p.m.

Sri Janakiram Hotels, Ph: 2331941 Star facilities. A/c, Non-A/c &0 suite rooms. Maruti A/c & roof top veg. rest. Banquet Hall & Credit cards.

India Missions Association: Consultation on ‘Contemporary mission challenges and our responsibility,’ K. Rajendran, Associate Director, World Evangelical Alliance, speaks, JC Residency, 10 a.m. Alcoholics Anonymous: Meeting, Maniyammai Nursery School, North Masi Street, 7 p.m.

Aryaas, Ph. 2339002, 2337000 Starcomfort A/C, suite rooms, A/C Veg & Nonveg Quality restaurant, Banquet, conference halls and board room.

Hotel Raja Palace Ph:2581927, 8220044080 (Opp to Palayamkottai Bus stand) Deluxe, Super Deluxe, Suit rooms, Mini Conference room, Kalyana Mandapam.

Published by N. Ram at Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002 and Printed by T. Murali at Survey No. 38/2 to 40/2B, Madurai-Rameswaram Road, Puliankulam Village, Madurai South Taluk, Madurai-625201 on behalf of KASTURI & SONS LTD., Chennai-600002. Editor: Mukund Padmanabhan (Responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act). Regd. TN/MA/7/2015-2017 RNI No. TNENG/1978/49962 ISSN 0971 - 751X Vol. 40 No. 71 ●





FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017









FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017


Fishermen arrests: CM writes to PM Special Correspondent CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the arrest of 16 fishermen from the State by the Sri Lankan Navy and appealed for their release. While eight fishermen from Jegathapattinam of Pudukkottai district were arrested in the early hours of Wednesday and taken to Karainagar in Sri Lanka, another eight from Rameswaram fishing base were apprehended on the same day and taken to Thalaimannar, he said. “The Sri Lankan Navy continues with its strategy of apprehending the Indian fishermen while they are engaged in fishing in their traditional fishing grounds in the Palk Bay,” Mr. Palaniswami wrote in his letter to Mr. Modi, which was released to the media. The Chief Minister urged the Prime Minister to personally intervene in the matter and direct the Ministry of External Affairs to take up the matter with Sri Lankan authorities in a “concrete and decisive manner” to secure the release of 26 fishermen and 131 fishing boats presently in Lankan custody.

No-conidence motion against Speaker defeated

V.V. Minerals’ godown in Thoothukudi sealed

MLAs from OPS camp not present, Natraj votes against motion

Staff Reporter

Special Correspondent CHENNAI

A Motion of No Confidence, seeking to remove P. Dhanapal as the Speaker of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, moved by the DMK, was defeated in the House on Thursday. While 97 members from the DMK, the Congress and the IUML supported the motion, 121 AIADMK members and Mylapore MLA R. Natraj (who had last month voted against the government) voted against the motion. This was only the second time the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly was witnessing a vote on a Motion of No Confidence against the Speaker. The last such event was in 1972 when the DMK Government voted out Speaker K.A. Mathiazhagan, who had switched loyalties to the then expelled DMK leader M.G. Ramachandran. Mr. Panneerselvam and 10 legislators of his camp were not present in the House during the voting. DMK president M Karunanidhi, who is not keeping well, was the other absentee. Soon after the Question

Hour, the Speaker allowed Leader of the Opposition M.K. Stalin to move the motion and sought to know whether it should be taken up. All the members of the DMK, the Congress and the IUML stood up in support of moving the motion — much beyond the required number of 35 MLAs for taking up such motions. The Speaker earlier said he has been maintaining neutrality in the House and it had been appreciated by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on multiple occasions. While he felt the happiest whenever she had appreciated him, he said two occasions made him particularly sad: one was when he had to

Special Correspondent CHENNAI

Speaker P. Dhanapal, against whom a no-confidence motion was moved in the Assembly on Thursday, missed no chance to put

Says the Speaker has been performing his duties well T.K. Rohit

Mylapore MLA R. Nataraj on Thursday, who had sided with the O.Panneerselvam camp during the no-confidence motion against the government, surprised everyone by voting against the motion of no-confidence moved by the DMK against Speaker P Dhanapal. Explaining why he took the decision, Mr Nataraj told The Hindu, “The Speaker (Dhanapal) was personally

chosen by (late) Jayalalithaa, not once but twice. He has been performing his duties quite well. I have the highest regard for Jayalalithaa.” The former DGP said if any one wanted to raise complaints it could be only about the way the trust vote proceedings was conducted. “But, even in that issue, there is a case in the court,” he said. “The no-confidence motion (against the Speaker) was not just on the manner of the conduct of trust vote.

The DMK raised many other unwarranted issues against the Speaker where he had acted judiciously best under the given circumstances. Hence, I voted against it,” he said. The Mylapore MLA, when asked if he would side with one of the factions said, “As of now there is no ‘Two Leaves’ symbol. It has now essentially become a contest between two independents (referring to the two AIADMK factions in R.K.Nagar).”

Liquor prices may go up by 5% Bill to impose additional levy on turnover introduced Staff Reporter CHENNAI

Prices of liquor sold by Tasmac may soon go up by 5% with the State Government introducing a Bill in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday to impose an additional tax on the taxable turnover of liquor sale. The Tamil Nadu Value Added Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2017, was introduced in the Legislative Assembly by Commercial Taxes Minister K.C. Veeramani with the stated objective “to augment the revenue of the State.” The levy of additional tax would come into retrospective ef-

fect from April 1, 2016, on the taxable turnover of intro-State sale of liquor for human consumption.

Budget indication “During the recent Tamil Nadu budget, the Finance Minister had indicated that revenue to the tune of ₹2,100 crore was hit –including ₹1,600 crore in sales tax – due to closure of 500 liquor outlets across the State. They may be looking at compensating for the losses as liquor vending is the golden goose in terms of generating revenues,” an analyst who tracks the liquor industry explained. Tamil Nadu State Market-


standing up and confirming whether they were for or against the resolution. Soon after the motion was defeated, Speaker Dhanapal resumed his chair and thanked all those who voted against and for the motion. He assured that he would continue to remain neutral in discharging his duties as the Speaker. DMK Deputy Floor Leader Duraimurugan said it was only their wish to see him functioning neutral till the end of the term of this Assembly. Earlier, while speaking on the motion, Mr. Stalin referred to several instances and alleged that Mr. Dhanapal had been showing partiality.

Tirukkural in times of trouble

Backed Dhanapal as he was chosen by Jayalalithaa: Nataraj CHENNAI

read out her obituary reference in the House in January this year, and two, when the House was rocked by unruly incidents last month. He added that the incidents on February 18, when the Motion of Confidence was moved by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami was put to vote, deeply pained him. Later, to facilitate the voting, Mr. Dhanapal left the House and Deputy Speaker Pollachi V. Jayaraman conducted the voting. As the voice voting in the House was opposed by the opposition parties, the Deputy Speaker went for division voting with all members in the House physically

ing Corporation Limited, popular by its acronym Tasmac, sells liquor worth ₹.67 crore to ₹ 70 crore per day. The proposed increase in VAT could lead to additional collection of ₹3.5 crore per day. During the year 2015-16, the revenue earned from the sale of liquor was ₹25,845 crore. Of this, ₹20,009 crore was through sales tax and the remaining ₹5,836 crore was through excise revenue. In 2014-15, revenue stood at ₹24,164 crore, of which ₹18, 433 crore was sales tax. After closing down 1,000 liquor outlets, the State now 5,700 outlets.

Tangedco postings: HC adjourns proceedings

forward and defend his case. The Chair read out the verse from the chapter about possession of patience. “Agazhvarai thaangum nilam pola

‘15 godowns in Tirunelveli likely to be sealed today’

thammai igazhvaarai poruthal thalai” (As earth bears up the men who delve into her breast, To bear with scornful men of virtues is the best – G.U. Pope translation.

Amid tight security, a godown with a stock of 420 metric tonnes of garnet sand owned by beach sand mining company V.V. Minerals, near Muthaiyapuram, Thoothukudi, was sealed on Thursday. The district administration had begun conducting searches in godowns mostly in Thoothukudi and Tiruchendur following the suspension of Assistant Director of Mines Krishnamohan who allegedly produced a fake document to allow illegal export of beach minerals belonging to V.V. Minerals. Taluk-level squads led by Tahsildars and Surveyors had been conducting searches in all 13 godowns of various sand mining companies in the district. The district also has six leasehold mining sites. The searches were being monitored by a district-level committee comprising Thoothukudi Sub Collector Deepak Jacob and Revenue Divisional Officers of Kovilpatti and Tiruchendur.

‘Godowns under watch’ The squads would check whether the mined beach

ED gets 4 days custody of mining baron Reddy ED’s counsel says the accused did not cooperate earlier

Crackdown begins:Tahsildar Sankaranarayanan (right) with police personnel near Thoothukdui on Thursday . N. RAJESH *

minerals stocked in the sealed godown was legally sourced. If the owner of the godown could not prove the authenticity of the stock, it would be confiscated, Thoothukudi Collector M. Ravikumar told The Hindu. The State government enforced a ban on beach sand mining on August 8, 2013. Hence, all godowns, including unapproved ones, would be thoroughly checked, and if necessary, surveyors would be engaged to measure the mined sites, he said. The Thoothukudi Sub Collector said the stock of garnet sand inside the godown was kept under joint custody. While a key of the godown is in the custody

Police begin probe against Sasikala Alleged to have grabbed 112 acres Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter CHENNAI

The Principal Sessions Court in Chennai on Thursday granted four days custody of industrialist J. Sekhar Reddy and two of his associates to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with cases registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the three. On March 20, the ED arrested Sekhar Reddy,

Premkumar and Sreenivasulu for cases registered against them on December 20, 2016, under the PMLA for illegally possessing over ₹34 lakh in the new ₹2,000 denomination notes along with gold weighing 127 kg. The accused were later remanded in judicial custody. Three days after the arrest, the ED moved the Principal Sessions Judge Nasser Ahamed seeking five days custody of the three accused.

On Thursday, when the accused were produced before the judge, all the three opposed the custody claiming that the ED has already interrogated them sufficiently and that there is no need for further custody. Denying the submission, the counsel for the ED contended that during the earlier interrogations, the accused failed to cooperate and answered in negative for all the questions posed to them.

House rides into row on debate over cycle quality DMK objects to Speaker ‘intervening’ on behalf of govt. Special Correspondent CHENNAI

A comment from a DMK MLA about the quality of bicycles that are given free of cost to school students by the government led to an uproar and triggered some angry comments in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday. It also drew certain angry remarks from DMK Deputy Leader of the House Duraimurugan aimed at Speaker P. Dhanapal. During the debate on the State budget, former minister and DMK MLA M.R.K.


Panneerselvam made a reference to the quality of cycles being distributed to the students and used cer-

tain words to describe it. Even as the ruling party erupted in protest and Finance Minister D. Jayakumar rose to intervene, the Speaker asked the MLA to speak without making unnecessary comments and show proof for his claims. Mr. Duraimurugan intervened and said, “It is the duty of the opposition to raise issues and it is the duty of the ministers to respond to any allegation. Why are you (Speaker) giving an answer and intervening for the government? That is not your job.”


The Anti-Land Grabbing Cell (ALGC), Kancheepuram District Police, has started probing a complaint of land grabbing against the AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala and her family members. Enquiries reveal that the ALGC received the complaint lodged by the Arappor Iyakkam, Chennai, with the Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu, recently. In the complaint submitted to the DGP on February 9 this year, the convenor of the Arappor Iyyakkam Jayaraman Venkatesan has alleged that 112 acres of land falling under several survey numbers of Siruthavur, Payyanoor and Karunkuzhipallam villages have been usurped and fenced by V.K. Sasikala and her family


The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday adjourned its proceedings in a significant case related to alleged lack of transparency in direct recruitment of 375 Assistant Engineers in Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco), to facilitate a counsel to get instructions from officials who were attending the Legislative Assembly session on Thursday. A Division Bench of Justices A. Selvam and N. Authinathan took serious note of certain allegations about the recruitment process when the matter came up for admission before them and directed the Tangedco counsel S. Srimathi to get instructions CM YK

from the authorities concerned by the course of the day so that the court could pass appropriate orders in the case immediately. However, the counsel reverted and informed the court that the authorities authorised to instruct her on the issue were attending the ongoing Assembly session in Chennai and hence she could not obtain necessary instructions from them on the phone. Accepting her submission, the judges adjourned the hearing on the case to Monday. Earlier in the day, when Ms. Srimathi contended that a public interest litigation petition could not be filed on an issue related to appointments made in government service, Mr. Justice Authinathan retorted: “Then, we will dismiss this case and

take suo motu cognisance of the matter. What is this? We are dealing with allegations of corruption here.” R. Guruvel, secretary (Madurai region) of Tamil Nadu Power Engineers Organisation, had filed the PIL petition alleging several irregularities following a notification issued on December 28, 2015, for recruiting 375 AEs and another notification issued on February 28, 2016, for filling up 1,475 posts of Technical Assistant, Field Assistant and so on.

‘No dummy numbers’ The petitioner’s counsel G.R. Swaminathan contended that no dummy numbers were assigned to the answer sheets of the candidates who wrote examinations conducted by Tangedco for the posts.

members. The land includes the properties belonging to Gangai Amaran of Chennai, Kannan of Nandivaram-Guduvancheri and a large extent of government lands classified as ponds and other water bodies, apart from poromboke lands. Upon receiving the complaint from the DGP office, the ALGC has served notices to the complainant, Jayaraman Venkatesan and Kannan recently. While Jayaraman Venkatesan appeared before the ALGC last week and submitted his case, Kannan appeared before the police on Wednesday and showed the original documents of the land owned by his family and the forged ones that were used by the opposite parties to register the land in their names.

Holiday declared in R.K. Nagar on April 12 Special Correspondent CHENNAI

The Tamil Nadu government has announced April 12, 2017 a public holiday for areas coming under the Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar assembly constituency in view of the bye-election. “All employees working in Chennai and the neighbouring districts but registered as voters in 11-Dr.

Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly Constituency, shall also be given a paid holiday on April 12,” the notification said. The G.O. further said that all government offices including industrial establishments of the Government and government controlled bodies, and all the educational institutions through the area will remain closed on that day.


Smart cards to be distributed from April 1

All eyes on R.K. Nagar

Special Correspondent

Counsel wanted to take instructions from oicials Special Correspondent

of the chairman of the taluklevel committee, the other key was with the godown manager. Tirunelveli District Collector, M. Karunakaran said 15 beach sand stocking godowns in the district were likely to be sealed on Friday. After the ban on beach sand mining, transport permits and gate passes were not given by the authorities to anybody. Moreover, he said the entire coast line of 48.9 km in Tirunelveli district would be monitored with the aid of remote-sensing software designed by the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo Informatics.


A novice and a veteran: Deepa Jayakumar, niece of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and founder, MGR Amma Deepa Peravai, iling her nomination for the byelection at R.K.Nagar constituency in Chennai on Thursday. (Right) Madhusudhanan, candidate from the O. Panneerselvam faction, interacts with residents of R.K. Nagar before iling his nomination. BIJOY GHOSH, M. VEDHAN *

National Investigation Agency team visits Kadayanallur again P. Sudakar TIRUNELVELI

Officials from National Investigation Agency (NIA), who picked-up a youth from Kadayanallur last year for his alleged links with Islamic State, visited the town and Maanur near

here again on Wednesday evening in search of two more suspects. Though the officials of NIA could not pick-up I. Amir (19) of Kadayanallur and S. Suresh (20) of Kattarankulam near Maanur for interrogation as they

were not there, the investigators told their parents to ask their sons to appear before them for questioning on the duo’s alleged association with IS suspect K. Subuhan Abdullah, who was arrested from Kadayanallur on October 2 last.

The NIA special team that arrested in September last six persons in Kerala with suspected IS links extracted information about Subuhan Abdullah’s close association with them. The State police were not aware of these searches initially.

Smart cards with QR codes that will replace the family cards currently in use will be distributed to consumers from April 1 at special camps to be organised throughout the State. Sources in the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation said that it would take a couple of months to replace the cards, which is why the cards in use right now with sheets of paper inside would remain valid for some more time. The State has a total of 1.93 crore family cards or ration cards as they are referred to and consumers use them cards to draw rice, sugar, dhals, wheat and palm oil, among other items. The Corporation has registered the Aadhaar details of 5,81,24,312 consumers. M MA-MA





FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017


Weather Watch Rainfall, temperature & air quality in select metros yesterday

No coal bed methane in Neduvasal, says ONGC Asks people not to fall prey to fear-mongering Special Correspondent Tiruchi

Temperature Data: IMD, Pollution Data: CPCB, Map: Skymet

Forecast for Friday: Thunderstorms accompanied with squall/ hail likely at isolated places over east Bihar, sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura. city rain max min Agartala................. —.... 32.0.... 18.6 Ahmedabad............ —.... 37.4.... 23.1 Aizawl ................... —.... 28.9...... 7.6 Allahabad .............. —.... 38.1.... 17.4 Bengaluru .............. —.... 34.7.... 20.6 Bhopal................... —.... 38.9.... 19.9 Bhubaneswar ......... —.... 37.7.... 24.1 Chandigarh ............ —.... 32.0.... 18.0 Chennai ................. —.... 33.1.... 25.3 Coimbatore............ —.... 36.0.... 24.2 Dehradun............... —.... 32.9.... 15.4 Gangtok...............1.0.... 16.2.... 10.9 Goa ....................... —.... 33.0.... 23.7 Guwahati ............... —.... 33.0.... 14.1 Hubballi................. —.... 36.0.... 22.0 Hyderabad ............. —.... 37.7.... 20.1 Imphal................... —.... 27.9.... 10.3 Jaipur .................... —.... 37.2.... 24.0 Kochi..................... —.... 33.0.... 25.2 Kohima.................. —.... 18.7...... 8.8 Kolkata.................. —.... 34.6.... 24.1

city rain max min Kozhikode ............... —.... 36.2.... 26.2 Kurnool ................... —.... 39.0.... 25.0 Lucknow.................. —.... 35.7.... 18.7 Madurai................... —.... 36.4.... 24.6 Mangaluru............... —.... 34.2.... 24.8 Mumbai................... —.... 34.1.... 21.9 Mysuru.................... —.... 35.1.... 19.7 New Delhi ............... —.... 37.4.... 18.4 Patna ...................... —.... 33.0.... 20.6 Port Blair ................ —.... 31.6.... 22.0 Puducherry.............. —.... 33.3.... 23.2 Pune ....................... —.... 37.7.... 18.0 Raipur ..................... —.... 39.3.... 22.4 Ranchi..................... —.... 33.5.... 17.2 Shillong................... —.... 20.6...... 8.7 Shimla..................... —.... 23.6.... 13.0 Srinagar ................0.8.... 17.8...... 7.3 Trivandrum ............. —.... 33.4.... 25.0 Tiruchi .................... —.... 36.5.... 24.8 Vijayawada .............. —.... 36.8.... 24.8 Visakhapatnam .......0.5.... 31.2.... 25.4

Particulate matter in the air you are breathing CITIES



Ahmedabad ............70 ...74 ..20 .... 188 .......— ......* Bengaluru ..............24 ...88 ..64 ....... —......97 ......* Chennai..................30 ...29 ..23 .... 155 .......— ......* Delhi......................44.....— ..80 .... 318....430 ......* Hyderabad .............44 ...61 ..47 .... 200....176 ......* Kolkata ....................8 ...46 ..13 ....... —....125 ......* Lucknow ................13 ...83 ..47 ....... —....368 ......* Mumbai .................17 ...33 ..22 ...... 75....115 ......* Pune ......................39 ...48 ....6 .... 115....101 ......* Vishakhapatnam .....26 ...32 ..42 ...... 86....106 ......*

In observation made at 4.00 p.m., Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh recorded an overall air quality index (AQI) score of 292 indicating an unhealthy level of pollution. In contrast, Rohtak, Haryana, recorded a healthy AQI score of 59

Air Quality Code: * Poor * Moderate * Good SO2: Sulphur Dioxide. Short-term exposure can harm the respiratory system, making breathing difficult. It can affect visibility by reacting with other air particles to form haze and stain culturally important objects such as statues and monuments. NO2: Nitrogen Dioxide. Aggravates respiratory illness, causes haze to form by reacting with other air particles, causes acid rain, pollutes coastal waters. CO: Carbon monoxide. High concentration in air reduces oxygen supply to critical organs like the heart and brain. At very high levels, it can cause dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness and even death. PM2.5 & PM10: Particulate matter pollution can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath, reduced lung function, irregular heartbeat, asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature death in people with heart or lung disease (Individual pollutant data for various cities are averages for the previous day)

The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) is not carrying out exploration of shale gas or coal bed methane in Cauvery Basin and does not have any such plan, ONGC senior officials affirmed here on Thursday. They dismissed apprehensions raised by farmers that coal bed methane and shale gas were sought to be extracted under the guise of the hydrocarbon exploration project at Neduvasal. “As geo scientists we can assure there is no coal bed methane in Neduvasal. Similarly, the quality of shale required for shale gas extraction is also not available,” said Pawan Kumar, Group General Manager-Basin Manager, Cauvery, ONGC, addressing a press conference here. Mr. Kumar said the ONGC followed international

benchmarks relating to safety and environment protection. “It is true that delta areas are fertile, but they are also prolific producers of oil and gas. There has been no impact on agriculture due to our activity. There has been no depletion of groundwater or pollution,” Mr. Kumar said and urged people not to be misled by rumours and misinformation. Mr. Kumar said the ONGC had sunk 13 exploratory wells between 1991 and 2008-09 in the Neduvasal area and of these only three were found to be hydrocarbon wells. The ONGC did not go ahead with production as they were small fields and not economical. Now that the Neduvasal DSF (Discovered Small Field) contract had been recommended for award to a private company, the ONGC had no

role in the project any longer. The exploration activities were carried out under a conditional petroleum mining licence valid till 2019. Answering a query on whether an extension of the licence was sought, Mr.Kumar clarified that the ONGC, on behalf of the Union government (as it was not known then who the contractor would be for the DSF), had applied for petroleum mining licence for the 10.1 square km area in Neduvasal in December last year, but the State government has not granted it yet. ‘Fears misplaced’

Kulbir Singh, Executive Director, Cauvery Asset, ONGC, said no harmful chemicals were used in conventional drilling for oil and natural gas by ONGC. There was no chance for pollution as the wells were cased at multiple levels.

HC judge donates ₹10,000 for eradicating seemai karuvelam Special Correspondent MADURAI

Justice A. Selvam, the administrative judge of the Madras High Court Bench here, on Thursday deposited ₹10,000 of his personal money in a bank account opened by the Registrar (Administration) of the court for the purpose of mobilising money to eradicate seemai karuvelam (prosopis juliflora) trees from the State. According to court officials, the move would encourage many others, including advocates, especially senior counsels, to donate money liberally

since the major grouse of the government officials was insufficiency of funds to weed out the trees from public as well as private lands. The court had ordered complete removal of the trees in December last and had been monitoring the progress since then. Pointing out that most of the Collectors were citing lack of government funds for implementing the court order effectively, the officials said the money mobilised in the bank account through collection of costs imposed by the judges on litigants in various cases and also

through donations would be utilised to uproot the trees from public places under the supervision of court-appointed Advocate Commissioners. Large companies could also participate in the courtinitiated movement to eradicate the invasive species by contributing funds allocated by them for Corporate Social Responsibility activities. Pointing to significant progress made in uprooting the trees in the last four months, they said wholehearted participation of the people was essential for the success of the movement, they said.

To advertise Contact: THE HINDU, Madurai. Ph: 0452-2528497 Cell: 9789373004







FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017



Tamil writer Ashokamitran dead

Row in Andhra House over SCS

Satire and subtle humour were the trademark of the Sahitya Akademi award winner B. Kolappan CHENNAI

Bail for accused in Kerala student assault case KOCHI

The Kerala High Court on Thursday granted bail to P. Krishnadas, chairman of Nehru Group of Educational Institutions, an accused in a case relating to assaulting a student of the Nehru Academy of Law, Palakkad. The court ordered that he be released forthwith on bail on his executing a bond for ₹1 lakh with two solvent sureties to the like sum.

₹1.28 crore seized from duo in old notes BENGALURU

A team attached to the Central Crime Branch arrested a 26-year-old realtor and his chartered accountant friend for allegedly trying to exchange banned currency notes through Non-Resident Indians. The police seized old ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes amounting to ₹1.28 crore from real estate agent Ajay and Jimmy Rahul, a CA. According to the police, the duo were in the habit of stashing their earnings in their houses.

Beer, wine parlour licences get 3-month extension THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The Kerala Cabinet has extended the licence of beer and wine parlours, toddy shops, and bar permit holders for three months from April 1. The Cabinet on Thursday decided to extend the licences in view of the fact that the new excise policy of the Left Democratic Front government had not been announced so far. The toddy shop licences would be extended after collecting a fee proportionate to the existing rates and in compliance with the norms in force.

Prominent Tamil writer and Sahitya Akademi winner Ashokamitran, who powerfully portrayed the lives and struggles of the urban middle-class life in his literary works, died, aged 86, on Thursday night. He collapsed at home. He is survived by wife and three sons. Born Tyagarajan on September 22, 1931, he later assumed the pen name, Ashokamitran. He was one of the few writers who wrote fluently in both Tamil and English and was also known outside Tamil Nadu as most of his works were translated into English and other Indian languages. In a career spanning over six decades, he wrote eight novels, 20 novellas, hundreds of short stories, commentaries on a wide range of issues, and profiles of personalities. He was given the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1996 for his work Appavin Snegidhar, a collection of short stories. Twice, he was awarded the creative writing

Ashokamitran fellowship at the University of Iowa.

Full-time profession He took on writing as a fulltime profession at a time when it was ‘unviable’. “I have witnessed all kinds of difficulties that a full-time writer will face,” he said in an interview to the now defunct magazine Subhamangala. Satire and, sometimes, subtle humour were the trademark of his writings. Tamil writer Jeyamohan said: “Without any doubt, Ashokamitran and Pudumaipithan are the two geniuses of modern Tamil lit-

erature. And in the case of Ashokamitran, he has been writing for almost 40 years, and retained the fire right through.” Journalist and writer Gnani called Ashokamitran a friend, philosopher and guide to all his associates. Talking about his prose, Gnani said, “It was shorn of all adornments, but was very profound. He used to say that the reader would doubt if he was indeed a good writer, going just by the prose.” He went on to add that Ashokamitran’s women characters were very strong and sustained life despite several odds. Amsan Kumar who made a documentary on Ashokamitran in 2003 said it was admirable that he never considered himself the celebrity he actually was. He was grounded, humble, and friendly. As the editor of Tamil literary magazine Kanaiyaazhi for almost 25 years, Ashokamitran always maintained close links with the mainstream media and his works were published in all

Karnataka anganwadi workers call of 4-day stir Govt. to hold talks on April 10 BENGALURU

Anganwadi workers from across Karnataka, who had been camping on the streets in thousands demanding a wage hike, ended their protest on Thursday after the government promised to hold talks on April 10. The Karnataka State Anganwadi Workers’ Association withdrew the strike after a meeting with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The April 10 meeting will

discuss the workers’ demand for an increase in honorarium to ₹10,000 and ₹7,500 for anganwadi workers and helpers, respectively. Minister for Women and Child Development Umashree said the State government could not make any announcement now as the model code of conduct was in place in view of the by-polls to the Nanjangud and Gundlupet Assembly constituencies on April 9.



Authority on films He also wrote with authority on films. His novel, Karaindha Nizhalgal, was an insider's fictionalised account of the Tamil film world. Everyone involved in film-making, from drivers, light men, choreographers, to assistants found a place in his book. He gained intimate knowledge of the film world and the making of films during his stint as an employee in the public relations department of Gemini Studios. Later, he wrote on his association with S.S. Vasan of Gemini Studios, My Years with Boss, in which he recalls an incident when Vasan asked him to perform some menial task. He resisted and quit. “Even though P.S. Ramaiah and Pudhumaipithan also worked closely with the film world, their literary works hardly touched upon the film world,” said S. Ramakrishnan, Tamil writer. Ashokamitran also wrote

about classical music. It was a strange coincidence that he spent his childhood days in Polagam, a small village in Thanjavur where Papanasam Sivan lived. Though his family belonged to Mayiladuthurai, his parents lived in Secunderabad until Ashokamitran was 20. He based his novel Pathinetaavathu Atchakodu on the city. His father was a friend of S.S. Vasan who published Ananda Vikatan. Later in life, he developed a great fondness for American writing and films, and was a regular at the library in the American Consulate. He kept himself abreast of the latest writings in English and Tamil, and had a good relationship with other writers. He was close friends with T. Janakiraman, Ka. Naa. Subramaniam, Indira Parthasarathy, Sundara Ramasamy and Nakulan, and has even written about their works and his relationship with them. His youngest son T. Ramakrishnan is an Associate Editor with The Hindu.

Government says it’s a closed chapter Staff Reporter VIJAYAWADA

The Special Category Status (SCS) issue rocked the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Thursday with Opposition YSR Congress stalling proceedings demanding a discussion. The House could not transact any business for about two-and-a-half hours as the Opposition did not relent even as the treasury benches and alliance partner BJP asserted that it was “a closed chapter.”

Podium stormed The YSRC members, who served an adjournment motion seeking a discussion on the issue by suspending the Question Hour, stormed the Speaker’s podium, holding placards and raising slogans “Pratyeka Hoda Andhrula Hakku” (special status is Andhra’s right). To counter the Opposition attack, the ruling Telugu Desam

Kodela Sivaprasada Rao

brought in the AgriGold victims’ issue to the fore saying Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu would make a statement on it. But the YSRC members continued their protest. At one point, Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao said he would refer the suggestion made by Legislative Affairs Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu for the ‘automatic suspension of members who disrupt the proceedings repeatedly’ to the Rules Committee. It, however, did not deter the MLAs. They raised their pitch, forcing the Chair to adjourn the House.

Dalits speak in diferent voices on Hassan ritual Some want Karnataka government to stop ‘Sidi’, others say participation in ‘risky’ event is voluntary Sathish G.T.

Staff Reporter

the leading journals and newspapers.


The Hassan district administration has failed to convince a section of Dalits in Chakenahalli of the Holenarsipur taluk against participating in the risky ritual of ‘Sidi’ during the two-day annual fair of Udusalamma temple beginning Friday. Dalits, who take part in the ritual regularly, have told the administration that they take part in it “voluntarily” to fulfil a religious vow. The ritual involves men being tied to a wooden pole

with hooks inserted in their bodies and women walking with their mouths locked with iron hooks. A controversy broke out after some members of the family refused to participate this year and wanted the district administration to intervene and stop the ritual. After the Hassan district unit of the Dalit Hakkugala Samiti appealed to the administration to stop the ritual, H.L. Nagaraj, Assistant Commissioner, Renukumar, tahsildar of Holenarsipur, and senior po-


lice officers held meetings with representatives of the villages. “We told them that the government would not allow such rituals. But four persons (Dalits) have given a statement that they would take part voluntarily,” Mr. Renukumar said. The Dalits believe that their forefathers stole paddy from a rich farmer’s house and were saved from his wrath by deity Udusalamma. They believe the deity saved them after they promised to take part in the ritual.

Getting ready: Preparations for the Sidi ritual are under way at Hariharapura in Holenarasipur taluk. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT



















FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017



Jumbo rescue efort, spread over two days, has happy ending Aseemanand gets bail in Mecca Masjid blast case NEW DELHI

Former RSS activist Aseemanand, acquitted in the Ajmer Dargah blast case earlier this month, was granted bail by a Hyderabad court on Thursday in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case. A NIA official, however, said the agency had opposed the bail in the special NIA court and would examine the bail order to see if it could be challenged in a higher court.

A 10-year-old male elephant that fell into a 65-feet dry well in Coimbatore was lifted to safety in a six-hour-long operation on Thursday.

Navy Everest expedition team flagged off NEW DELHI

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Thursday formally flagged off the 28-member expedition team to Mount Everest, which will attempt to summit the peak in May this year. The members were selected from a pool of 100 personnel from various ships, submarines, aircraft Squadrons and establishments of the Navy, Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Controller Personnel Services told the media.

Ordeal begins: (Top right) The male elephant crying out in pain after slipping into an abandoned well at Kovanur, near Periyanaickenpalayam, on Tuesday. Though it fell from a height of 65 feet, it was active. (Right) Forest oicials started the rescue operations around 5.30 a.m. on Thursday.

Out of the woods: Around 8.30 a.m., the jumbo was sedated. It was pulled out successfully by the Fire and Rescue Services personnel who were assisted by Forest Department oicials.

2 Bihar entrepreneurs held They raised questions of transparency with CM Nitish Kumar at start-up meet

Uproar over renaming of airport

Heading home: (Top) After a wash, the jumbo is administered medicines. Antibiotics and other drugs mixed with fruits were given to it. It joined its ive-member herd after being released into the forest. M. PERIASAMY *

Court dismisses bail plea of Stayzilla co-founder Vasupal

Special Correspondent

Amarnath Tewary Patna

Two entrepreneurs were detained by the police for six hours for posing questions to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at a start-up summit held in Patna on Tuesday. The two entrepreneurs — Nemi Kumar Saraf (43), and Suresh Kumar Sharma (46), — were among hundreds of entrepreneurs invited to the “4th Bihar Entrepreneurship Summit-Start-up”, organised by the Bihar Entrepreneurs Association. Mr. Kumar was the chief guest, and State Industries Minister Jai Kumar Singh and top officials were also present. But when the two entrepreneurs rose to pitch their ideas while raising issues of transparency in government approval of start-up projects and on the harassment from banks for loans, they invited the ire of the police. Though the CM in his speech acknowledged their suggestions and instructed

Nitish Kumar with Industries Minister Jay Kumar Singh during the entrepreneurship summit in Patna. RANJEET KUMAR *

officials to pay heed to their complaints, the police officials detained the duo after Mr. Kumar left the venue.

‘Not allowed to eat’ Speaking of the ensuing traumatic ordeal, Mr. Saraf told The Hindu, “I, along with Suresh Kumar, was taken to the local Gandhi Maidan police station where police officials questioned us like crim-

inals and forced us to sit there for six hours. We were not allowed to eat, drink water or even go to toilet…our mobile phones were seized.” Mr. Saraf, a known social figure from Madhubani and an RTI activist, said when the police were quizzing him in Patna, the local police reached his house and interrogated his wife and ageing parents.

JNU intake will go up after illing of vacancies: Minister He sought to defend UGC norms for Ph.D. supervision Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

Answering questions on the sudden reduction in M.Phil/ Ph.D. seats at Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU), Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that the number of seats would go up soon as several vacancies, especially in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories, would be filled. He sought to defend the UGC norms for the Ph.D supervision and tacitly laid the blame on the JNU itself for the sudden fall in seats. “We have mandated, that is, the court has mandated

Prakash Javadekar

that we have to follow the UGC guidelines. There are 300 vacancies; for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, 190 vacancies were there. They had not been filled for years. So, an advertisement was issued. Applications were re-

ceived. Interviews of divyangs and others have started,” Mr. Javadekar said. He pointed out that under the UGC norms, a professor could guide up to eight students, an associate professor six and an assistant professor four. “The situation at JNU was different. One professor might be guiding four only, or even up to 15, 20 or 25 students,” he said. “Have you heard anywhere that one Professor is guiding 25 research scholars? But that has happened...” His answer was in response to Congress leader Digvijaya Singh’s question how research would be expanded with seats being cut.

Mr. Saraf said, “I also proposed that the government should disclose the names of approved projects and give reasons for rejecting others on its official website... to make the process transparent.” Mr Sharma from Chhaurahi village of Begusarai too spoke of his ordeal. “I was falsely implicated in a loan case by someone who had purchased a machine from me in 2013…when I failed to get any response from any quarter, I raised the issue before the Chief Minister while asking how an entrepreneur could do business in the State...but, the policemen took me under detention,” Mr Sharma told The Hindu. Responding to the incident, State Industries Minister Jai Kumar Singh said, “Whatever had happened with the two, should not have happened.” Opposition BJP leaders have demanded a response from the Chief Minister.


The Rajya Sabha witnessed a brief uproar on Thursday, the death anniversary of legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, as the Opposition charged that the BJP-led Haryana government was unwilling to name the Chandigarh airport after the martyr. “The Punjab government had agreed that the airport will be named after Shaheed-E-Azam Bhagat Singh,” CPI (M)’s Ritabrata Banerjee said during Zero Hour. “[But] The Haryana government, the Haryana Chief Minister, said no. They want to name the airport after Mangal Sein.” MoS for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi sought to clear the air. “We have never said it and nobody has said it. It’s not proper to make such sweeping statements.” Bhagat Singh, he said, was respected by everyone. (with inputs from PTI)

SIT to probe charges against Trinamool MP Firm’s two directors too named in FIR Special Correspondent Kolkata

The Kolkata police have constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the cheating charges against Trinamool Congress MP K.D. Singh’s chit fund company, Alchemist. Two directors of the company are also named in the FIR by the city police. The directors, including Mr. Singh’s son, have been accused of raising ₹2.53 crore from small investors and usurping the money. Though the news of the FIR emerged only on Wednesday, it was actually registered on March 16, a day before the Calcutta High Court ordered the CBI in-

vestigation into the Narada cash-on-camera scam.

Judge grants one-day custody of accused to CCB Sureshkumar Chennai

Nine days after Yogendra Vasupal, co-founder of online home stay aggregator Stayzilla, was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB), a special court for CCB-CBCID cases in Chennai on Thursday dismissed the bail application moved by the start-up entrepreneur. Dismissing his bail plea, Special Metropolitan Magistrate M.M. Kabir granted one-day custody of Mr. Vasupal to the CCB. “The CCB is granted custody of the accused from 3 p.m. today [Thursday] till 3 p.m. Friday,” the judge said. On Wednesday, during the arguments on his bail plea, Mr. Vasupal contended that the criminal charges “foisted” against him were part of pressure tactics to settle a civil dispute between him and the complainant,

C.S. Aditya of Jigsaw Advertising and Solutions Private Limited.

Criminal proceedings On March 14, the CCB initiated criminal proceedings against Mr. Vasupal based on a complaint from Mr. Aditya, alleging that Stayzilla had failed to make payments for the advertising services rendered by his company since February 2016 and has defrauded him of ₹1.69 crore. A case was registered by the CCB against Mr. Vasupal and his partner Sarjit Singhi (absconding) for offences under Sections 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (Cheating), 506 (i) (Criminal Intimidation) of the IPC. Moving the bail application on behalf of the accused, senior counsel B. Kumar said, “There is no written contract for the ser-

vices rendered. It was all an understanding between the parties.” Contending that the whole dispute was of a civil nature, Mr. Kumar said the least police should have done was to have enquired the petitioner about what the dispute was actually about. Opposing the application, Additional Public Prosecutor S. Manual Arasu said, “Prima facie this is a clear case of cheating. The other accused is absconding and is yet to be arrested and it is too early to allow the application considering the gravity of the offence.” Pointing out that the CCB is receiving several other complaints against the accused, Mr. Manual argued that there are high chances of the accused tampering with witness and evidence if enlarged on bail.

Bail rejected Kolkata Press Trust of India

The Calcutta HC on Thursday rejected the bail prayer by former Union Minister Matang Sinh, an accused in Saradha scam

A mistake, says Mamata West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that she regretted her decision to send Mr. Singh to the Rajya Sabha. “Making K.D. Singh an MP was a blunder. What can I do now?” she said in an interview. “People learn from their mistakes,” she said. Ms. Banerjee, however, said she had had no contact with Mr. Singh for a very long time. “He is in the Rajya Sabha, so we need to be in touch occasionally for issuing whip and that is done by Derek [O’Brien]. Otherwise we are not in touch.”

TB diagnosis, treatment sub-optimal in prisons Researchers diagnosed 80 new cases by screening nearly 5,100 prisoners R. Prasad CHENNAI

Screening, diagnosis and treatment of people with tuberculosis is “sub-optimal” in Indian prisons, says a study published recently. Only 79 prisons (50%) screened new inmates at the time of entry, and 92 prisons (59%) carried out periodic or regular screening. As a result, the researchers from the Delhi-based International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) were able to diagnose 80 new TB cases by screening nearly 5,100 prisoners. CM YK

These people “could have been missed in the existing [TB testing] system” in Indian prisons.

157 prisons studied The study was conducted in 157 prisons — central, district and sub-district — that housed 0.2 million inmates. There were 342 inmates with TB in 92 prisons when the study was carried out. The results were published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. The study found an association between periodic screening and TB patients

but no such association between the entry-level screening and TB patients. “Entry-level screening helps to identify TB patients among those prisoners/inmates who are new in the prison. Regular screening identifies TB patients among those who have been in the prison for certain duration and are at higher risk [owing to prison conditions]. Our study indicates that entrylevel screening alone is not sufficient to diagnose all TB patients in prisons and needs to be supplemented with regular screening,” Ba-

nuru Muralidhara Prasad from The Union and the first author of the study says in an email. The WHO and The Union advocate regular screening. “In this study, regular screening was limited to a few central and district prisons,” the paper notes.

Diagnostic facility Entry-level screening is more in prisons which had a doctor and was the least in subdistrict prisons. Though doctors are available in 129 (89%) prisons, only 65% were trained under the na-

tional tuberculosis programme. Though the availability of diagnostic facility in prisons ensures early diagnosis of TB, the study found the availability of diagnostic and treatment services had “no significant” relation to TB diagnosis. Central prisons, where inmates serve more than two years of imprisonment, had better facilities — doctors trained in TB programme (90%), periodic screening (73%) and availability of TB services (65%) — compared with district and sub-district prisons. M MA-MA





FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017


Decoding the Modi efect

Arc to West Asia Beijing hosts Saudi and Israeli leaders, signalling a deepening regional engagement


y hosting the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Israel, the two heavyweights in West Asia that do not have formal diplomatic relations, in consecutive weeks, Beijing has sent yet another signal on its growing appetite to deepen ties with the region. During the visit of King Salman last week, China and Saudi Arabia announced an investment cooperation deal worth $65 billion that will boost partnerships in ields such as energy, inance and aerospace. Days later, Chinese President Xi Jinping met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Beijing, where both leaders vowed to strengthen cooperation in the technology and agriculture sectors. Over the years China has built strong economic ties with countries in West Asia, while staying clear of the region’s several crises and hostilities. It is one of the top buyers of oil from Saudi Arabia and a key trading partner of Israel. For Iran, Beijing remained a trusted ally even during the time of sanctions. China was one of the few countries that continued to buy oil from Iran when most others, including India, either halted trade or implemented massive cuts in imports under American pressure. China’s economic ties with West Asia assumed greater signiicance after Mr. Xi unveiled the One Belt, One Road initiative. West Asia plays a major role in this Silk Road revival plan, which the Chinese believe will fortify their global standing. Of late, China has shown a greater interest in expanding its engagement with the region beyond the economic sphere. Its relationship with Iran has already acquired strategic dimensions. It is one of the supporters of the Bashar al-Assad regime in civil war-stricken Syria. In the UN Security Council, China, along with Russia, has consistently vetoed U.S.-backed resolutions on Syria, while at the same time ofering to broker peace between rival factions. China has also recognised Palestine as a state and ofered support for the Palestinians. During his meeting with Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Xi said peaceful coexistence between Israel and Palestine would be good for both parties and the region. The Chinese have also urged Saudi Arabia and Israel to work together to attain peace. All this indicates that China is ready to end its strategic reluctance in dealing with West Asia and to adopt a gradualist proactive policy that suits its proile as a fast-rising global power. But there are risks as well. Unlike the U.S. and Russia, China has traditionally played a risk-free global role, staying focussed on economic development. It lacks experience in navigating the political, religious, sectarian and tribal tensions in West Asia, both among states and within countries. The three major pillars of China’s West Asia policy — Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel — are rival powers. The challenge before Beijing, if it wants to enter the troubled political waters of West Asia, is to maintain a perfect balancing act. CM YK

uring the general election of 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had convincingly demonstrated his extraordinary skill in crafting an election campaign that was unlike any other — and not only by the standard of Indian elections. The victory was a personal triumph for campaigner Modi. In the course of the electoral campaign he had demonstrated a total disdain for the kind of tactics previously adopted by the Bharatiya Janata Party, and had led the party to a spectacular victory. An issue uppermost in people’s minds at the time was whether the momentum could be sustained to achieve similar victories in future elections to various State Assemblies and the general election due in 2019. Some wrinkles did occur soon thereafter, with the party losing out to rivals in Bihar and Delhi (2015), and displaying an inability to breach regional bastions in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala (2016). It seemed to indicate that the BJP might not be able to repeat its 2014 success. The highly creditable victory in Assam (2016) and the party’s performance in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa (February-March, 2017) have removed such doubts. Most commentators seem reconciled to a Modi victory in the 2019 general election.


Overwhelming victory U.P. was seen by many analysts as the BJP’s likely ‘Achilles heel’, the one most likely to derail its election dynamic. By winning 325 seats, the BJP alliance has put paid to all such prognostications. Further, it has effectively consigned rival parties

Political disruption Decoding the Modi Efect hence becomes an objective necessity. The campaign seemed to involve both a penchant for political disruption as also a reliance on certain unusual skills. These, far more than his ‘can do’ image, appear to be the key to BJP’s success. Mr. Modi himself revealed an unerring instinct for ‘voter sentiment’, especially where it related to class and caste issues, followed by an ability to convert defeat into victory. For instance, and despite the pain of demonetisation, Mr. Modi could convince the common man that he was representing his interests against ‘hoarders’ of ‘black money’. Further, that he stood for a ‘developmental model’, impli-

citly distancing himself from any role either in weaving a ‘majoritarian’ Indian ethos, or in endorsing religious intolerance. Strong leadership accompanied by powerful oratory, often verging on demagogy, and steering his own political ecosystem seemed to account for the Prime Minister’s personal appeal. This ‘leadership mantra’ rather than the development agenda appeared to tilt the balance, with Mr. Modi skilfully projecting an image of a ‘conviction’ politician in the line of powerful leaders like Margaret Thatcher, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Complementing his mass appeal was the crucial importance the Prime Minister attached to messaging and propaganda. Linked to this was also the skilful use of social media, and utilisation of Twitter and other forms for sending short pithy messages, including at times unveriied facts. Mr. Modi’s command and mastery over the political narrative clearly helped to outmanoeuvre the Opposition, which was unable to ofer any counter-intuitive narrative. He also communicated with the electorate more efectively, and could convince them — rightly or wrongly — that whatever he was doing was for their beneit. It helped sidestep contentious issues such as the exclusion of the entire

Muslim minority from the BJP’s electoral calculus. Notwithstanding the latest electoral success, it would be prudent to hoist certain danger signals. For one, identiication of the Prime Minister as the biggest votecatcher, leading to an image of being bigger than the party, could have a long-term adverse political fallout. A comparison could be made with the current fate of the Congress, which was led at one time by giants such as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, leaders with great ideas and a deep commitment to certain fundamental principles and beliefs. With the passage of time and over-centralisation of power, however, the Congress seems to have lost much of its past élan. The message is that no one can ignore the reality that as individuals gain wider salience over the organisation and its ideology, it often leads to a party’s decline. For another, the rise of the centre-right narrative on nationalism, secularism and social justice has the potential to damage India’s most precious legacy, one which has stood the test of time, viz. India’s commitment to certain fundamental principles, beliefs and precepts. It is this which had enabled India to not only negotiate its way through some of the most diicult periods in its history, but also to hold its own in the comity of nations. For a third, the habit of ‘contriving’ majorities can prove extremely shortsighted. Narrowing of the social base to achieve winning combinations can be highly deleterious in the medium and the longer, and perhaps even in the short, term. One should not also overlook the fact that the U.P. outcome was the result mainly of the ‘reinvention of electoral mobilisation’. It should not lead ‘believers’ to think that the nation is in sync with some of the more disruptive policies and

programmes that were highlighted during the course of these elections. Mastery over the narrative may have helped create ‘alternative ideologies’, but this can prove to be as dangerous as ‘alternative facts’. Exclusion of the Muslim minority from the BJP’s electoral calculus on this occasion may have helped the BJP, but the fallout can be serious. Closing the mind to other possibilities can only lead to a widening of the fault lines in society and in the nation, whatever be the temporary beneit. Ignoring the larger picture could have disastrous results.

Heed the lessons of history ‘Winners’ must also heed the lessons of history. Spectacular victories do not come without their share of concerns. Demonstration of leadership, with the Prime Minister scoring over rival leaders on this occasion, paved the way for victory in U.P. Yet, in the ultimate analysis, there is no one single template for leadership, nor any winning formula for all time. This time around, the Prime Minister and the BJP leadership succeeded in shaping the agenda around issues best suited to them, and could inveigle the electorate to back them. This may not always be possible. Conventional wisdom today is that the Prime Minister represents a new model of change-related aspirational India. Strong populist leaders may succeed for a time, but it may be a mistake to think that democracy would reject Establishment leaders over populist ones over the longer haul. Many a leader in the past has confronted this reality sooner rather than later. In the ultimate analysis, rooting for Prime Minister Modi at this time may be understandable, but rooting for him as the ‘Platonic ideal’ may be inadvisable. M.K. Narayanan is a former National Security Adviser and former Governor of West Bengal

The compulsive patent hoarding disorder The current model of commercialisation does not work for publicly funded research Feroz Ali & Shweta Mohandas


t takes money to make money. CSIR-Tech, the commercialisation arm of the Council of Scientiic and Industrial Research (CSIR), realised this the hard way when it had to shut down its operations for lack of funds. CSIR has iled more than 13,000 patents — 4,500 in India and 8,800 abroad — at a cost of ₹50 crore over the last three years. Across years, that’s a lot of taxpayers’ money, which in turn means that the closing of CSIR-Tech is a tacit admission that its work has been an expensive mistake — a mistake that we tax-paying citizens have paid for. Recently, CSIR’s Director-General Girish Sahni claimed that most of CSIR’s patents were “bio-data patents”, iled solely to enhance the value of a scientist’s resume and that the extensive expenditure of public funds spent in iling and maintaining patents was unviable. CSIR claims to have licensed a percentage of its patents, but has so far failed to show any revenue earned from the licences. This compulsive hoarding of patents has come at a huge cost. If CSIR-Tech was privately run, it would have been shut down long ago. Acquiring Intel-



n the face of competing claims from the two factions of the AIADMK, the Election Commission did the right thing in denying both the use of the party name and the election symbol. While a majority of its members of Parliament and the Tamil Nadu Assembly have stayed with the group headed by V.K. Sasikala, friend of former Chief Minister and former party general secretary Jayalalithaa, the EC deferred a inal decision on this issue, and passed an interim order freezing the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol for the purpose of the by-election in the R.K. Nagar constituency in Chennai. In a way, this is a signiicant victory for the faction led by E. Madhusudhanan and O. Panneerselvam, who have been maintaining that the Sasikala faction does not enjoy the support of party leaders and workers at diferent levels of the organisation. The decision, in efect, formalises the split in the party after the death of Jayalalithaa, and provides a level playing ield to both factions in the by-election. The order wrote itself: to favour one faction over the other without examining in detail the veracity of the rival claims of support within the organisation across the State would have been unfair. This way, both factions are equally disadvantaged. Strangely, the two parties have been allowed similar names: the Sasikala faction opted for AIADMK (Amma), and the other faction AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma). Ideally, to avoid confusion among voters, the names of the respective leaders should have been given to the factions. The by-election is critical for the future of both factions; in the event they both lose, the one that gets more votes is likely to be legitimised in the public eye as the true AIADMK. Both factions know that they will have to best the other before they can be ready to take on the bigger enemy, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. The Sasikala faction raised the stakes by ielding T.T.V. Dhinakaran, a nephew of Ms. Sasikala who was nominated the party’s deputy general secretary. This high-risk strategy can make or break the Sasikala family’s hold on the party. A victory for Mr. Dhinakaran would give him greater moral and political legitimacy within the party, and, maybe, prepare the ground for a shot at the chief ministership. It is no secret that Ms. Sasikala nominated him to lead the party in her absence so that her family could control both the party and the government led by Edappadi K. Palaniswami. A victory for Mr. Dhinakaran would be a setback not only to the Panneerselvam faction, but also to the authority of Mr. Palaniswami in the government. The opposition DMK, which made an unseemly bid to thwart the conidence vote moved by Mr. Palaniswami last month, is well-placed in this election despite having little to lose or gain from it. The focus will be on the AIADMK factions locked in a ight for survival.

M.K. Narayanan


Given the rival claims, the EC had no choice but to freeze the AIADMK’s ‘Two Leaves’


Power of a symbol

such as the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress to near irrelevance in U.P. politics. The vote share of the BJP alliance in U.P. almost equals that of the next two parties, the SP and BSP, combined, conirming the scale of victory in the State. In Uttarakhand, the BJP humbled the Congress by increasing its vote share by over 13% to 46.5%, compared to 2012. The Congress vote remained stagnant at around 33.5%. In Manipur, the BJP made substantial inroads into the Congress vote bank. In Goa, the BJP by and large maintained its 2012 vote share. All this was indicative of a growing groundswell of support for the BJP, relected again in sub-State elections, including signiicant advances in recent zilla parishad elections in Odisha and a strong showing in Mumbai local elections against the Shiv Sena. Mr. Modi refrained this time from resorting to his 2014 hightech campaign. The emphasis was on mega rallies, specially in U.P., with him acting as the lead campaigner. No Prime Minister had previously campaigned so hard or so extensively in any State elections.


Exclusion of the Muslim minority from its electoral calculus may have helped the BJP, but the fallout can be serious

lectual Property Rights (IPR) comes out of our blind adherence to the idea of patenting as an index of innovation. The private sector commercialises patents through the licensing of technology and the sale of patented products to recover the money spent in R&D. But when the funds for R&D come from public sources, mimicking the private sector may not be the best option.

Patents and moral hazard While it’s true that it costs lakhs of rupees to get a patent in India, government-funded research organisations are likely to spend more money on patents so long as they are not asked to bear the risk. Reck-

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PAN and Aadhaar The Finance Minister has taken an unwarranted and hasty decision to link the PAN card with the Aadhaar card when the issue is pending in the Supreme Court (“Jaitey strongly defends PAN-Aadhaar link”, March 23). The Aadhaar system is yet to stabilise and continues to have teething troubles. The data are not comprehensive and foolproof. If a person is able to get more than one PAN card or passport, it means that there are faults in the system which need to be rectiied. A PAN card does not contain the holder’s address and so this may result in issuing of many PAN cards. When the Aadhaar card was introduced, people thought it would serve all purposes. However, this does not seem to be the case. I.V. Prabhakara Rao,

It is clear that bitter inighting in the AIADMK

jectives that drive the private sector. The IPR policy of some publiclyfunded research institutions allows for 30-70% of the income generated through the commercialisation of the patent to be shared with the creators of the invention, i.e., scientists and professors on the payroll of the government. Such a policy could promote private aggrandisement and may work against public interest. In contrast, the IPR policy of private companies does not allow for a payback on the share of royalties earned by patents.

Possible solution The fate of CSIR-Tech is proof that the current model of commercialisation does not work with respect to publicly-funded research. So, how do we ensure that public-funded research reaches the masses and check the excessive iling of patents without due diligence? A possible solution to preserve the objective of publicly funded research is to devise an IPR policy wherein patents are initially ofered on an open royalty-free licence to startups. Once start-ups commercialise the inventions successfully, the royalty-free licence could be converted into a revenue-sharing model. It is predominantly taxpayers’

money that goes into public-funded research. When research is commercialised by private entities, it tends to be sold back to the public at a price. America is in the midst of such a conundrum, where talks are going on of granting French pharmaceutical company Sanoi exclusive licence for the drug against the Zika virus — a drug which has already cost the American exchequer $43 million in R&D. Granting Sanoi this would defeat the purpose of public funds expended on research as the company would charge the American public again for the life-saving drug. Putting granted patents on an open licence can be testimony to the commercial viability of the things we are patenting using public money. Not only would it bring a sense of accountability to the managers who run the system but it would also open up publicly-funded research to a whole lot of people, especially start-ups, who can now test, verify, work and put the patented technology into the market. Feroz Ali is the IPR Chair Professor at IIT-Madras and part of a Shuttleworth Foundation project on access to medicines. Shweta Mohandas is the Research Associate with the IPR Chair, IIT-M

Letters emailed to [email protected] must carry the full postal address and the full name or the name with initials.

has grievously hurt the prospects of both the factions (“‘Two leaves’ symbol frozen by EC for R.K. Nagar bypoll”, March 23). Neither the V.K. Sasikala faction nor the O. Panneerselvam faction can now face the electorate as the real AIADMK, the legacy of MGR and Jayalalithaa. When MGR split with the DMK and started his own party, he rode the wave to power thanks to his charisma and popularity. Jayalalithaa too was charismatic. Both T.T.V. Dinakaran and Mr. Panneerselvam lack the ability to attract votes like those leaders did, though Mr. Panneerselvam can claim that ‘Amma’ had always reposed faith in him. The Election Commission’s decision could work in favour of the DMK. C.V. Aravind, Chennai


‘Two Leaves’ for none

less iling of patents using public funds may be explained by the economic concept of moral hazard. According to economist Paul Krugman, it happens in “any situation in which one person makes the decision about how much risk to take, while someone else bears the cost if things go badly”. In the case of public-funded research, the reckless iling of patents without due diligence results from the moral hazard of the government bearing the risk of patents that don’t generate revenue. In the insurance sector, moral hazard refers to the loss-increasing behaviour of the insured who acts recklessly when the loss is covered by another. Insurance companies check moral hazard by introducing copayment from the insured. Dr. Sahni’s statement that CSIR laboratories need to bear 25% of expenses for their patents acknowledges the moral hazard. The National IPR Policy released last year does not ofer any guideline on distinguishing IPR generated using public funds from private ones — it views every IPR with private objectives by insisting on commercialisation. Dissemination of technology to the masses, participation in nation-building and creating public goods are rarely ob-

The EC’s prudent decision deserves praise. That the ruling AIADMK is in dire straits now is an

indisputable fact. The R.K. Nagar bypoll will now be an acid test for both the rival factions of the party to prove their strength. As things stands now, it looks like Mr. Panneerselvam’s faction may stand to gain. M. Jeyaram, Sholavandan, Madurai

In pursuit of happiness Not many can deine ‘happiness’ in the way that the writer has in his piece (“The many shades of happiness”, March 23). Today morning, I was listening to a song called ‘Ye kisne geet chheda’ by S.D. Burman and sung by Mukesh and Suman Kalyanpur. It gave me goosebumps. I replayed it many times because it struck a chord. Happiness resides in small moments like these. It is not permanent, but a momentary feeling. It’s only because happy moments end that people say ‘live every moment’. Ironically, while craving for more happiness, one forgets to

live in the present. Vyom Bharadvaj, Kansal, Mohali

Tribute to Anil Divan Many years ago, I had the opportunity to interact with Anil Divan, who was our company’s legal counsel on matters pertaining to taxation (“Remembering Anil Divan”, March 23). Meetings with him gave me lessons on not only law but also on the economics of the marketplace in which we operated. On several occasions I have been overawed by the towering intellect of the man. Above all, Divan was kind. He treated me with respect and evaluated my points of view carefully. I should add that I had no qualiication in law and my position was not high in the hierarchy of our organisation. T.E. Kannan, Chennai

Switching loyalties Strange are the ways of our politicians. Seeing S.M. Krishna switch over to the

Bharatiya Janata Party after being a veteran Congressman for decades, I wonder about our politicians’ commitment to the ideologies they profess to follow (“After months of suspense, Krishna inally joins BJP”, March 24). The ideology of the BJP is diametrically opposite to that of the Congress. That Mr. Krishna suddenly went to the party which is anathema to the Congress is hard to digest.

slaughterhouses and meat shops in Uttar Pradesh is not a good move (“3 meat shops vandalised in western U.P.”, March 23). What will the poor, who are dependent on this for their livelihood, do? Won’t it afect the economy? The Chief Minister should focus on bringing down the crime rate against women and minorities in the State instead of indulging in measures that could polarise the population.

V. Subramanian,



Sant Kabir Nagar, U.P.

Meat shops

more letters online:

Sealing several

corrections & clarifications: >>Oversight: A report on the Supreme Court’s order cancelling admissions to two medical colleges in Kerala (March 23, 2017) was carried in the front page as well as an inside page in some editions. >>A sentence in the story headlined “India slips in human development index” (March 22, 2017) — quoting the 2016 Human Development Report — said 1.5 million people worldwide still lived in multidimensional poverty. It should have been 1.5 billion people. It is the policy of The Hindu to correct signiicant errors as soon as possible. Please specify the edition (place of publication), date and page. The Readers’ Editor’s office can be contacted by Telephone: +91-44-28418297/28576300 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday); Fax: +91-44-28552963; E-mail:[email protected]; Mail: Readers’ Editor, The Hindu, Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860 Anna Salai, Chennai 600 002, India. All communication must carry the full postal address and telephone number. No personal visits. The Terms of Reference for the Readers’ Editor are on M MA-TIDG





FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017



Do we need a presidential system? The surrender to the authority of one individual, as in the presidential system, is dangerous for democracy Raju Ramachandran is a senior advocate at the Supreme Court of India

This debate is academic. A switchover to the presidential system is not posLEFT sible under our present constitutional scheme because of the ‘basic structure’ doctrine propounded by the Supreme Court in 1973 which has been accepted by the political class without reservation, except for an abortive attempt during the Emergency by Indira Gandhi’s government to have it overturned. The Constituent Assembly had made an informed

choice after considering both the British model and the American model and after Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had drawn up a balance sheet of their merits and demerits. To alter the informed choice made by the Constituent Assembly would violate the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution. I must clarify that I have been a critic of the ‘basic structure’ doctrine.

Abuse of power worries A presidential system centralises

Changing to a presidential system is the best way of ensuring a democracy that works

Shashi Tharoor is a Congress MP, author, and a former United Nations oicial

Our parliamentary system is a perversity only the British could devised: to vote RIGHT have for a legislature in order to form the executive. It has created a unique breed of legislator, largely unqualified to legislate, who has sought election only in order to wield executive power. There is no genuine separation of powers: the legislature cannot truly hold the executive accountable since the government wields the majority in the House. The parliamentary system does not permit the existence of a legislature distinct from the executive, applying its collective mind freely to the nation’s laws.

For 25 years till 2014, our system has also produced coalition governments which have been obliged to focus more on politics than on policy or performance. It has forced governments to concentrate less on governing than on staying in office, and obliged them to cater to the lowest common denominator of their coalitions, since withdrawal of support can bring governments down. The parliamentary system has distorted the voting preferences of an electorate that knows which individuals it wants but not necessarily which parties or policies. Voters who want to see, say, Narendra Modi as Prime Minister or Mamata Banerjee as Chief Minister, have to vote for an MP

Rather than change the system, why not reform thoroughly and cleanse the electoral processes?

Upendra Baxi is a legal scholar and the former vice-chancellor of Delhi University

I think the debate has a life cycle of its own. It has been brought up discussed CENTRE and whenever there has been a super-majority government. From Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi to the present, the presidential system has been debated extensively around two aspects: is it desirable, and second, is it feasible? To tackle the second aspect first, unless the Supreme Court changes its mind, any such amendment would violate the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution as was decided with, and since, the Kesavnanda

Bharti case. There is no way to get around this unless the Supreme Court now takes a wholly different view.

Different models On the desirability aspect, which presidential system are we talking about when we pit the American presidential system against the Westminster model? In the American system, the President appoints his officers; they have limited tenure and their offices are confirmed by the Senate (Upper House). Then, we have the Latin American model, where some Constitutions give

sequence of the presidential system, is likely to lead to a situation where the views of an individual can ride roughshod over the interests of different segments.

power in one individual unlike the parliamentary system, where the Prime Minister is the first among equals. The surrender to the authority of one individual, as in the presidential system, is dangerous for democracy. The overcentralisation of power in one individual is something we have to guard against. Those who argue in favour of a presidential system often state that the safeguards and checks are in place: that a powerful President can be stalled by a powerful legislature. But if the legislature is dominated by the same party to

which the President belongs, a charismatic President or a “strong President” may prevent any move from the legislature. On the other hand, if the legislature is dominated by a party opposed to the President’s party and decides to checkmate him, it could lead to a stalemate in governance because both the President and the legislature would have democratic legitimacy. A diverse country like India cannot function without consensusbuilding. This “winner takes it all” approach, which is a necessary con-

they may not care for, merely because he belongs to Mr. Modi’s or Ms. Banerjee’s party.

is not the result of a particular type of governmental system.

Failures in the system India’s many challenges require political arrangements that permit decisive action, whereas ours increasingly promote drift and indecision. We must have a system of government whose leaders can focus on governance rather than on staying in power. A system of directly elected chief executives at all levels – panchayat chiefs, town mayors, Chief Ministers (or Governors) and a national President – elected for a fixed term of office, invulnerable to the whims of the legislature, and with clearly defined authority in their respective domains – would permit India to deal more efficiently with its crit-

ical economic and social challenges. Cabinet posts would not be limited to those who are electable rather than those who are able. At the end of a fixed period of time — say the same five years we currently accord to our Lok Sabha — the public would be able to judge the individual on performance in improving the lives of Indians, rather than on political skill at keeping a government in office. The fear that an elected President could become a Caesar is illfounded since the President’s power would be balanced by directly elected chief executives in the States. In any case, the Emergency demonstrated that even a parliamentary system can be distorted to permit autocratic rule. Dictatorship

Presidents a term often amounting to a life tenure like in Cuba. There are plenty of models to choose from and there are arguments against each. So, which system is being argued for when the votaries of change seek a shift to the presidential system? Our Rajya Sabha cannot be compared to the U.S. Senate where each state has its own Constitution and has the power to change it. The relationship between the states and the federal government is extraordinary; as is the status of their courts and the manner of appointment of judges. I do not think people have thought about it. Merely stating that a change to the

presidential system is needed does not mean much. The Indian debate currently is not focussed on the kind of presidential system envisaged. What is the term we are seeking for the President? Should he/she be re-elected? If so, for how many terms? Then, who decides the change? Parliament? All this requires a massive amendment to the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has spelt its view on the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution. Giving an opinion is one thing. A judgment is a more carefully considered conclusion. Those who support the presidential system

should do their homework when they argue against the parliamentary system. There is also the matter of separation of powers. In the U.S., the President, who is also the Supreme Commander, has the power to veto the Congress. Does India need this? The manner of removing the U.S. President through impeachment is a very complex process. There is also the possibility of aggregating more powers to the President. One could argue that the parliamentary system too runs a similar risk. I do not think it has been thought over. It is not on the table yet.

What about the States? The other argument, that it is easier to bring talent to governance in a presidential system, is specious. You can get ‘outside’ talent in a parliamentary system too. Right from C.D. Deshmukh to T.A. Pai to Manmohan Singh to M.G.K. Menon to Raja Ramanna, talent has been coming into the parliamentary system with the added safeguard of democratic accountability, because the

Direct accountability Indeed, the President would have to work with Parliament to get his budget through or to pass specific Bills. India’s fragmented polity, with dozens of political parties in the fray, makes a U.S.-style twoparty gridlock in Parliament impossible. An Indian presidency, instead of facing a monolithic opposition, would have the opportunity to build issue-based coalitions on different issues, mobilising different temporary alliances of different smaller parties from one policy to the next – the opposite of the dictatorial steamroller some fear a presidential system could produce. Any politician with aspirations to rule India as President will have to win the support of people beyond

Reform the process On the other hand, there are ideas

‘outsiders’ have to get elected after assuming office. On the other hand, bringing ‘outside’ talent in a presidential system without people being democratically elected would deter people from giving independent advice to the chief executive because they owe their appointment to him/her. Those who speak in favour of a presidential system have only the Centre in mind. They have not thought of the logical consequence, which is that we will have to move simultaneously to a “gubernatorial” form in the States. A switch at the Centre will also require a change in the States. Are we ready for that?

his or her home turf; he or she will have to reach out to different groups, interests, and minorities. And since the directly elected President will not have coalition partners to blame for his or her inaction, a presidential term will have to be justified in terms of results, and accountability will be direct and personal. Democracy, as I have long argued, is vital for India’s survival: we are right to be proud of it. But few Indians are proud of the kind of politics our democracy has inflicted upon us. With the needs and challenges of one-sixth of humanity before our leaders, we must have a democracy that delivers progress to our people. Changing to a presidential system is the best way of ensuring a democracy that works. It is time for a change.

going around about reforming the electoral processes to make democracy more robust. From limiting expenditure of political parties and deciding the ceiling on the expenditure, to holding simultaneous elections, declaring the results for a combination of booths instead of constituencies — I think it is advisable to debate this and ensure that the gaping loopholes in the electoral processes are speedily plugged. The present parliamentary system has been tried and tested for nearly 70 years. Rather than change the system, why not reform thoroughly and cleanse the electoral processes? As told to Anuradha Raman







Morarji: purpose of devaluation not achieved

Far from making a laughing stock out of governance, Navjot Singh Sidhu has opened up new imaginings

The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Morarji Desai, admitted in the Lok Sabha to-day [March 23, New Delhi] that devaluation had not done the good “it was supposed to do”. Mr. Desai, who faced a volley of questions on the effects of devaluation on the country’s economy, categorically ruled out any possibility of a further devaluation. “As long as it lies in my power, there will be no further devaluation,” he said. Mr. Desai made it clear there was no proposal for devaluation before the Government. Asked if the Government would consider revaluation of the rupee, Mr. Desai said it could be done only by strengthening the economy of the country. “We are considering what is to be done about this and we shall do that”.




For someone who sputtered onto the national stage as a “strokeless wonder” debuting for India against a West Indies in its prime in 1983, Navjot Singh Sidhu has certainly metamorphosed into a strokemaker par excellence in the worlds he has inhabited over a storied career — cricket, where he emerged as India’s inest Test opener in the intervening period between Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag; as a cricket commentator and entertainment personality whose wisecracks and turns of phrase even prompted the coining of the term ‘Sidhuisms’; and politics, transitioning from a trophy acquisition for the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2004 to incumbent Minister in Punjab. Yet Mr. Sidhu has always worn his weighty political resume lightly. The three-time parliamentarian thought nothing of conining himself to the Bigg Boss house in 2012, or playing second iddle in comedian Kapil Sharma’s eponymous television shows. It shouldn’t surprise, then, that days into assuming oice as Minister of Local Government, Tourism, Cultural Afairs, Archives and Museums, Mr. Sidhu has insisted that he’d continue appearing alongside Sharma.


The quirks of power The Advocate General of Punjab’s opinion will eventually determine if the minister can indeed take the evening light out of Chandigarh to Mumbai every Saturday. But whether his laughter escapades constitute a breach of ‘oice of proit’ or not, Mr. Sidhu’s “what I do after 6 p.m. is nobody’s business” outburst throws up essential questions for our public sphere. It punctures the hubris around politics being a 24x7x365 vocation, something that has forced its practitioners to wrap a veil of secrecy around their downtime. At any rate, what’s ‘fulltime ministership’ when the politician in power constantly alternates between governance agent and partyman caught in a permanent campaign? Mr. Sidhu has also pitched the gig as an economic imperative, claiming his only earnings now were from this show. Given how ‘full-timers’ have made politics an avenue for personal aggrandisement and turned public oice into a byword for rentseeking, lassoing him with the ‘oice of proit’ clause is just the kind of rule-book hypocrisy we could do without. Our politics needs space for entirely new imaginings, for mavericks who see it not from the lofty heights of public service but as a job to be done and be held to account at the hustings. Critics, however, argue that Mr. Sidhu’s insistence is mere posturing for weightier portfolios. Having overplayed his hand with the Aam Aadmi Party after exiting the BJP last year, he has had to settle for much less. In trademark Congress style, even the question of who is the number two in the Cabinet has been suitably obfuscated with Mr. Sidhu being sworn in after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Health Minister Brahm Mohindra. If this is indeed a bargaining chip from Sherry, here’s a Sidhuism for solace: “Boss, make hay while things are going haywire.” CM YK






Domino theory/ Political Science

For a formula for Ayodhya

This theory gained currency during the height of the Cold War to argue for and justify American interventionism across the globe, especially in Southeast Asia, and Central America in the 1980s. It held that the communist advance has to be resisted, because the fall of one nation to communism creates congenial conditions for a similar replication in the neighbourhood. The verdict on the theory’s robustness is mixed, with critics pointing to Thailand, Indonesia, and other large Southeast Asian countries not succumbing to communist takeovers as a case in point, and others arguing that it was American involvement that stemmed a wider spread.

The SC has advised out-of-court settlements before




The Hindu explains: ‘free’ election symbols

Krishnadas Rajagopal

The Ram JanmabhoomiBabri Masjid title dispute took a new turn in the Supreme Court with the Chief Justice of India, J.S. Khehar, advising the rival parties to have an out-ofcourt settlement. This is not the first time the court has given this advice in the dispute. In 1994, a Constitution Bench of the court in Dr. M. Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India had said the Ayodhya dispute cannot, in national interest, afford a loser. The Bench was hearing the constitutional validity of the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993 and the maintainability of the Special Reference made by the President. The court based its views on facts stated in the White Paper on Ayodhya of February 1993, issued by the Centre. The majority view of the Bench by Justice J.S. Verma for himself, then

Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah, and Justice G.N. Ray quoted Jonathan Swift’s “we have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another” to convey the nation’s predicament. They advocated out-ofcourt negotiations while terming the demolition of the 16th century structure a “communal holocaust”. “This is a matter suited essentially to resolution by negotiations which does not end in a winner and a loser while adjudication leads to that end. It is in the national interest that there is no loser at the end of the process adopted for resolution of the dispute so that the final outcome does not leave behind any rancour in anyone. This can be achieved by a negotiated solution on the basis of which a decree can be obtained in terms of such solution in these suits. Unless a solution is found which leaves everyone happy, that cannot be the

beginning for continued harmony between ‘we the people of India’,” Justice Verma observed in the majority verdict. In their dissenting view, Justices S. Bharucha and A.M. Ahmadi on the Bench said the court should reject the Reference outright. A judicial opinion can be used as a springboard for favouring one community over the other. “Ayodhya is a storm that will pass. The dignity and honour of the Supreme Court cannot be compromised because of it,” Justice Bharucha wrote. In September 2010, a Bench of Justices R.V. Raveendran and H.L. Gokhale held divergent opinions on whether the Allahabad High Court should pronounce its judgment on the Ayodhya title dispute. Justice Gokhale suggested further negotiations, saying a judgment may trigger passions and destroy communal harmony, but Justice Raveendran was sceptical.

A member of the staff writes: The Hospital Ship “Madras” left Bombay on the 27th February at 11 A.M. As passengers to Basra, the following were taken on board at Bombay:- 105 Stretcher Bearers, 5 British Hospital Orderlies, one Nursing Sister and One Red Cross Depot Clerk. A quite uneventful passage was made to Basra which was reached on the 5th March about noon. Here we found everyone in a state of great jubilation over our overwhelmingly decisive victory at Shamran and the air was full of rumours, which were later to be confirmed, that our troops had entered Baghdad. A cinema show was given in the evening and we had a very gratifying attendance from the shore.








FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017



Shiv Sena MP hits AI staf with footwear Mr Gaikwad, a Shiv Sena Member of Parliament from Maharashtra's Osmanabad constituency, was travelling from Pune to Delhi by AI 852. In a statement, Air India said the flight landed at Delhi airport at 9.35 a.m. from Pune and was then supposed to be operated to Goa at 10.55 a.m. “After arrival of the flight, all passengers disembarked except the MP. The MP was holding an open business class ticket and wanted to travel on this flight,” the statement said. The airline said the MP’s PA had been in touch with its Pune Airport manager from Wednesday regarding the MP’s travel to Delhi. “The airport manager told the PA this is an all economy flight operated regularly. Since the MP wanted to travel on this flight he was allotted the seat in the first row itself since there is no business class on this flight,” the statement said. Air India said after the MP refused to leave the aircraft for almost an hour, the airline's shift manager requested Mr. Gaikwad to deplane since 115 passengers were waiting to board the flight to Goa. “While the staff was requesting, the MP became abusive and started hitting AI employee with slippers. Mr. Gaikwad also tried to throw him out from the aircraft and was stopped by other AI staff,” the statement said. The 60-year-old employee, R. Sukumar is a duty manager with Air India.

MP admits hitting While talking to TV channels, Mr. Gaikwad admitted that he did hit the Air India employee and said it is the airline that should apologise to him instead because its staff had first misbehaved with him. “Yes, I beat him with my sandal 25 times. Should I tolerate abuses just because I'm an MP?” Mr Gaikwad told TV channels. “I can try to make someone understand something 10 times but if they don't, then I will beat them. It is the airline that is at mistake and they should apologise to me,” he said. In the complaint given to

File written submissions before April 6, court tells parties NEW DELHI

Ravindra Gaikwad

the police, Mr. Sukumar explained the turns of events that took place on the flight. He alleged that the Shiv Sena MP had refused to deboard the aircraft after repeated requests.

Demands meeting According to the complaint, Mr. Gaikwad wanted to meet the top management, to which Mr. Sukumar, Duty Manager and in-charge of the flight, told him that it was not possible and explaied that he and his team would have to dispatch the flight to Goa on time for which 115 passengers were waiting. Mr. Sukumar alleged that upon hearing this, Mr Gaikwad abused him and forced him to speak in Hindi. “He used foul language and bad words against me and abused me with all bad words against me and he started beating me and took out his slippers and started hitting me,” wrote Mr. Sukumar. He also wrote that in the process, Mr Gaikwad broke his spectacles and “tore away the button” of his cardigan. “I can only say God save our country if this is the culture and behaviour of our MPs,” he added. Medical examination Mr. Sukumar was sent for medical examination after the results of which the police decided against lodging an FIR based on the complaint at the moment. “We have got the medical report. There is no cognizable offence made as per the report. We are seeking legal opinion and according to that, action will be taken,” DCP (Airport) Sanjay Bhatia told The Hindu.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Ms. Swaraj had to intervene in July 2016 to help nearly 800 Indian workers who had been starving because of lack of money and resources in Saudi Arabia. The GCC countries account for the largest number of overseas Indian workers and remain a steady source of foreign remittances to the Indian economy.

Meat traders shut shop across western U.P. “The government talks about ‘sabka saath sabka vikas‘. But the manner in which the Yogi Adityanath government is going about shutting down every establishment which deals with meat clearly shows the prejudice. How can you seal a slaughter house which has all the required NOCs and papers like mine? If this meat establishment was functioning illegally and flouting rules then why did you not question the NOC that my factory has got from seven departments,” said Mr. Akhlaq, owner of AlYasir Exports Private Limited, located on the MeerutHapur road.

To meet DM Highlighting that meat would not be available in the market as the State government has virtually declared every slaughter house to be “illegal”, Mr. Akhlaq said, “We will meet the District Magistrate (DM) and the Commissioner and ask them to provide liveliCM YK

No credible alternative to the Gandhis, feel partymen Smita Gupta

among others, to file written submissions before the next hearing on April 6. “You all file your written submissions, so we can focus on the issues in the matter,” Mr. Nariman said.

Legal Correspondent

500 Indians in crisis in Bahrain The news from Bahrain came even as the Telangana government urged Ms. Swaraj to free 29 Indian workers employed in a company in Saudi Arabia. Ms. Swaraj had instructed the Indian Embassy in Riyadh to look into the case. The cases from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are the latest in a series of incidents involving a large number of Indian workers from the

SC defers Babri case Clamour for Rahul for detailed hearing takeover set to mount

hood to thousands of people. Then what kind of rule of law is this which looks more like an emergency?”

Meat export He said that the “prejudiced way in which BJP government was shutting down all meat establishments, it would not only affect a bulk of India’s meat export but it will also render several lakh people, who are associated with the meat trade directly or indirectly, unemployed. What kind of vikas (development) is this as this is going to cost the leather industry, which is one of the biggest exporting industries in India, very badly”. Meanwhile the BJP Mayor of Meerut Harikant Ahluwalia doesn't want meat to be sold in open market even legally. He and other BJP leaders on Thursday approached the DM against selling of meat in the open market, especially in places which also have temples in its vicinity.

A Supreme Court Bench of Justices P.C. Ghose and Rohinton Nariman on Thursday posted the CBI appeal against dropping criminal conspiracy charge against top BJP leaders, including veteran L.K. Advani, for detailed hearing after two weeks. The Bench reassembled on Thursday with Justice Nariman returning as puisne judge, but Mr. Advani’s counsel, senior advocate K.K. Venugopal, told the Bench that he was on his legs in another part-heard dispute between two factions of a Kerala church. “We will adjourn it

L.K. Advani

then...” Mr. Ghose said. Mr. Nariman asked the lawyers present, Additional Solicitor General N.K. Kaul for the CBI and senior advocate Kapil Sibal for another party,

Conspiracy charge Mr. Nariman, who made cutting remarks at the March 6 hearing that the conspiracy charge against the leaders should be revived, was absent at the hearing on Wednesday. Mr. Ghose was sitting with Justice Deepak Gupta, while Mr. Nariman was heading another Bench. Mr. Ghose had adjourned the hearing by 24 hours for Mr. Nariman to return to the Bench.


Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu can heave a sigh of relief. The State Advocate-General Atul Nanda said on Thursday that he found no conflict of interest between Mr. Sidhu’s office as Cabinet Minister and his work on television shows.

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has received the Advocate-General’s report. “There is no hindrance now to Mr. Sidhu’s continuation on TV shows, nor is there any need to change his Culture portfolio,” said Raveen Thukral, Media Adviser to the Chief Minister. “There was, in the

opinion of the AdvocateGeneral, no violation of the Constitution of India, the Representation of the People Act, 1951 or code of conduct in this case.” The Chief Minister had asked the A-G to give his legal opinion on Mr. Sidhu appearing as a celebrity guest on a comedy show.

New Delhi

The clamour in the Congress for vice-president Rahul Gandhi to take over as president of the party will increase as soon as he returns from abroad with ailing mother Sonia Gandhi, a party functionary told The Hindu. He said senior leaders would impress on Mr. Gandhi that time is running out for him and the party, and that he needs to take charge immediately, and form his team — and formulate his strategy — for 2019. Party sources said that Mr. Gandhi was likely to return late on Thursday night. Though Congress members, reeling between anger and despair ever since the results of the Assembly elections came in on March 11, seem to be running out of patience, they are still united in their understanding that Mr. Gandhi should continue to be their leader, as Ms. Gandhi is now too frail to play an active role. Conversations with a cross section reveal that party members feel there is still no credible alternative in the party to the Gandhis who, they say, act as the glue

Work hard, U.P. BJP MPs told But they should not interfere in functioning of State government, says Modi

Waiting for a new dawn: Outside the AICC headquarters in New Delhi. FILE PHOTO *

that is holding the party together.

Growing pressure Given this understanding, there is growing pressure for a clean sweep of all the current functionaries who have been at the helm for the last two decades and more. They point particularly to the manner in which the BJP upstaged the Congress in Manipur and Goa, even though the party had emerged as the single largest in both States. Meanwhile, the debate in the party over the need to form a coalition of opposition parties to take on the BJP ahead of the 2019 fed-

eral elections is also gaining momentum. While some are opposed to it, pointing to the disastrous results in Uttar Pradesh, many others — from Mani Shankar Aiyar to C.P. Joshi — are pushing for it. There is a third group of old-timers — who currently do not hold any posts — who say it will be acceptable only if the Congress has a central role in any coalition that is formed. When Mr. Gandhi returns, he will have his plate full: but if he does not embark on the task of restructuring the party — as he had promised in the immediate aftermath of the poll results — it will be another opportunity lost.

Pak. told to maintain diplomatic decorum India faults envoy’s remarks

Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday briefed BJP members of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh, days after the Yogi Adityanath government was sworn in after the party won absolute majority in the State in the recent elections. Mr. Modi told the members to work hard in their constituencies and regions to ensure that development work progressed there and the schemes of the Centre were communicated to the people.

Assessing situation: U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath makes a surprise visit to the Hazratganj police station, in Lucknow, on Thursday. RAJEEV BHATT

Sounds caution The meeting comes after Mr. Modi pulled up BJP MPs for skipping Parliament, saying he could not attend the House for them. Sources say the Thursday

meeting saw the Prime Minister sounding a note of caution for the MPs. Now, with the BJP itself in power in Uttar Pradesh, MPs from the State should not interfere in the functioning of

Special Correspondent NEW DELHI


Over 100 policemen suspended in U.P. Adityanath govt. cracks the whip

the State government, Mr. Modi is said to have stated. Mr. Modi’s words are being seen as an attempt to make the party pick up efficiently from here in the State.

Uttar Pradesh being India’s most populous State, it is very crucial for Mr. Modi’s 2019 campaign, for which the recent elections have provided him the perfect launchpad.

India on Thursday advised Pakistan to control terrorism emanating from its territory and maintain diplomatic decorum. The official comment came on Thursday after the High Commissioner of Pakistan Abdul Basit raised the issue of Kashmir during his speech that he delivered to mark Pakistan Day that was observed on Thursday. “We have seen media reports about Pakistan High Commissioner’s remarks today regarding the State of Jammu and Kashmir. They are not in keeping with diplomatic niceties and are tantamount to interference in our internal affairs,” said official spokesperson of the


Seeking to send a strong message that laxity in enforcing law and order will not be tolerated, the Uttar Pradesh police have suspended over 100 policemen since the Yogi Adityanath government assumed office. Most of these suspensions were in Ghaziabad, Meerut and Noida. In Lucknow, seven inspectors have been suspended. The crackdown followed directives issued

by DGP Javeed Ahmed a few days ago to identify the “black sheep” among the policemen. U.P. Police PRO Rahul Srivastava said, “More than 100 policemen, mostly constables, have been suspended as per the directives of the DGP to identify the black sheep and take exemplary action against them.” The order was issued to all the superintendents of police after Mr. Adityanath assumed office.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Gopal Baglay. He further added, “Pakistan would be well-advised to effectively address the challenge of terrorism emanating from that country, which has adversely affected peace and stability in the entire neighbourhood as well as Pakistan’s relations with other countries.”

U.P. Minister sweeps oice Action comes a day after CM Adityanath emphasised on cleanliness Press Trust of India Lucknow

Press Trust of India

Abdul Basit

A day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath emphasised on cleanliness, his Cabinet colleague Upendra Tiwari on Thursday picked up a broom to clean his office in the Legislature here, pictures of which went viral on the social media. Armed with a broom and a mop, the Minister swept the floor of his office and the corridor leading to it in the Vidhan Bhawan here, which houses the Legislature.

Leading the way: Upendra Tiwari sweeping the loor of his oice at the State secretariat in Lucknow on Thursday. PTI *

Pictures and video of Mr. Tiwari, who is the Minister of State (Independent charge) for Environment, Water Sup-

ply, Land Development and Water Resources and Forest, sweeping the office, cleaning the corridor went viral on

the social media with the staff and officials there looking on. A stickler for cleanliness, Mr. Adityanath had administered a sanitation pledge to officials a day after he took over as Chief Minister and asked them to ensure that the pledge is effectively implemented on the lines of Swachh Bharat Mission of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The CM on Wednesday banned the use of pan and tobacco products in schools, colleges, hospitals and other government buildings.

No takers for Tunday’s kebabs without beef Famous food joints of Lucknow have been hit hard by the crackdown on slaughterhouses Omar Rashid LUCKNOW

For more than a century, Tunday Kababi, Lucknow’s iconic kebab shop, has satisfied connoisseurs with its delicious galawati kebabs made from buffalo meat. On any given day, the restaurant in the heart of old Lucknow’s Chowk locality bustles with customers, who do not mind waiting in long queues for a bite of their favourite kebabs. But all that had changed on Thursday with only a couple of tables occupied and most waiters sitting idle. There was an unusual calm at the place, a far cry from its daily business. “Aap khud hi dekh sakte

Business woes: Sales have dipped as favourite items have gone missing from the menu of Lucknow’s iconic kebab shops. RAJEEV BHATT *

hai, kaisa sannata hai. Aaram se baithe hai hum, aam dino mein baithne ki fursat nahi hoti. (You can see for yourself how deserted the place is. Under normal conditions, we would

not have a moment to rest),” says Tunday’s caretaker Mohammad Farooq. The iconic restaurant has been hit hard by a shortage of buffalo meat following the State government’s

crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses. As buffalo meat is no longer available, Tunday Kababi’s Chowk outlet was forced to shut down on Wednesday. It reopened on Thursday but with the USP of its menu missing. For the first time since its inception, the restaurant served mutton and chicken kebabs, instead of its mainstay, beef. Stickers pasted on the walls of the outlet informed customers of the change. “This is for the first time in my 62 years of life that this joint is selling chicken kebabs. We have always sold beef. The customers come here especially for bade ka kabab (beef kebabs) and do

not care much about other meat,” says Mr. Farooq.

Customers unhappy As their favourite items go missing from the menu, the flow of customers has also dipped. Mohammad Tauqeer, a retired government official, arrived at the outlet to purchase his favourite beef kebabs and paranthe but was disappointed. Would he try the chicken or mutton kebabs? “I am not interested [in mutton and chicken]. I just don’t get the same taste,” Mr. Tauqeer said, as he walked off empty-handed. Abbas (29), arrived to encounter the same dilemma. He, was, however, ready to

give the new items a try. “I am a foodie. It is difficult to replace the taste [of beef kebabs]. It is not the same,” he said. In its election manifesto, the BJP promised to shut down all mechanised abattoirs and illegal slaughterhouses in U.P. Within a couple of days after coming to power, the Adityanath government swung into action, sealing slaughterhouses allegedly running without licence. “We welcome the move to shut illegal slaughterhouses. We request the government to ensure that those slaughterhouses with licence be allowed to run,” said Mr. Farooq. M MA-MA





FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017



Sushma backs Tamil cause Says Sri Lankan ‘war crimes’ have caused pain and anguish for India Kallol Bhattacherjee NEW DELHI

Engage all stakeholders, says Farooq Abdullah SRINAGAR

NC leader Farooq Abdullah said here on Thursday that the Centre could not resolve the Kashmir issue unilaterally and all stakeholders, including separatists, should be engaged. “I want to remind Home Minister Rajnath Singh that the issues in Kashmir cannot be resolved unilaterally. PTI

Three more Ministers inducted in Manipur IMPHAL

Three more Ministers were inducted into the BJP-led Biren Singh Cabinet in Manipur on Thursday. Governor Najma Heptullah administered the oath of office and secrecy to Nemcha Haokip, T. Radheshyam and V. Hankhalian from Kangpokpi, Thoubal and Churachandpur, respectively.

4,000 farmers declared loan defaulters in H.P. SHIMLA

Government banks in the hill State have declared 4,000 farmers as defaulters for not repaying their loans. The announcement has come closely after the State move to reclaim hundreds of hectares of farmlands.

The Government of India felt anguish and pain over the Sri Lankan military’s alleged war crimes against unarmed Tamils in the 2009 war, said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in an unusually strong observation on the nation’s human rights record. Ms. Swaraj said India was committed to the protection of the rights of the Tamils in the Island nation, even as the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) appeared set to take up a crucial resolution on the issue on Friday. “The anguish with which the members have raised the issue [of crimes committed during the war of 2009], the government associates itself with the same pain,” Ms Swaraj said. “Our aim is to protect the interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka. You can achieve this through two means: by either doing it forcefully or through persuasion with the friendly country,” she said answering a question from D. Raja of the Communist Party of India (CPI).

HRC session The Minister’s comments came in the backdrop of the 34th Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC), where the report of the Of-

Firm stand: Sushma Swaraj says India is committed to the protection of the rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka. PTI *

fice of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) on Sri Lanka was presented. The report assessed the progress made in the implementation of UNHRC resolution 30/1, on human rights and reconciliation between October 2015 and January 2017, and suggested that more efforts were needed for the improvement of the human rights situation of Sri Lanka. The HRC’s session is coming to an end on Friday and, despite criticism of Colombo’s human rights record,

the resolution is expected to get another extension.

Raja’s poser Ms. Swaraj said India’s role in the HRC had been guided by the belief that human rights concerns of the Sri Lankan Tamils could be addressed in a “constructive and inclusive” manner. However, Mr. Raja sought clarification on how long India could wait for Colombo to act on human rights concerns. “The war in Sri Lanka was over in 2009, but the government of Sri Lanka has not

done anything to punish those accused of war crimes against unarmed Tamils. There have been similar violence in other parts of the world, but reconciliation and accountability have been practised following the war. But in the case of Sri Lanka, the government has shown total disrespect to international concerns,” said Mr. Raja. He urged the government to work with Sri Lanka for greater human rights accountability. Ms. Swaraj, however, said India had adopted a consensus-based approach on Sri Lanka and would ensure that the pluralistic identity of the country was preserved. “As Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour, India cannot remain untouched by the developments in that country. We hope that with the sagacity and political will of its leadership and the support of its people, Sri Lanka will achieve genuine reconciliation and development,”, she said. But Mr. Raja said India should not appear like a party which was also helping Sri Lanka in skirting accountability in human rights violations. “India helped Sri Lanka fight the Tamil Tigers. Is there a guilt conscience that India is trying to hide by not exposing Sri Lanka’s inaction,” he asked.

Muivah says deal with Centre helps Nagas ‘It ensures integration of their land’

Mamata makes choice clear Special Correspondent Kolkata

Special Correspondent Kolkata

The framework agreement, signed between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak Muivah) in August 2015, will give Nagas “maximum sovereign power”, NSCN (IM) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah said, even as he pointed out that the agreement talks about “co-existence” and shared sovereignty of “two entities.” “The ‘Framework Agreement’ will give the Nagas maximum sovereign power to grow into a developed political people and it will also strengthen the security of India,” Mr Muivah told a council meeting of the NSCN (IM) at its headquarters in Hebron near Dimapur in Nagaland on Wednesday.

Unique identity Reflecting on the terms of the agreement, which have been kept under wraps, Mr. Muivah, who was re-elected as general secretary for six years at the council meeting, said, “The historic ‘Framework Agreement’ recognises the unique history, the identity, the sovereignty, [and] the territories of the Nagas.” He pointed out that the

Thuingaleng Muivah agreement “also recognises the legitimate right of the Nagas to integration of all Naga territories”. But, in the same breath, he also said the agreement talks about ‘co-existence of the two entities and sharesovereignty of the two entities’.

Particulars revealed This is the first time since the agreement was signed that the NSCN (IM) has spoken about the crux of the agreement. Expressing the hope that talks with the Government of India will conclude soon, Mr. Muivah said the NSCN (IM) is now fully “engaged in political talks with the Government of India for working out an honourable political solution”.

With only months to go before the Presidential election, Trinamool Congress chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that she would be happy to see L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj or Pranab Mukherjee, persons she shared a cordial relation with, occupy the post. “I will be happy if any of them gets to become the next President,” she said in an interview to a Bengali television channel on Thursday. To a separate question, she said she shared a good relationship with Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh too. Asked if she would support any of the leaders, Ms. Banerjee chose to be diplomatic. “It will depend on what is good for the country,” she said. The Trinamool has a formidable presence in both Houses of Parliament and the State Assembly and can therefore play a significant role. Ms. Banerjee’s comment has come at a time when the relationship between the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre and TMC in the State is at its nadir.

U.S. lawmakers urge India to lift curbs on NGO

Missing Indian found in Serbia

No cause for worry over H-1B visa

Call for lifting sanctions on Compassion International

Press Trust of India

Special Correspondent



An Indian who went missing in Serbia has been found, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Thursday, holding the agent who sent him there responsible for the hardship caused and recommending “exemplary punishment” for the guilty person. “Vinay Mahajan has been found and is in safe custody of Serbian authorities. “Mr. Luther — This is because of the agent who sent him there. This agent deserves exemplary punishment. @ProtectorGenGOI (sic),” she said in a series of tweets.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said the U.S. Congress had not passed any Bills that could put curbs on issuing H-1B visas for Indian IT professionals. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Ms. Swaraj said that there was no “hanging sword” over Indian com-

Varghese K George Washington:

A group of 107 members of U.S. Congress have written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to temporarily lift the restrictions on the American Christian charity, Compassion International (CI), until a permanent solution can be found. The Union government has ordered banks in India to stop processing wire transfers from CI to its Indian partners, bringing the charity’s operations to halt. CI supports 1,45,000 children in India with donations raised in the U.S. The U.S lawmakers said they were “long time supporters of U.S. –India partnership” but the Indian government’s treatment of CI has “caused serious concern within the U.S. Congress.”

Deep concern “It is with this in mind that we write to express our deep concern over the lack of transparency and consistency in your government’s enforcement of the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act,” the members wrote. The Indian government

Rajnath Singh

has put CI on a Priority Watch list, accusing the charity of carrying out religious conversion in the country. However, no case has been filed against the organisation. American lawmakers, most of them staunch supporters of India, have raised the issue with the Prime Minister’s Office earlier, but the Indian government has not budged. The letter to the Home Minister has been organised by the Republican Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce and Democrat Ranking Member Eliot Engel. “As long time supporters of the U.S.-India partner-

ship, we have worked diligently to deepen ties between our two countries. As the largest and oldest democracies in the world, India and the United States share bonds rooted in political pluralism and respect for the rule of law. It is with this in mind that we write to express our deep concern over the lack of transparency and consistency in your government’s enforcement of the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act. “The ongoing case of U.S.based Compassion International, which will have harmful consequences for many Indian children, has caused serious concern within the U.S. Congress. As you may know, Compassion International has worked in India since 1968, and today, its programs support over 1,45,000 Indian children, providing critical tutoring, health and nutrition, and medical services,” they said in the letter to Mr. Singh. The U.S lawmakers said: “We want to be clear with you that we expect all U.S. entities operating within India to respect India’s laws, including Compassion.

‘Help speed up resolution of commercial disputes’

Special Correspondent

Centre seeks SC’s assistance for efective delivery of justice

The Defence Ministry will look into the possibility of having a separate fast-track procurement process in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), said Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Thursday. “The suggestion from the Signal Officer-in-Chief [SO-in-C] to create a separate category of fast track procurement for ICT equipment which are very severely and rapidly effected by technological obsolescence is a very good suggestion … I will follow it up with the staff in the ministry,” he said speaking at the Defcom India 2017 conference jointly organised by the Army’s Corps of Signals and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said that in addition to keeping pace with the fast changing technology, the same technology should be made flexible to be used in both conventional and sub-conventional conflicts. CM YK

Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

The Central government has urged the Supreme Court to provide the necessary leadership for expeditious and effective resolution of commercial disputes in Delhi and Mumbai lower courts, through e-filing and e-service of summons and adherence to time lines. In a letter to Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said there were certain issues that could be addressed by the judiciary through its initiatives in the larger interest of efficient and effective delivery of justice. He said the Supreme Court could provide the necessary leadership for the proper implementation of the existing provisions of the Civil Procedure Code relating to the grant of adjournments, adherence to time lines and electronic filing and electronic service of summons in city courts of Delhi (11) and Mumbai (60) immediately.

Ravishankar Prasad

“Doing so will go a long way in providing timely and effective enforcement of contracts and this will undoubtedly ensure a marked improvement in our ranking. I would request you to kindly take steps to share this information with the Delhi and the Bombay High Courts and seek their assistance in implementing these measures with utmost priority,” said Mr. Prasad.

Ease of doing business He said the government accorded high priority to improving the ease of doing business and making India a favourable investment des-

munity members employed under H-1B visa or L1 visa categories.

Dialogue with U.S. “Four Bills have certainly come to the U.S. Congress but they have not been passed so far. We are conducting a dialogue with the U.S. at a very high level regarding this ... We are making all efforts (through diplo-

matic channels) to ensure these Bills are not passed,” Ms. Swaraj said. “So there is no reason to worry about it as of now,” she said explaining that the visa policy of the U.S. had always varied. The Minister pointed out that even before Donald Trump became President, the U.S. had “flip-flopped” on the H1B visa policy. “In 1990, when H-1B visas

were first introduced, only 65,000 visas were issued. In 2000, it was raised to 1,95,000, which was called the Visa Reform Act. In 2004 the number of these visas was again reversed to 65,000 by the U.S. under another Visa Reform Act. So there has been a flip-flop on this policy even before Donald Trump government,” she said.

Tweet appeal Ms. Swaraj’s response came after she was approached by a netizen who tweeted, “@SushmaSwaraj please help my brother his life in big trouble...” Reacting to a separate complaint of nearly 500 Indian workers being deprived of their salary in Bahrain, she tweeted, “Indian Embassy in Bahrain is seized of this matter and will help them.”

Faster ICT upgrade for armed forces NEW DELHI

There is no ‘hanging sword’ over Indian community members, says Minister

tination for the domestic as well as global investors. Efficient and effective delivery of justice played a key role. “The World Bank publishes a report on “Doing Business” on annual basis, which compares the business regulations across 190 economies. As per the report published by the World Bank in September 2016, India’s overall ranking improved from 131 in 2016 to 130 in 2017. The overall ranking is an average of the various sub-indicators on the basis of which the countries have been ranked. These sub-indicators include the time taken to start a business, time taken to get construction permits, paying taxes and enforcing contracts,” said the letter. The “Enforcing Contract” indicator in the report measures the time and cost for resolving a standardised commercial dispute through a local court of first instance, which for the purpose of the ranking is the Delhi district court and Mumbai city civil court as of now. M MA-MA





FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017



‘H-1B is not for replacing American workers’ WASHINGTON

Asserting that replacement of U.S. workers is not the intent of H-1B visa, Labor Secretary-nominee Alexander Acosta also acknowledged the labour shortage. “[A]mericans are being asked to train their foreign replacements. That is not the intent of the H-1B,” he said. PTI

4 killed in Wisconsin shooting WESTON

Four people including a police oicer are dead and a suspect is in custody after shootings at a bank and a law irm in northern Wisconsin, followed by a stand-of at an apartment complex that ended in a volley of gunire. Police characterised the initial shooting at the Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild on Wednesday afternoon as a domestic dispute, but have provided no further details. AP

10 Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai fighting CAIRO

Ten members of Egypt’s security forces were killed when their vehicles were hit by two improvised bombs during a military operation against suspected militants in the Sinai peninsula, the army said on Thursday. REUTERS

Chinese troops join Pakistan Day parade ISLAMABAD

Chinese, Saudi and Turkish troops for the first time joined the Pakistan Day parade in the capital Islamabad on Thursday, in a sign of deepening ties. Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain said it was the first time Chinese troops participated in a parade in a foreign country. REUTERS

#WeStandTogether, say Britons after terror attack From Prime Minister May to Opposition leader Corbyn, leaders urge calm and unity; far-right elements link attack to immigration said Prime Minister Theresa May. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn called for communities to unite following the “appalling atrocity.” While the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Rowley said: “It is still our belief — which continues to be borne out by our investigation — that this attacker acted alone yesterday and was inspired by international terrorism,” said .

Vidya Ram LONDON

Politicians and community leaders from around London and the U.K. appealed for calm and unity, as the country contends with the aftermath of a terrorist attack at the heart of its democracy, yards from where members of both the House of Commons and Lords had gathered for parliamentary business on Wednesday. Setting the tone of how London would not be cowed was the resumption of normal business at the Houses of Parliament. ”Beyond these walls today, in scenes repeated in towns and cities across the country, millions of people are going about their days and getting on with their lives… the streets are as busy as ever… the offices are full… it is these actions — millions of acts of normality — that we find the best response to terrorism,”

wards any religion or faith as a result of this attack…Tonight there will be many fearing reprisals.” The Sikh Federation also issued a statement called for unity. “We join other peace loving people to condemn this attack.”

Union lags ly at half-mast in London. AFP *

No to divisions “We stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and seek to destroy our way of life,” said London Mayor Sadiq Khan. The attacker who ran an SUV into pedestrians on a crowded London bridge and then stabbed a police officer to death on the grounds of Britain’s Parliament was earlier identified as Britishborn Khalid Masood (52).

Locals are shocked at Birmingham’s link to attack

Religious groups have also swiftly condemned the events, and called for unity. “The best response to this outrage is to make sure we come together in solidarity and not allow the terrorists to divide us,” said Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain while the Hindu Council U.K. warned that it would be “wrong to stir up hatred to-

Right-wing rhetoric While most individuals and organisations refrained from political points in the aftermath of the tragic events in London, Tommy Robinson, a former far-right, anti-Islam leader was widely condemned on social media for attempting to gain political capital at the scene of the attack, after launching into a verbal tirade, and an attack against Muslims in Britain online. However, those voices appeared in the minority, as Twitter was flooded with messages of a commitment to unity and hashtags such as

London mourns victims of incident Special correspondent London

A minute’s silence was held in Parliament and at Scotland Yard on Thursday morning, and a vigil was set to take place in central London for the victims. The attack on London came exactly a year after the terrorist attack on Brussels, in which 32-people were killed in bomb attacks at the city’s airport and at a sub-

#WeStandTogether. Virendra Sharma, the Labour MP for the ethnically diverse London constituency of Ealing Southall, who was one of those parliamentarians caught up in lockdown in the House of Commons chamber on Wednesday, told The Hindu that he had re-

Agence France-Presse Birmingham

In the well-heeled district of Edgbaston, residents are struggling to understand how their quiet corner of Britain’s second city Birmingham could be linked to the deadly terror attack in London. Overnight, armed police stormed an apartment on Hagley Road, wedged between restaurants selling pizza and Persian food, one of six locations raided just hours after a car and knife rampage outside the Houses of Parliament in Central London.

A cricket-loving area The road is in the wellheeled district of Edgbaston — a cricket-loving corner of Britain’s second largest city that is unused to the sight of armed police blocking off streets. A police cordon surrounded the flat on Hagley Road,

Iwona Romek, a neighbour of Khalid Masood, the attacker, in Birmingham. AP *

with two local police officers standing guard outside the brown front door while detectives from London went inside. The flat’s owner, Farhad Makanvand, turned up to collect the mail from the Shiraz restaurant next door, but he said he knew little about his tenants. “I do own the flat but it is run by an agent. I have nothing to do with the tenants,”

Mr. Makanvand told AFP, without giving his name. The extent of Birmingham’s links to the attack has yet to become clear, but a car hire firm in Solihull on the city outskirts has confirmed that the Hyundai vehicle used in the attack was rented there. The attacker was identified Thursday as 52-year-old Khalid Masood, who was known by “a number of aliases” and had a range of convictions including grievous bodily harm and possession of offensive weapons, according to London’s Metropolitan police. Birmingham is home to large South Asian and Muslim communities, last year hosting Europe’s largest celebrations for the Eid festival. The proportion of Muslims in Birmingham is 21.8% of the population — compared to a national average of 4.5%, according to the latest census figures.

Defence Secretary admits that lone wolf attacks are ‘diicult to forestall’ ichael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, has said that security in Parliament will be reviewed by the authorities, as he said it was extremely difficult to prevent “lone wolf ” terror attacks involving simply a car and knife. Mr. Fallon paid tribute to police officer Keith Palmer, who was killed in the incident at Westminster on Wednesday, saying “he gave his life to protect democracy”. Speaking before Theresa May addressed the House of Commons, he stressed that Mr. Palmer had ensured the terrorist was unable to breach the security of the House of Commons. Nevertheless, Mr. Fallon suggested it was important to look again at any potential weak spots on the parliamentary estate. “Parliament cannot be hermetically sealed, people are coming and going all the time,” he said, pointing out that MPs had been called at


UNHRC gives Colombo 2 more years Geneva resolution asks Sri Lanka to implement measures identiied in 2015 Press Trust of India Colombo

Sri Lanka was on Thursday given two more years to set up its accountability mechanism to probe alleged war crimes committed during the 37-year civil war in the UNHRC resolution adopted in Geneva. The Foreign Ministry here said that 36 more countries had co-sponsored the resolution which was adopted without a vote. This was in addition to the original sponsors — the U.S., U.K., Montenegro and Macedonia.

Transitional justice Titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” the resolution gives Sri Lanka two years to show more progress on the transitional CM YK

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena. AP *

justice process. Sri Lanka was granted 18 months by a UNHRC resolution in October 2015 to initiate a credible investigation into the nearly three-decades long civil war. The new resolution requests the government to fully implement the measures identified in the resolution of 2015. This includes

engagement with special procedure mandate holders in protecting human rights, asking the UNHRC to provide advice and technical assistance. The two-year time has been allowed despite strong opposition from the Tamil lobby which cited inaction by the government in show-

ceived messages of support from people and organisations across communities within his constituency. “London communities are wise and strong and are committed to equality and unity… I have full confidence the general public will not listen to the right wing reac-

Parliament security to be reviewed Anushka Asthana

The vehicle used was rented from a hire irm on the outskirts

way station in the Maelbeek area. Senior security figures have warned for a while that Britain had a number of factors that could limit terrorists’ abilities to inflict damage — such as strong gun control laws. But the use of tools such as vehicles pose new threats. Last year it emerged that 12 attacks had been thwarted in the past two years alone, and hundreds

ing genuine commitment to the resolution. UN rights council had called for international judges to help investigate possible war crimes to guarantee impartiality. Sri Lankan government has resisted the call by UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein to set up an international hybrid court. Speaking at the sessions, the Sri Lankan Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva said, “It is always work-inprogress. The people of Sri Lanka have been through extremely difficult and painful times, and although much has been done, there is much still left to do, including strengthening our institutions and achieving economic progress. There are multiple challenges that we face.”

For peace: People holding up a banner ahead of a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on in London on Thursday. GETTY IMAGES *

and elsewhere, where terrorists used vehicles to murder people. Asked about the bravery of MP Tobias Ellwood , who tried to help Palmer, Mr. Fallon said colleagues had commented on his bravery. “We should also comment on the bravery of all those other police officers in Westminster who ran forwards into the danger and dealt with the attacker as quickly as they could.” Mr. Fallon said a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee, chaired by Theresa May, had reviewed whether the Met police had the resources they needed, including military backup. He said there had been budget increases for the security services in recent years, but that was under constant review. “I want to reassure you that the police and security sources will have resources they need,” he said, adding that it was not yet known whether the individual had associates . THE GUARDIAN

of “live” cases were ongoing at any moment in time. The Soufan Group, a U.S.-based intelligence services company, said that while recent attacks in Europe lacked the “formal command and control” previously associated with terrorism, “most attackers have engaged in some level of communication, [with] members of groups such as the Islamic State or al Qaeda“.

tionaries — we cannot deny there is a threat from terrorism in our society but when we are united we can send a message that we don’t endorse their ideology or their message of hatred. That is the history of the people of London and I am sure they will carry on this tradition.”

Utah man was among those killed Reuters New York

A Utah man was killed and his wife badly injured during Wednesday’s attack, relatives of the couple said on Thursday. Kurt Cochran (54) and his wife, Melissa, were in Europe to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and had been due to return to the U.S. on Thursday, according to his brother-in-law, Clinton Payne. Mr. Cochran’s wife was hospitalised for treatment after suffering a broken leg and rib, and a cut to her head, Payne said. She was expected to recover. U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his condolences. “A great American, Kurt Cochran, was killed in the London terror attack,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “My prayers and condolences are with his family and friends.” The couple were visiting Melissa Cochran's parents, who are missionaries in London.

that time for a vote in the chamber so people were coming and going through the main gates in cars or on foot. “Obviously this is something that will be reviewed by the house authorities”, he added, arguing that Londoners were getting back to work as they took the attack “on the chin”. Mr. Fallon told BBC Radio 4 that police and security agencies had stopped more than a dozen attacks that were being planned from going ahead in Britain last year,

but said Wednesday’s incident in Westminster was the kind of thing that was very difficult to see coming. “Of course this kind of attack, this lone wolf attack, with things from daily life — a vehicle, a knife — are much more difficult to forestall,” he said. “And we are dealing with a terrorist enemy that is not making demands or holding people hostage but just to kill as many people as possible.” The Defence Secretary compared the attack to others, including in Berlin

U.S. Army veteran kills black man

Taliban take key Afghan district in south Helmand

Associated Press

The fall of Sangin comes after a year-long battle

New York

A white U.S. Army veteran from Baltimore bent on making a racist attack took a bus to New York, randomly picked out a black man who was collecting bottles on the street and killed him with a sword, police said on Wednesday. James Harris Jackson turned himself in at a Times Square police station early on Wednesday, about 25 hours after Timothy Caughman staggered into a police precinct bleeding to death. Jackson, who was arrested on suspicion of murder, told police he’d harbored feelings of hatred toward black men for at least 10 years, authorities said. He travelled to New York on March 17.

Sangin centre early on Thursday morning. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, also issued a statement claiming the Taliban capture of Sangin.

Associated Press Kabul

The Taliban captured a key district centre in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province on Thursday while in the country’s north, an officer turned his rifle on sleeping colleagues, killing nine policemen, officials said. The fall of Sangin district, once considered the deadliest battlefield for British and U.S. troops in Afghanistan, comes amid the insurgents’ year-long push to expand their footprint in the Taliban heartland of Helmand. The British who took over southern Helmand in 2006 were headquartered at Camp Sebastian, which at its peak was the centre for 137

An Afghan Army soldier in Sangin in a ile photo. AP *

bases in Helmand. Most of Britain’s more than 400 military deaths occurred in Helmand province in Sangin alone, Britain lost 104 soldiers. The district’s police chief, Mohammad Rasoul, said the Taliban overran

Poorly protected Mr. Rasoul said the district headquarters had been poorly protected and that at the time of the Taliban siege, only eight policemen and 30 Afghan soldiers were on duty. Afghan security forces were now amassing nearby for a full-scale counter-attack in a bid to retake Sangin, Mr. Rasoul added, though he did not say when the assault would occur and how many forces would be involved. M MA-MA





FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017


market watch 23-03-2017


Sensex ddddddddddd 29,332 dddddddddddddddddddddddddd 0.56 US Dollarddddddddd 65.52 dddddddddddddddddddddddddd 0.08 Gold dddddddddddddddd 29,000 dddddddddddddddddddddddd -1.19 Brent oil dddddddddd 50.36 dddddddddddddddddddddddd -0.19

Airtel to buy Tikona’s 4G vertical for ₹1,600 cr. Telecom major plans to roll out high-speed services on newly acquired spectrum in ive regions after closing deal



Special Correspondent PRICE CHANGE

ACC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1400.75. . . . . . . 14.35 Adani Ports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325.60. . . . . . . . . 1.95 Ambuja Cements. . . .. . . . . . 232.65. . . . . . . . -0.35 Asian Paints. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1061.60. . . . . . . . . 3.75 Aurobindo Pharma . . . . . . 686.80. . . . . . . . . 6.25 Axis Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 488.25. . . . . . . . . 2.80 Bajaj Auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2865.95. . . . . . . 12.15 Bank of Baroda . . . . . .. . . . . . 162.20. . . . . . . . . 0.60 Bharti Airtel . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 338.50. . . . . . . . . 0.30 BHEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167.95. . . . . . . . . 2.10 Bosch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22982.20. . . . . . . . -5.00 BPCL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 655.05. . . . . . . 10.05 Cipla . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 596.25. . . . . . . . . 1.05 Coal India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295.90. . . . . . . . . 3.75 Dr Reddys Lab . . . . . . . .. . . . 2631.20. . . . . . . . . 1.55 Eicher Motors. . . . . . . . .. 24373.55. . . -167.45 GAIL (India). . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 376.90. . . . . . . . . 7.90 Grasim Ind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1091.90. . . . . . . 11.80 HCL Tech. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 876.65. . . . . . . . . 3.90 HDFC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1456.65. . . . . . . 14.35 HDFC Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1430.90. . . . . . . . . 0.00 Hero MotoCorp . . . . . .. . . . 3367.40. . . . . . . 52.80 Hindalco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193.70. . . . . . . . . 0.30 Hind Unilever . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 902.00. . . . . . . . -2.95 ICICI Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266.95. . . . . . . . . 1.95 Idea Cellular . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . 91.60. . . . . . . . . 0.30 IndusInd Bank . . . . . . . .. . . . 1383.90. . . . . . . . . 7.30 Bharti Infratel . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 313.55. . . . . . . . . 0.60 Infosys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1040.45. . . . . . . 12.75 ITC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277.60. . . . . . . . -2.25 Kotak Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 868.15. . . . . . . . . 5.95 L&T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1543.90. . . . . . . 14.05 Lupin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1490.25. . . . . . . 22.10 M&M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1274.55. . . . . . . . . 3.70 Maurti Suzuki . . . . . . . . .. . . . 6034.80. . . . . . . 29.00 NTPC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164.40. . . . . . . . . 3.65 ONGC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193.60. . . . . . . . . 1.10 PowerGrid Corp . . . . .. . . . . . 193.05. . . . . . . . . 0.95 Reliance Ind . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1273.30. . . . . . . 13.60 State Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268.50. . . . . . . . . 1.00 Sun Pharma . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 703.15. . . . . . . . . 1.70 Tata Motors . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 472.90. . . . . . . 13.00 Tata Motors DVR. . . .. . . . . . 281.60. . . . . . . . . 4.15 Tata Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87.10. . . . . . . . . 0.15 Tata Steel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 495.50. . . . . . . . . 7.40 TCS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2460.35. . . . . . -18.60 Tech Mahindra . . . . . . .. . . . . . 482.15. . . . . . . . . 6.75 UltraTech Cement . .. . . . 3974.25. . . . . . . . . 4.00 Wipro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 510.00. . . . . . . . . 9.45 YES Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1518.60. . . . . . . 47.75 Zee Entertainment . . . . . . 523.60. . . . . . . . . 2.80


Bharti Airtel said it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Tikona Digital Networks’ 4G business for ₹1,600 crore, including spectrum and 350 sites in five telecom circles. Tikona has 20 MHz spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in Gujarat, U.P. (East), U.P. (West), Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh circles. With this acquisition, Bharti Airtel will have spectrum in 2300 MHz band across all circles. Airtel plans to roll out high-speed 4G services on the newly acquired spectrum in the five circles immediately after the closure of the transaction, according to a company statement.

Telecom consolidation After the entry of Reliance Jio’s 4G services, mergers and acquisitions have gathered pace in the country’s telecommunications industry. Idea Cellular on

Indicative direct rates in rupees a unit except yen at 4 p.m. on March 23 TT BUY


US Dollar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 65.32. . . . . . . 65.64 Euro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 70.48. . . . . . . 70.82 British Pound . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 81.63. . . . . . . 82.03 Japanese Yen (100) . .. . 58.82. . . . . . . 59.11 Chinese Yuan . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 9.48. . . . . . . . . 9.53 Swiss Franc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 65.82. . . . . . . 66.15 Singapore Dollar . . . . . . .. . 46.68. . . . . . . 46.92 Canadian Dollar . . . . . . . . .. . 49.04. . . . . . . 49.29 Malaysian Ringitt . . . . . .. . 14.74. . . . . . . 14.83 Source:Indian Bank



March 23 rates in rupees with previous rates in parentheses Retail Silver (1g) . . . . . . . . . . . 44.30. . . . . (44.20) 22 ct gold (1 g) . .. . . . . . . . . . . 2,780. . . . . (2,784)

Bankers to meet FinMin on liquidity SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT MUMBAI

The Finance Ministry will meet select bankers on Friday to discuss a new facility to drain surplus liquidity from the banking system arising out of the Centre’s demonetisation move, bankers who are aware of the development told The Hindu. The new Standing Deposit Facility allows banks to park their excess funds with the RBI at a rate which is lower than the repo rate but without any collateral, a letter from the Department of Economic Affairs, which called the meeting, indicated. The repo rate is 6.25%. Currently, banks can get funds through the repo window from the RBI by using government securities as collateral.


March 20 agreed to merge with the Indian unit of the U.K.-headquartered Vodafone Plc, making it a $23 billion giant and creating the country’s largest mobile operator, displacing Bharti Airtel. Reliance, with an investment of $25 billion offering free voice and data service for six months, has disrupted the industry’s pricing struc-

ture. Rajan Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India had said the current tariff war in the market may not be sustainable for long He had also said that in contrast to 13 operators a few years ago, the Indian mobile telecom market is down to “four or five operators.” Bharti Airtel had last month announced the ac-

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Thursday approved the metals and mining firm Vedanta’s merger with its cashrich oil subsidiary Cairn India, paving the way for the formation of the fourthlargest resource company in the world after BHP Billiton, RioTinto and Glencore Plc. The initial deal terms, announced in June 2015, were revised in July 2016 in order to address the concerns of the minority shareholders in Cairn India. According to the revised deal, minority shareholders in Cairn India will receive,

April 2016 and synergies of the merger will be seen in FY2017-18, Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta Resources had told The Hindu in an earlier interview.

Anil Agarwal “It’s just a matter of days when the deal will be completed. It’s more [to do with] procedural issues,” a source in the know of the development told The Hindu. The effective date of merger will be

Ownership pattern Following the merger, Vedanta Plc.’s ownership in Vedanta Limited is expected to fall to 50.1% from its current 62.9%. Cairn India minority shareholders will own 20.2% and Vedanta Limited minority shareholders will own a 29.7% stake in the enlarged entity. Speaking about the deal in July 2016, Tom Albanese, CEO of Vedanta Limited, had


Private sector lender YES Bank on Thursday came out with a qualified institutional placement (QIP) issue for raising $650 million, with a $100-million greenshoe option. In a notification to the exchanges, the bank said it had set a floor price at ₹1,498.95 and the bank may offer a discount of 5% on the floor price. YES Bank shares rose 3.12% to ₹1516.05 on the BSE. Motilal Oswal, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, IIFL and CLSA are the merchant bankers for the issue. Earlier, in September 2016, the bank had come out with a QIP to raise $1 billion but then withdrew the proposal citing ‘volatile market conditions’ because of ‘misinterpretation of QIP guidelines.’ Goldman Sachs was one of the merchant bankers for that issue.

CCI approves sale of RCom tower division

said: “The strategic rationale for merging Vedanta Limited and Cairn India remains highly compelling. Diversified resources companies have delivered superior returns for shareholders historically. The transaction consolidates our portfolio of attractive Tier-I assets and simplifies the group structure, better positioning the group to deliver superior value to all shareholders over the longer term.” Shares of Vedanta Limited rose 1.78% to ₹265.7, valuing the resources firm at ₹78,771 crore. Cairn India shares gained 2.68% at ₹298.9 in a firm Mumbai market on Thursday.


The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved a ₹11,000 crore proposed transaction involving the sale of the tower division of Reliance Infratel Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCom), to Brookfield Infrastructure Group. Billionaire Anil Ambaniled-Reliance Communications last year agreed to sell its tower assets to Brookfield to help pare its debt. The tower division of Reliance Infratel will be demerged into Towercom Infrastructure Private Limited (Towerco) and Rapid Holdings 2 Pte. Ltd., a part of the

GST will make exports competitive: Sitharaman

Brookfield Infrastructure Group, will acquire 100% of Towercom Infrastructure. The deal is subject to completion of the demerger, through a scheme of arrangement, and the completion of certain other conditions and approvals, said a company statement adding that the company had already filed an application with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai Bench, for approval of the scheme of arrangement. Post closing, the company will receive ‘B’ class non-voting shares in Towerco providing 49% future economic upside from the business based on certain conditions.


There will soon be no barriers between States, she says Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, when implemented, will result in eliminating barriers between states and make exports more competitive, according to Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “GST gives a feeling that market in India is one now and there are no barriers between regions or provinces. Even within the country, the value chains – which will get integrated – will have a simpler and straightforward flow (of goods) and therefore, it should make exports more

Nirmala Sitharaman

competitive rather than expensive,” Ms. Sitharaman told reporters. The Union Cabinet on Monday approved four GST legislations – the Central GST Bill, Integrated GST Bill, Union Territory GST Bill,

and the Compensation Bill – which had earlier been approved by the GST Council over 12 meetings spanning about six months. The Bills now need to be passed by Parliament, while the State GST Bill needs to be passed by the legislative assemblies of each state. Responding to a query on the status of talks between India and the U.S. on H-1B visa-related issues, the minister said, “The new U.S. administration is focusing on the larger issue of immigration and the notification which they have given for H-1B for 2018 says there is no change in position and we find no change.”

Current account gap widens in Q3

Accord favours portability of social security contributions


Special Correspondent NEW DELHI


‘Healthy competition’ “Overall things are heading in the right direction for a healthy competition. The Indian telecom sector is under pressure and the future expansion and growth will depend on the quantum of spectrum held and the quality of services offered. Such acquisitions help operators to address the above highlighted issues,” he said. As per the agreement announced on Thursday, the acquisition of the 4G business in Gujarat, U.P. (East), U.P. (West) and Himachal

Pradesh will be undertaken by Airtel, while in the Rajasthan circle, it will be accomplished through Airtel’s subsidiary Bharti Hexacom Limited. “The proposed acquisition will enable Airtel to fill BWA [broadband wireless access] spectrum gaps in the 2300 MHz band in Rajasthan, UP (East) and UP (West), thereby securing a pan India-footprint in the band. The deal will significantly bolster Airtel’s spectrum position in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, taking its overall BWA spectrum holding to 30 MHz each in these circles,” according to the company. Post-completion of the deal, Airtel will have 30 MHz in the 2300 MHz band in 13 circles giving it an advantage in handling the surging data demand, according to the statement. Tikona’s Wobro business will continue to be held by shareholders of Tikona.

Special Correspondent

for each equity share held, one equity share, and four redeemable preference shares with a face value of ₹10 in Vedanta Limited. The preference shares will carry a coupon of 7.5% and a tenure of 18 months. “The National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai Bench, has today approved the Scheme of Arrangement between Cairn India Limited and Vedanta Limited, and their respective shareholders and creditors,” according to a statement from Cairn India. “The certified copy of the order is awaited from the Tribunal,” it added. Both companies declined comment.

India wants to hasten talks on proposed global services pact India on Thursday pressed for expediting the negotiation process for a global services pact, that among other things, aims to ease norms for movement of skilled workers across borders. India had, in February, submitted to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) a legally-vetted proposal for a Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement. The proposal was taken up by an expert committee at the WTO headquarters in Geneva recently, and it will be considered for discussion by all the WTO members. “I hope it (negotiations on TFS) will not take too long because the disillusion that multilateral institutions are delivering slowly cannot be afforded any longer in the political reality of the globe today,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala

for the surging data demands on 4G. In addition, this will also help Airtel to improve the quality of service with additional spectrum, he added. TDD-LTE and FDD LTE are two different standards for offering 4G LTE services. Mr. Tejpal said after the Vodafone-Idea deal, the Airtel acquisition is another step towards consolidation in the Indian telecom sector.

Merged entity will be fourth-largest resource company after BHP Billiton, RioTinto and Glencore NEW DELHI


Firm footing: Bharti Airtel says it will have an edge in handling a surge in demand for data, after the deal closes. REUTERS

quisition of the local unit of Norway’s Telenor. Though the companies didn’t disclose the deal size, a Deutsche Bank Market Research report pegged the value of the transaction at about $300 million, or more than ₹2,000 crore. “Airtel’s continued focus on strengthening its 4G capabilities across multiple spectrum bands will be complemented with the BWA spectrum acquisition from Tikona,” Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel, said. Rishi Tejpal, principal research analyst at Gartner said that Airtel’s acquisition of Tikona filled the gap that it had in the TDD-LTE band mainly in U.P. East, U.P. West and Rajasthan circles. “With this acquisition, Airtel will have nationwide TDD-LTE spectrum,” He added that combined with FDD-LTE, this additional spectrum holding will help Airtel to be future ready

NCLT gives nod for Cairn-Vedanta merger Special Correspondent


YES Bank’s QIP to raise $650 mn.

Global mobility: The agreement will ease norms for movement of skilled workers. Above, the entrance to the WTO. AFP *

Sitharaman said at a TFS workshop organised by her ministry along with the World Bank Group. The proposed TFS, among other things, aims to ensure portability of social security contributions and cross-border insurance coverage to boost medical tourism. According to India, the proposed pact is similar to the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Goods, that recently came into force, and aims to ease cus-

toms norms to boost global goods trade. India had specified that the proposed TFS pact is also about ‘facilitation,’ that is “making market access ‘effective’ and commercially meaningful and not about ‘new’ (or greater) market access.” She said the lessons learnt from the discussions on TFA in Goods were very critical, and wanted the World Bank to closely engage with the WTO on TFS to help it gain traction.



DEATH SRI D. Nagarajan, 88, Retd PA to Director, Dept Treasuries and Accounts attained lotus feet of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother on 21st March at Chennai.Bereaved by his Wife Rajalakshmi ,Son Ganesh, D−I− L Chitra and grandchildren. Ph:9444058464


The country’s current account deficit (CAD) widened to $7.9 billion in the Oct.-Dec. quarter of the current financial year, which was 1.4% of GDP as compared with $3.4 billion, or 0.6%, recorded in the preceding quarter, Reserve Bank of India data showed. CAD was $7.1 billion in the third quarter of the fiscal 2015-16. RBI said the CAD widened primarily on account of a decline in net invisibles receipts despite a slightly lower trade deficit on a year-on-year basis. “Net services receipts moderated on a y-o-y basis, primarily owing to the fall in earnings from software, financial services and charges for intellectual property rights. Private transfer receipts, mainly representing remittances by Indians employed overseas, amounted to $15.2 billion, having declined by 3.8% from ... a year ago.”








FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017



Jobs impact of ‘Make In India’ under review

Central bank puts 4 PSBs under watch

CUMI commissions 3 plants at its Kochi minerals complex

Press Trust of India

Firm invested ₹80 crore, funded via internal accruals


Centre working on report assessing compliance by agencies ARUN S New Delhi

Oppo unveils F3 Plus with dual front cameras NEW DELHI

Chinese smartphone maker Oppo on Thursday introduced F3 Plus with dual front cameras with a price tag of ₹30,990 in India. “Our brand has been growing rapidly across South-east Asia and other regions around the world. As per the GFK data, we became the No.2 smartphone brand in India oline market last year,” said Sky Li, global VP & president of OPPO India.

With SPICE, cost of incorporating irms cut NEW DELHI

As part of ease of doing business initiatives, the Centre on Thursday said that the cost of incorporating a company with Simpliied Proforma for Incorporating a Company Electronically (SPICE) has been reduced to ₹500 from ₹2,000. SPICE is an e-form which does away with the requirement to ill up multiple forms by business entities operating in India.

Repco Home Finance ties up with NHB CHENNAI

Chennai-based housing inance company, Repco Home Finance Ltd., has tied-up with National Housing Bank for implementation of creditlinked subsidy scheme for the middle income group (CLSS for MIG). The scheme will be implemented for a period of one year from January 2017 in all statutory towns under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Mission.


The Centre is working on a ‘compliance report” of its flagship ‘Make In India’ (MII) initiative that attempts to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub as well as generate large-scale employment. The objective of the exercise, among other things, is to find out whether the government departments and agencies implementing the MII programme are meeting the deadlines envisaged in the ‘MII Action Plan’ of December 2014.

MII initiative The MII initiative covers 25 focus sectors ranging from automobiles to wellness. The ‘MII Action Plan’ had set short-term (one year) and medium-term (three years) targets “to boost investments in the 25 sectors” and to “raise the contribution of the manufacturing sector to 25% of the GDP by 2020.” At a national workshop held in December 2014 on these 25 sectors, an Action Plan was finalised with the help of Secretaries to the Indian Government as well as industry leaders. As per the National Manufacturing Policy, “the share of manufacturing in India’s GDP has stagnated at 15%16% since 1980 while the share of comparable economies in Asia is much higher at 25%-34%.” Government sources said a detailed study is also being undertaken on the impact of the MII initiative including a sector-wise assessment regarding job creation and foreign direct investment inflows using the National

Roaring potential: The manufacturing sector has the potential to create up to 90 million domestic jobs by 2025. Industrial Code.


RBI, CSO data Data from the Reserve Bank of India and the Central Statistics Office are also being looked into in this regard, they said, adding that inputs are being sought from the State governments as well. The compliance report is being monitored and evaluated at the highest level, including by the Prime Minister’s Office, the sources said. Recently, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce wanted an assessment to be done on how the MII initiative has helped the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises. It recommended that dedicated steps should be taken to ensure that FDI promotes the MSME sector, and sought to know the factors behind the Foreign Portfolio Investments turning negative and its impact on the Indian industry. The panel also wanted to learn if the

MII initiative has seized the opportunity of demographic dividend in the country.

$1 trillion by 2025 According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), “India’s manufacturing sector has the potential to touch $1 trillion by 2025. There is potential for the sector to account for 25-30% of the country’s GDP and create up to 90 million domestic jobs by 2025.” “FDI inflows in India’s manufacturing sector grew by 82% year-on-year to $16.13 billion during AprilNovember 2016,” according to the IBEF, a trust formed by the Commerce Ministry to promote of the ‘Made in India’ label overseas. It said, “The government has an ambitious plan to locally manufacture as many as 181 products. The move could help infrastructure sectors … that require large capital expenditure and revive the $27.75 billion Indian capital goods business.”

The Reserve Bank of India has put four public sector lenders, including IDBI Bank and Indian Overseas Bank, under watch and advised them to stay off risky assets so that their financial health is not stressed further. While UCO Bank also figured in the list, the name of the fourth lender could not be immediately ascertained. Sources said these lenders were on the RBI’s radar as their financial health may not improve after the central bank’s asset quality review ends on March 31. These banks have been advised by both the Finance Ministry and the RBI to improve their financials, look for avenues for capital infusion and create a selfsustaining model by selling assets, they added.

Special Correspondent CHENNAI

Carborundum Universal (CUMI), part of the ₹29,500 crore Murugappa Group, commissioned three new fusion plants at its electromineral complex in Kochi on Thursday. With the new facilities — a zirconia bubble fusion plant and two alumina fusion plants — CUMI’s complex here has become one of the most advanced and integrated electro-mineral complexes in the world, said A. Vellayan, executive chairman, Murugappa Group, who inaugurated the plant. An investment of ₹80 crore, funded through internal accruals, has been made in the new facilities. At full capacity, it will add about 25,000 tonnes of fused minerals generation,


with potential sales of about $30 million, said K. Srinivasan, managing director, CUMI. The direct job creation from this project will be primarily in technology and in the application side. It is also expected to create more than 300 indirect jobs in the front- and back-end of the supply chain, he said. Zirconia bubble is claimed to be a first-of-its

kind material produced in not more than three countries in the world. It is extensively used in ceramics, refractories, pigments and in the nuclear industry. The zirconia bubble fusion plant has a modern tilt furnace while the two alumina fusion plants have modern pot furnaces and tilt furnaces of large capacities, Mr. Srinivasan said.

Exports CUMI’s products are exported to 43 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa and Asia. Close to 75% of the division’s revenue comes from exports and overseas operations. CUMI might end the current fiscal with net sales of ₹2,200 crore of which electro-minerals would account for 35%, Mr. Srinivasan said.

Mother Dairy eyes nutrition products They will help overcome vitamin and micronutrient deiciencies Special Correspondent KOLKATA

Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable., a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), is planning a foray into the nutrition products segment, managing director S. Nagarajan said. Lifestyle changes and the “gender-specific” needs of people in the 11 to 59 years age-group, has created the need for products which will help overcome deficiencies in calcium, iron, vitamins and micronutrients, Mr. Nagarajan said after unveiling the company’s milk port-

S. Nagarajan

folio here, under a new brand ‘Dailycious.’ Although a three- to fiveyear timeline was being

looked at for entering the nutrition product segment, no firm dates had been fixed yet, he said. Indications are that fibrepacked vegetable juices may be among the initial offerings. Mother Dairy has an innovation centre near Delhi, where a ₹15 crore investment was made this year, he said. The firm, eyeing a ₹10,000 turnover in 2019 (from about ₹8,000 crore estimated this fiscal), has four product segments – milk, value-added products, edible oil (Dhara brand) and fruits and vegetables.“The

fastest growth is from valueadded segment of ice cream, dahi, butter milk, followed by edible oil, fruits and vegetables, and milk” Mr. Nagarajan said. Sandeep Ghosh, Business Head, said that the introduction of the milk portfolio will strengthen the company’s position in Kolkata. NDDB ran the ‘Operation Flood’ project in West Bengal till the ‘90s when it handed over the brand to the state government, on the understanding that the latter would have exclusive rights to the Mother Dairy brand for milk products.






FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017



Time to exorcise the sledging ghost

Pujara jumps to skipper’s defence

It is Dharamshala’s turn to put the game back on track

Shreyas called in as cover for Kohli DHARAMSHALA

Mumbai middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer has been called up as cover for Virat Kohli for the fourth Test against Australia. Kohli, nursing an injured right shoulder, is a doubtful starter and did not bat in the nets. Fast bowler Mohammed Shami, not part of the original squad, took part in the nets session and bowled to a few batsmen. The decision to play him rests with the team management.

Bangar and Sridhar get another pay hike MUMBAI

The BCCI Committee of Administrators (CoA) has further raised the professional fee of the Indian team’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R. Sridhar by ₹25 lakh. They will now receive ₹1.5 crore. At their meeting on February 25, the CoA had given the two a 25% increase (₹1 crore to ₹1.25 crore).

Yu keeps China’s WC hopes alive CHANGSHA (CHINA)

Marcello Lippi’s China stunned South Korea 1-0 in a politically-charged World Cup qualifier on Thursday to give itself a glimmer of hope of reaching next year’s tournament in Russia. The unmarked Yu Dabao headed in the game’s only goal in the 34th minute. The results: Group A: China 1 bt South Korea 0; Syria 1 bt Uzbekistan 0; Qatar 0 lost to Iran 1. Group B: Thailand 0 lost to Saudi Arabia 3; Iraq 1 drew with Australia 1; UAE 0 lost to Japan 2. AGENCIES

Test cricket has come to the tranquil environs of the Dhauladhar range, riding on the acrimonious background of a few off-the-field incidents that have come to mar the spirit of the game in the ongoing India-Australia series. Decisive wins in two of the three Tests thus far have raised hopes of a biting contest in the final encounter but much depends on the tactical acumen of the rival thinktanks. The camps were busy preparing for the decider, if one may term it so.

Aggressive intent Modern cricket demands professionalism and commitment of the highest grade. The emphasis, sometimes, can be overwhelmingly influenced by aggressive intent aimed at disturbing the concentration of the opponent. Some succumb. Those who don’t best illustrate the quality of doggedness in adverse circumstances. Sledging in cricket is not new. The trend to constantly use it as a tool to target the best in the opposite camp is perhaps a legacy of the intense contests that came to attract the attention during the 1970s. Of course, cricket, since its inception, has witnessed some incredible finishes that became fascinating mainly due to the desire to fight and win. Players with a tough mental attitude were the ones who emerged unscathed. Australia has employed pressure tactics, better known as sledging, because it suited the team’s profile. The difference between friendly banter and sledging was thin since it depended on the one at the receiving end. India and Australia have had a series of incident-filled combats. The most striking being the 1981 series when Sunil


Let’s see more women in the paddock: Hamilton MELBOURNE

Three-time champion Lewis Hamilton, if granted a wish, wants to see more women in the paddock at Formula One Grands Prix. “A Miami race and more ladies in the paddock,” the 32-year-old said at a media conference ahead of the season-opening Australian GP. “More access for the women, there’s too many dudes in the paddock.”

Mind games: Australia has employed pressure tactics against Virat Kohli in the ongoing Test series. V.V. KRISHNAN *

Gavaskar nearly forfeited the Melbourne Test following a distasteful remark by Dennis Lillee. It is another matter that better sense prevailed, India continued, and went on to win the match in dramatic

Waugh sees a bit of himself in Kohli IANS

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh on Thursday complimented Virat Kohli, saying he sees a bit of Ricky Ponting and himself in the way the Indian skipper goes about his business. “There’s probably elements of Ricky and myself in his captaincy, but having said that he’s his own man,” Waugh was quoted as saying by “He’s the new face of India, he can get in your face, he’s aggressive, he’s

positive, and he leads in a certain way so the other guys know how he wants the team to play. I’m glad he’s got a bit of me in his captaincy,” he added. “He’s a very aggressive captain, encourages a lot of talk amongst his troops and got positive body language. They’re all the traits that I liked in my sides,” he said. He compared Kohli’s on-field conduct to Ponting saying both take charge and step up to lead by example when the situation demands.


A pitch with true bounce: curator Special Correspondent DHARAMSHALA

Having monitored the preparations from close quarters, Daljit Singh and Sunil Chauhan, the two experienced curators involved in the making of the pitch here, relaxed in the cool confines at one end of the ground — reflecting on the job done. In recent times, the pitch has often come under scrutiny in the run-up to a game as India has fallen back on the trusted policy of spinner-friendly pitches. But this

one could well be different. Chauhan has always taken pride in laying out a surface that encourages pace and bounce. How would it be this time? “I can’t change the nature of the soil. I expect the bounce to be true. The skills of the bowlers do count too,” he said. The Dharamshala pitch is now 14 seasons old and traditionally has not been a happy hunting ground for slow bowlers. “There are many factors involved in pitch making and

‘He’s a great ambassador of the game’

lore — Lillee taking evasive action with the Pakistani charging with his bat raised. Miandad, however, had an effective response that won him a legion of fans. In one fiercely-contested match, Miandad reportedly made it a point to send the helmet back to the dressing room when Lillee came on to bowl and asked for it when the spinners joined the attack. It was Miandad’s way of showing in what esteem he held Lillee’s bowling. For someone like Gavaskar and Mohinder Amarnath, it hardly mattered what the close-in fielders said. In fact, sledging would evoke a determined response from them. In effect, a big innings to drive home their point.

Vijay Lokapally DHARAMSHALA

soil is the most important. We should have a decent game,” added Daljit, who prefers the playing surface to be slightly inclined towards the bowlers. Many experts had erred in their reading of the pitch in the last Test at Ranchi. The brown surface did not deteriorate and saw Cheteshwar Pujara construct a diligent double century. The pitch here does promise an intense contest with Daljit and Chauhan committed to providing a true surface.

conditions. Gavaskar was to return four years later to win the World championship of cricket and acknowledge wicketkeeper Sadanand Viswanath’s chirping as a significant contribution to unsettle the opponents.

Lillee portrayed Australian aggression along with Jeff Thompson by peppering the batsmen with unrelenting missiles, verbal and off the pitch. His clash with Javed Miandad is part of cricket folk-

Gunning for victory: Cheteshwar Pujara says India will be keen to end the Test series against Steve Smith’s men on a positive note. V.V. KRISHNAN

Focal point In recent times, incidents of sledging, especially the current series, have become the focal point of the competition because the target is the captain of the Indian team. The squad has rallied around Virat Kohli, who loves such intense attention from the opposition. He is only re-living the times when Sourav Ganguly encouraged his players to play tough. Ganguly epitomised aggression on the field by backing his players and taking the lead role, sometimes in sledging too. “Come on guys, Australian tail has begun,” he would greet Steve Waugh’s arrival at the crease. But never did they cross the line of decency. Their demeanour was a key factor in aggression in the middle not going out of hands. An India-Australia fixture holds a place of pride in international cricket. That it has deteriorated into a slanging match between the players has taken away the sheen off some glorious cricket at Pune, Bengaluru and Ranchi. It is Dharamshala’s turn to continue the trend, and, certainly not by way of sledging.


Special Correspondent Dharamshala

Cheteshwar Pujara jumped to the defence of skipper Virat Kohli in the ongoing war of words between India and Australia. Asked to comment on Kohli being termed the Donald Trump of world sports, Pujara said, “It’s really sad to hear such comments. We fully support Virat and he is one of the great ambassadors of this game. “I think the focus has shifted somewhere else, which shouldn’t have happened. We are very much focused on the game. “He is a great leader. We are looking forward to the next game rather than worrying about anything else.” He did not give much thought about the state of the pitch. “We will just try and focus on things rather than worry about how the wicket will play. “We have played enough cricket on different pitches throughout the season. So I don’t think the wicket will matter a lot to us.” Was fatigue a factor? “See, we have worked really hard on our fitness since the

last one-and-a-half years. I think it is the mental battle we’ve to win and we’re mentally up for it. “We are quite motivated because we want to win this series. “I think fatigue shouldn’t come into play because playing for India is the most important thing for any cricketer and now winning the series is very important, because we’ve had a fantastic season so far. We want to finish on a good note.” Did he agree that momentum was with the Australians? “I think we’ve bowled well, and as I mentioned earlier, they scored 450 and we were able to score more than 600. And at one stage they were four down at lunch. “The session where we didn’t get a wicket was between lunch and tea. But, overall they were six down, and I think we definitely had the upper hand in the last game. “Although we didn’t win the game, we just had to bat once and they had to bat twice and that credit I think goes to the bowlers.”

Delay may have beneited Vijay, Pujara The promotion-clinching performances came after the usual evaluation period for annual contracts Amol Karhadkar



The hike in annual retainer and match-fee for the Indian cricketers that was announced on Wednesday was, no doubt, long overdue. However, the fact is that some players may have benefited from the the delay in chalking out the 2016-17 annual contracts, thanks to their performances in the ongoing contract cycle. Had it not been for the deferred finalisation of the annual contracts — thanks to BCCI being embroiled in a plethora of legal tangles — Cheteshwar Pujara and M. Vijay might not have been elevated to the top tier, while veteran Yuvraj Singh, now included in grade-B, would have found it difficult to even make the list. Since the introduction of the system of annual contracts in 2004-05, the practice was to award these for the October-September calendar cycle. The contracts, finalised by the gradation committee comprising the BCCI president, secretary and the chief selector, used to be announced, after ratification by the Board’s working committee, in early November or December.


Contracts usually issued in November or December for October-September cycle


In that period for the 201516 season, Vijay had scored 374 @34, and Pujara 495 @41.25, both well below their overall average


Raina, who had played in the 3 T20Is v England, fulilled the criteria to earn an annual retainer, but has been omitted


The norm was followed when the 2015-16 contracts were announced on November 9, 2015. Even in 2010, the last time the BCCI had hiked annual retainers and match-fee, the contracts were declared on November 11. All along, the BCCI had stressed that the contracts are based primarily on the players’ performance during the preceding contract cycle. The brief was to also factor in the selectors’ plans for the upcoming cycle.

If the 2015-16 performance was the yardstick, Pujara and Vijay would have found it difficult to earn a promotion from grade-B to grade-A. Pujara scored 495 runs in nine Tests at 41.25 — well below his usual career average that has hovered between the high 40s and low 50s. He was even, albeit controversially, dropped for a Test in the West Indies last year, with the team management doubting his ability to rotate strike. Similarly, Vijay featured in

eight of India’s 10 Tests during the cycle, tallying 374 runs at 34. However, the fact both have been on song during India’s long home season — combined with the growing demand for the Test specialists’ compensation to match at least the base price of top IPL players — played to their advantage when the Committee of Administrators (CoA) sat down on Wednesday to prepare the contracts.

Yuvraj gets lucky too Yuvraj had lost his place after a forgettable World Twenty20 last year, but made a dazzling comeback with a hundred in an ODI against England this January. Would the promotions have been so smooth had the

contracts been issued as per schedule? The most prominent omission from the list of 32 contracted players is that of Suresh Raina. Until last year, the BCCI had a rule that any non-contracted player who features in an India XI in any of the three formats would earn the lowest-grade retainer on a pro-rata basis for the remainder of the cycle. In November 2015, the BCCI had raised the eligibility from one to three caps. Considering the fact that Raina has fulfilled the criteria to earn an annual retainer, his omission from the list poses a question on whether it is a matter of oversight by the CoA. Raina, who has had an ailment-plagued domestic season, featured in all three Twenty20 Internationals against England earlier in the year. Yet, his name was missing from the list announced on Wednesday. The Hindu understands that the message from the selectors to the CoA was that Raina no longer “fits into the scheme of things”. Even if that is the case, should there have been a deviation from the existing rule in Raina’s case?

We are interested in hosting the under-20 World Cup, says Praful Patel Shyam Thapa replaces Bhaichung Bhutia as the chairman of AIFF technical committee Uthra Ganesan NEW DELHI

With preparations for the upcoming Under-17 FIFA World Cup in its final stages, the All India Football Federation’s next target is the Under-20 World Cup with president Praful Patel declaring the country was ready for it. “The Under-20 World Cup is our next mission. We have already spoken to FIFA and told them that we are interested. The AIFF is ready to host it next year itself if possible but it isn’t that simple. CM YK

We have to see how to go about it and how, when we get it is something we cannot decide,” Patel told The Hindu following the AIFF Executive Committee meeting here on Thursday.

Motivating youngsters Asked about how he fancied India’s chances at the U-17 World Cup — the first ever FIFA event in the country — Patel admitted that while performance was important, the key objective for the federation was to get Indian

youngsters motivated to take up football. “It’s a big moment for us and we should not miss it. We know that, eventually, Indian football’s future lies in this youth group, not the present lot. The current team is playing well and good for them but if you want to see India at the next level in Asia and the world, you have to see the next generation of youth,” he said. He, however, refused to comment on the long-drawn issue of merging the I-League

and the ISL, saying nothing had been finalised yet while insisting that the I-League would continue to exist regardless of the proposed restructuring of domestic football. Meanwhile, former India striker Shyam Thapa replaced Bhaichung Bhutia as chairman of the AIFF technical committee even as several of the other sub-committees of the federation were revamped at the executive committee meeting. The EC also included

former players Abhishek Yadav and Ishfaq Ahmed as members of the technical committee, taking the number of footballers in the body to five including Pradip Dutta, Prosanto Banerjee and Henry Menezes, who has been named its new vice-chairman. Bhutia’s deputy Savio Messias has been been omitted but the Goan is now part of the Ethics Committee of the AIFF. Yadav, incidentally, is also the AIFF’s talent scouting director and also the

chief operating officer for the Indian Under-17 team. Thapa was last part of the AIFF as coach of the Indian under-16 and under-19 teams in the late 1980s. Ahmed, who is part of the Kerala Blasters team in the ISL, would have to quit that role.

Benevolent fund The committee also decided to set up a Players’ Benevolent Fund with Patel contributing $200,000 for the same. The amount is part of the TA/

DA allowances provided to be part of the AFC meetings which Patel apparently never claimed. An amount of $100,000 would also be given to the AFC Social Development Reform Programme. The EC also approved the next three-year calendar including the Federation Cup in Cuttack (May 7-21) with the season’s top eight I-League teams participating. The AIFF also decided to implement a ranking system for the State associations.

Praful Patel. M MA-MA





FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017



‘Indian tennis will gain a lot’

Knee injury hits Rohit

Naresh Kumar says Paes-Bhupathi reconciliation is a good sign

Special Correspondent VISAKHAPATNAM

Special Correspondent KOLKATA

Former India captain and Davis Cupper Naresh Kumar feels Indian tennis will gain a lot with Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi agreeing to work together again. Naresh Kumar, one of the oldest tennis legends of the country, said it was nice to see the two agreeing to a truce after a “Mahabharata” of differences. “If they can get together it will be better for us. The news of their fight a few years ago was not nice. Let us hope that with Bhupathi coming back to the Indian Davis Cup team, there is reconciliation. It is good that the Mahabharata is over,” said Naresh here on

Collina for action against abuse of referees LONDON

Pierluigi Collina, the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, has warned of a global shortage of match officials if efforts are not made to tackle abuse and violence towards referees at the grassroots level. Collina, who officiated the 2002 World Cup final, said it is a “real threat” when match officials face verbal and physical abuse in amateur football. REUTERS

Harikrishna begins with a draw

Thursday. “Whether they are really at peace or not, I cannot say. But it is a good sign if they are going to come together,” he said. Asked how long Paes could continue playing, Naresh said he still has the class to win crucial points. “It is a very difficult question. If you watch closely at Leander’s doubles or mixed doubles matches, he is the one winning the crucial points. You have to have that confidence and the panache to be still doing that. The other boys may be better players, but on the crucial occasion this fellow is putting his neck forward. So that is his greatest quality,” said Naresh, endorsing Paes’ decision to continue playing.

“We have opted out of the British system and are gaining a lot from the American Collegiate system now. This is a good development, but our young players need enough money to keep playing on the European and American circuits,” he said.

Naresh Kumar.



The 88-year-old, who played both at Wimbledon and Roland Garros, said Indian tennis could grow only if there was enough funds to help the new breed of Indian players trying out on the international circuits.

Praise for Federer He had special appreciation for Roger Federer. “The secret is his backhand. And you know how that backhand came? Because most of his opponents were attacking his backhand all the time and with practice that became strong. I think he has balance and balance is the essence of life. Otherwise it is not easy to win a Grand Slam at the age of 35.”


Grandmaster P. Harikrishna started his campaign in the Shenzhen Longgang Grandmaster chess tournament with a draw against Peter Svidler of Russia here on Thursday. The World No. 14, playing white, began in an aggressive way. But Svidler, the World No. 20, defended smartly to take the game towards neutral territory. With the clock ticking both decided to share the point after 30 moves. PTI

Easy day for top seeds

Nishioka beats Thompson

Prajnesh and Sriram Balaji advance

Bouchard’s poor run continues

Special Correspondent THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

With the seeded players pressing hard to stay on course, the script of the fourth day’s play in the Indian Oil-ITF Futures tournament was on expected lines at the TTC courts here on Thursday. Consequently, it was also a day of one-sided matches as the top-seeded Prajnesh Gunneswaran, No. 2 Sriram Balaji and the third seed Vishnu Vardhan expectedly took their places in the men’s semifinals while the fourth slot was taken by Dalwinder Singh, benefiting from the early exit of No. 4 Sasikumar Mukund.

Tour de France enters China SHANGHAI

Cycling’s Tour de France will stage a Shanghai criterium featuring top riders this year as it bids to attract a following in China, organisers said on Thursday. An ‘Etape China’ (China Stage) for thousands of enthusiasts will be held in Changsha in September, before the criterium for elite riders in Shanghai on October 29. AFP

Cantering home With the sixth seed Vijay Sundar Prashanth having already built up a reputation of being a dogged fighter, it

was anticipated that he would provide a close fight against top-ranked Prajnesh. But as things turned out, Prajnesh came up with a fine all-round display to canter home 6-2, 6-2. This was the case with Sriram Balaji as well, who found some resistance from V.M. Ranjeet early on in the first set, but won the match 6-4, 6-2. The results: Quarterfinals: Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-2, 6-2; N. Sriram Balaji bt V.M. Ranjeet 6-4, 6-2; Vishnu Vardhan bt Haadin Bava 6-3, 7-6(3); Dalwinder Singh bt Jayesh Pungliya 6-3, 6-3. Doubles: Semifinals: Sriram Balaji & Vishnu Vardhan bt Kunal Anand & Anvit Bendre 6-3, 7-5; Jui Chen-Hung (Tpe) & Hong Kit Wong (HKG) bt Aryan Goveas & Dhruv Suresh 6-3, 6-0.

Agence France-Presse MIAMI

Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka saved 11 of 14 break points to secure a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Australia’s Jordan Thompson in the first round of the Miami Open on Wednesday. There was an unusual stoppage during Tommy Haas’s narrow 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5 loss to Czech Jiri Vesely when the game was halted due to an iguana on top of the scoreboard. Meanwhile in the women’s section, Eugenie Bouchard’s poor run of form continued as the Canadian suffered a first-round exit at the hands of Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, losing 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. Important results (first round): Men: Dudi Sela bt Christian Harrison 6-1, 6-1; Nicolas Mahut bt Michael Mmoh

Rohit Sharma suffered yet another injury — this time a minor knee injury — and will miss the Paytm-Deodhar Trophy limited-over cricket tournament to be held here from March 25. Harbhajan Singh will lead India Blue instead. The teams: India Blue: Harbhajan Singh (Capt.), Mandeep Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Ambati Rayudu, Manoj Tiwary, Rishabh Pant (wk), Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddarth Kaul, Shardul Thakur, Prasidh Krishna, Pankaj Rao and Ruturaj Gaikwad. India Red: Parthiv Patel (Capt. & wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Mayank Agarwal, Ishank Jaggi, Gurkeerat Mann, Axar Patel, Akshay Karnewar, Ashoke Dinda, Kulwant Khejroliya, Dhawal Kulkarni, Govinda Poddar, Sreevats Goswami and C.V. Milind.

Fairytale inish for Podolski

6-3, 6-2; Yoshihito Nishioka bt Jordan Thompson 1-6, 6-4, 6-3; Jiri Vesely bt Tommy Haas 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5; Viktor Troicki bt Thiago Monteiro 5-7, 6-3, 6-1; Jeremy Chardy bt Facundo Bagnis 6-2, 6-2; Fabio Fognini bt Ryan Harrison 6-4, 7-5; Benoit Paire bt Martin Klizan 7-6 (4), 6-3; Donald Young bt Dustin Brown 6-3, 1-6, 6-2; Federico Del Bonis bt Juan Monaco 7-5, 7-6(4). Ernesto Escobedo bt Daniel Evans 7-5, 0-6, 6-3. Women: Patricia Tig bt Heather Watson 7-6(4), 6-1; Ashleigh Barty bt Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 5-7, 6-3; Lucie Safarova bt Yanina Wickmayer 7-6(2), 6-4; Yaroslava Shvedova bt Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(3); Bethanie Mattek-Sands bt Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 4-6, 6-4; Aliaksandra Sasnovich bt Alize Cornet 6-4, 1-6, 6-4; Julia Goerges bt Alison Riske 7-5, 6-3; Sorana Cirstea bt Monica Puig 6-2, 6-4.


Germany’s Lukas Podolski capped his international swansong with a sensational goal to give the world champion a 1-0 victory over England in a friendly on Wednesday. Podolski, who captained the team for the first time, could not have hoped for a more fitting finale to his 13year Germany career, as he thundered in the winner in the 69th minute to take his goal tally to 49 in 130 international matches. The results: Germany 1 (Podolski 69) bt England 0; Czech Republic 3 (Horava 48pen, Jankto 64, Krmencik 79) bt Lithuania 0; Cyprus 3 (Mytidis 56, Katedaris 62, Christofi 66) bt Kazakhstan 1 (Nuserbajev 29); Scotland 1 (Naismith 35) drew with Canada 1 (Aird 11).



Laidlaw Memorial is champion UDHAGAMANDALAM: The

Laidlaw Memorial School defeated Riverside Public School by 13 runs to emerge the champion of the NDCA under-13 inter-school cricket tournament for the Selma / Selai Gowder Memorial Rolling Trophy at the Laidlaw grounds here recently. The scores: The Laidlaw Memorial 151 for nine in 30 overs bt Riverside Public 138 for eight in 30 overs (A. Sibi 60 n.o., R.A. Raghul 33, N. Akshaath four for 22).

Triumphant: The Laidlaw Memorial School, winner of the NDCA under-13 inter-school tournament.

Ramesh makes merry COIMBATORE: Medium pacer

for 30) fine effort went in vain as Arumugam Eleven Patriots Cricket Club defeated favourite Sri Ramakrishna Cricket Trust by four wickets. The scores: I div.: Sri

T. Ramesh’s seven-wicket haul enabled Rajasekar Mani MCC score a nine-run win over PSG Tech Cricket Club in the CDCA third division league at the PSG Sarvajana School grounds recently. In a first division clash, S. Radhakrishnan’s (115 & three

Ramakrishna CT 202 in 49.5 overs (S. Radhakrishnan 115, J. Praveen Edward 31) lost to

Arumugam Eleven Patriots CC 204 for six in 46.2 overs (R. Gowtham 38, R. Mithun 33 n.o., P. Vasanthkumar 48 n.o., S. Radhakrishnan three for 30). II div.: Arumugam CC 165 in 43.5 overs (R. Vikram 61, S. Ramu 47, N. Mohammed Ashik three for 40, S. Gowrishankar three for 18) lost to SNR Sons

College 166 for eight in 42.4 overs (N. Mohammed Ashik 61, A. Shankar 31, S. Kiran 30, Y. Naveen Prabhu three for 18). III div.: Miracle CC 231 for nine in 50 overs (S. Karthik 82, K. Sathish 41, S. Arun four for 41) bt Kaleeswara CC 186 in 44.2 overs (K. Rajesh 53, M. Balakrishnan three for 18, K. Saravana Kumar four for 27). Rajasekar Mani MCC 165 in 45.5 overs (R. Manoj Wilson 33, B. Tyson Prabhu 48, D. Gunaseelan three for 16, M. Anand four for 36) bt PSG Tech CC 156 in 26.3 overs (R. Avinash 30, T. Ramesh seven for 36). Coimbatore Raiders CA 203 in 48.4 overs (S. Saravanan 61, D. Durairaj Yokesh Kumar 34, S. Manikandan 32) bt RKS Kalvinilayam ICC 170 in 38.1 overs (Siddarth Ashok 72, V. Thandavamoorthi four for 17, S. Saravanan three for 27). IV div.: Akshya CET CC 129 for nine in 33.5 overs (M. Vignesh Kumar 34, R. Srinivasa Prabu four for 28) bt Coimbatore Friends CC 98 in 26.2 overs (L. Sakthivel three for 13, M.

Sivasakthi three for 37). V div.: Masters CC 131 in 45.3 overs (C. Kalaiarasan three for 16) lost to Rathinam College CC 134 for four in 34.1 overs (R. Arunkumar 45 n.o., R. Mouliraj 33 n.o.); Kovai Tuskers 169 in 38 overs (M. Adithya 52 n.o., R. Yokesh Kumar 31, C. Kalayarasan four for 37) bt Rathinam College CC 129 in 33.2 overs (R. Jai Ganesh Kumar 64, S.R. Karthikeyan five for 29, R. Yokesh Kumar three for 33); GCC 205 for nine in 50 overs (S. Vigneshwar 42, M. Venkata Krishnan 40, M. Siva Kumar three for 45, N. Surya Prakash three for 45) bt Magma CC 124 in 36.4 overs (R. Gowthaman four for 29).

Abhinav scalps ive M. Abhinav picked up five for 29 in Sri Ramakrishna Mills Sports Club’s fivewicket win over Sir Robert Stanes Memorial Cricket Club in a quarterfinal clash of the CDCA-Sri Ramakrishna Mills T20 tournament at the PSGIMS

grounds recently. The scores (quarterfinals): Cosmo Village SA 111 for nine in 20 overs (F. Riyas 31, K.N. Sounderamani three for 21) lost to Jollyrovers CC 115 for five in 20 overs (T. Rajahram 32, D. Loganathan three for 21); Sir Robert Stanes MCC 91 in 17.3 overs (M. Abhinav five for 29) lost to Sri Ramakrishna Mills SC 95 for five in 18.3 overs (M. Abhinav 30); Kovai Knights 133 for eight in 20 overs ( Rajeel Abdul Rahman 47, G. Guru Venkatesh four for 18) bt Sachin CC 126 in 19.5 overs (S. Mohan Prasath three for 25); Cosmo Village Roboes SA 138 for nine in 20 overs (K. Magudapathi 42, M.K. Rahul four for 32) bt Tirupur CC 111 for nine in 20 overs (S. Firoz Khan four for 20, M.G. George Stephen three for 19).

ENGAGEMENTS At Coimbatore Basketball: Federation Cup for

men and women, PSG Indoor Sports Complex, 3 p.m. onwards

Ankur wins double trap Equals World record in the inal Sports Bureau Acapulco

Ankur Mittal clinched the double trap gold in the final of the shotgun World Cup here on Wednesday. He also equalled the World record of 75 out of 80 in the final, to beat James Willett (73) of Australia who had set the record while winning the World Cup last month in Delhi. Incidentally, Ankur won silver then. “I wouldn’t call it revenge. Winning and being defeated are all part of the game. The conditions in the

final range were perfect. “The wind affected the qualification rounds, but in the afternoon it was not so strong,” Ankur was quoted as saying by ISSF. The second Indian in the competition, the young Shapath Bharadwaj shot 128 following a series of 25, 24, 25, 26 and 28. The World Cup will continue with the skeet event for men and women. The results: 1. Ankur Mittal 75 (EWR) 138(6); 2. James Willett (Aus) 73 (135); 3. Qi Ying (Chn) 52 (138)5; 12. Shapath Bharadwaj 128.



All-round show by Vigneshpathy NAGAPATTINAM: T. Vigneshpathy’s all-round effort (76 and three for 23) helped Sangam register a 19-run win over Bulls in the final of the StanleyVijendran Memorial districtlevel Twenty20 cricket tournament. The scores (final):

Sangam 160 for four in 20 overs (T. Vigneshpathy 76, S.

Surender 32, Senthil three for 23) bt Bulls 141 for six in 20 overs (Anand 43, T. Vigneshpathy three for 23). Semifinals: Sangam 154 for seven in 20 overs (Rajkamal 76, S. Surender 28) bt Barracks 121 in 19.2 overs (Sunish 31, Sudhan 26, D. Rahul four for 25). Bulls 100 in 17.1 overs (Jubier 33, Madan three for 15) bt NNF 84 in 16 overs (Ramkumar 44, Anand three for 10).

Best of the lot: The victorious Sangam CC team.

Sri Ramnath shines

Marton nets four in Sethu’s big win

MADURAI: Back-to-back half-centuries by M.S. Sri Ramnath Kumar set up convincing wins for Spark Colts CC over Mustang CC and Mercury Legends CC respectively in the first division of the MDCA league here. The scores: I div: Mustang

MADURAI: Shem Marton’s four goals, including a hat-trick, set up Sethu FC’s big 6-0 win over Temple City FC in the MDFA ‘A’ division league here. The results: ‘A’ div: ACME FC

119 in 28.2 overs (Rafiq Raja 25, Mathivanan three for 30) lost to Spark Colts 120 for one in 23.2 overs (M.S. Sri Ramnath Kumar 51 n.o., M. Balakrishnan 50 n.o.). Crescent 161 for nine in 30 overs (M. Ranjith Kumar 51,Vetriselvam 25, R. Raghul three for 34) lost to Avengers 162 for four in 24.4 overs (J. Sethuraman 59, Gowthaman 39, Mohamed Arshad Ali 29). Spark Colts 221 for nine in 28 overs (M.S. Sri Ramnath Kumar 63, M. Balakrishnan 50, K. George Dimitro 26 n.o., K. Sundarajan 25, A. Nirmalnath three for 40) bt Mercury Legends 164 for nine in 30 overs (Muthu Pradeep Kumar 38 n.o., Nandhakumar 34, Meenakshi Sundaram 29). II div: Le Chatelier Mystery 152 for three in 25 overs (Syed Aziz 68, Kevin Isac Theobald 66 n.o.) bt Dhaya Cricket Academy 140 for seven in 25 overs (Umasankar 41, Hariharan 33, Mohamed Ibrahim three for 30).

4 (Rajan 2, Jinna 2) bt Vaigai FC 2 (Silambarasan 2); TVS FC 1 (Karthick) bt Dominic Savio FC 0; Sethu FC 6 (Shem Marton 4, Muhammed Fahood, Mari) bt Temple City FC 0; Sethu Soccer FC 1 (Sathyamoorthy) bt Don Bosco FC 0; Sethu Soccer FC 4 (Sathyamoorthy 2, Akash, Muthu) bt Dominic Savio FC 2 (Shanmugam, Vimal); Nehru FC 4 (Sivakrishnan, Prabhu, Mohammed Ismail, Arul Balaji) bt Friends FC 2 (Muni, Vicky); South Zone Police FC 3 (Manikandan, Murugan, Pathmanadan) bt Temple City FC 0; Don Bosco FC 1 (Karthick) bt ACME FC 0; TVS FC 2 (Gokul, Rakesh) bt Vaigai FC 0.

Hockey selection trials The Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu (HUT) will conduct selections trials for the Dindigul junior men’s team on March 26 at the SDAT Stadium at 9 a.m. Players born on or after 1.1.98 are eligible. Contact R. Ramanujam (7904849061).












18 Ultramodern directions on tooth by the French dentist initiated (10)

13 14



20 Questions Tamil leader abandoning jobs to be done (4)

17 18

recall by nobleman (4) 16 What an accident on the road may well bring about — how a ight in a movie can be described (5,5)

9 10

(set by Gridman)




22 23

24 25



23 Someone who cares for earth organises force to take on each kind, to begin with (8) 24 Dust settles on India's top old workroom (6) 26 With a bit of rice, Olivia cooked an Italian dish (7)



27 Left, as a large number came in with feelings roused (7) ■ ACROSS 1 Ram's ready for sweet-talk (6,2) 5 Get a bit of commercial tax (6) 10 Proclaim: U.S. President meets alien (7) 11 Garment in general (7) 12 Charge our country almost going to court (6) 13 Time for an event (8) 15 Almost whimsical


28 Thin light falling over sport official (6) 29 Give conidence to old men — be barmy (8) ■ DOWN 1 How one may get a thing done even if it means bumbling through (2,5,3,5) 2 Cry loudly — sometimes it's stolen from others (7)



Envoy extraordinary

3 Look for the answer! (6) 4 Solving this clue is __ __ you! (2,2) 6 Crack Chennai's top investor retreating with heads of school education (8) 7 Woman holding up entry form is dodgy (7) 8 You may be silver-tongued but not speaking might help better (7,2,6) 9 Strenuous musical performance by boy (9) 14 Puzzling to have giant mice running about (9) 17 What old women liked to do in the past decades with daughters and sons in the mating game (5,3) 19 Any woman, though, opts herself out (7) 21 Under the inluence of drugs, son and sweetheart went out together (7) 22 Strips put up on company's decorative material (6) 25 Wave made by each man (4)

Solution to puzzle 11962 C O N T R A C E P T I V E S




Solution to yesterday’s Sudoku Y C D O N I C R C E T L E H G O U N S E I S

In the Sundara Kanda, Valmiki captures Hanuman’s greatness as an envoy, showing how might and prowess is matched by astute alertness to the delicate mission that has devolved on him. On this is superimposed his absolute humility and devotion in the undertaking on behalf of the divine couple, pointed out Damal Sri Ramakrishnan and Srimati Perundevi in a discourse. After conveying to Sita news of Rama and handing over Rama’s signet ring, he obtains from her a token to be given to Rama. But he feels his mission is not over and he decides to show Ravana and the people of Lanka a taste of what is in store for them for the adharma perpetrated on Sita. He destroys Asoka Vana and hearing this news Ravana sends his men to fight Hanuman. He is brought to Ravana’s court when he submits to Indrajit’s Brahmastra with profound respect. Fearlessly, he warns Ravana that his atrocities only beckon impending doom to Lanka. Ravana orders the rakshasas to set fire to Hanuman’s tail and have him flogged. When Sita hears this news, she prays to Agni to keep his tail cool. Hanuman realises that the fire blazing onhis tail does not burn his body. He understands that it is the grace of Rama and Sita and, extricating himself from the ropes binding his body, he sets on fire the whole city of Lanks. . He soon regrets his hasty act of foolishness, for would not the fire have destroyed Asoka Vana where Sita has been imprisoned ? But he hears that Asoka Vana alone has miraculously escaped the fire. Rama is overwhelmed by Hanuman's achievements and, by way of gratitude, graces him with an embrace which confers all His Sarvatva to him. Hanuman cherishes this gift that has left an indelible mark on his sharira and would not give it up at any cost, not even when Rama offers salvation. M MA-TIDG





FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017



Sankar Roy does the star turn for Bengal Liston Colaco sparkles in Goa’s 2-1 victory over Kerala in the semiinals

Indian girls get past Kazakhstan Special Correspondent

M.R. Praveen Chandran Panaji

Westbrook nets ‘perfect’ triple-double WASHINGTON

NBA scoring leader Russell Westbrook unleashed his 35th triple-double of the season on Wednesday, making NBA history and powering Oklahoma City Thunder over visiting Philadelphia 76ers 122-97. Other results: Nuggets 126 bt Cavaliers 113; Hornets 109 bt Orlando 102; Bulls 117 bt Detroit 95; Wizards 104 bt Atlanta 100; Hornets 109 bt Magic 102; Celtics 109 bt Pacers 100; Bucks 116 bt Kings 98; Jazz 108 bt Knicks 101. AGENCIES

Joshna bows out of British Open squash

Goa punished Kerala for its frailties in defence to score a 2-1 win and enter the final of the 71st Santosh Trophy National football championship at the GMC stadium here on Thursday. Striker Liston Colaco struck a brace to shut out Kerala whose weak defence was exposed by Goa. In the final on Sunday, Goa will meet Bengal which beat Mizoram 6-5 in sudden death in another semifinal match. Though Kerala had the better of ball possession Goans stung in counter attacks and scored both the goals in the same manner. Kerala attacked from the start but it was Goa which

went ahead and off the first chance it created. Peter Carvalho pushed a long ball to Brian Mascarenhas on the right flank. Brian entered the box and squared the ball to Liston who beat the goalkeeper with a right footer in the 13th minute. The Kerala goal fell again in the 36th minute when Leander Cunha found Liston with a through ball and the striker easily beat his marker to bury the ball into far corner of the net. After surviving an early scare in the second half when Aaren D’Silva failed to connect a cross from Brian, Kerala went on to dominate its opponent. It created several chances and Rahul Raj pulled one back in the 61st minute

SANTOSH TROPHY when he found the net with a header in a goal mouth melee following a corner. Goa survived the Kerala attacks in the final minutes to move into the final. Earlier, 31-time champion West Bengal entered the final for the first time in six years after defeating Mizoram 6-5 in sudden death. Goalkeeper Sankar Roy turned out to be the Bengal’s hero as he made two saves in tie-breaker. Roy stopped penalties taken by his counterpart Muanawma and Lalbaikhula as West Bengal won 6-5 in sudden death. The teams failed to score during the regular time and

30 minutes of extra-time. The Bengal defence kept a clean slate again and so far Bengal has not conceded a goal during regular play. Mizoram must be ruing the chances it missed including the two chances the team got in the dying minutes of extra time. During regular play, the defensive wall put up by West Bengal’s back four was hard to penetrate. The result: Semifinals: Bengal 6 (Rana Gharami, Manvir Singh, Samad Ali Mallick, Mumtaz Akthar, S.K. Faiz, Moirangthem Basanta Singh) bt Mizoram 5 (Lalrammawia, Ramfangzauva, Lalrammuanpuia, Lalrinchhana, Lalchhuanawma). Goa 2 (Liston Colaco 13, 36) bt Kerala 1 (Rahul Raj 61).

Second straight win for ONGC Income Tax (Gujarat) goes down ighting

New Delhi

Salsa Aher and Humera Shaik got India past Kazakhstan 2-1 in the play-off match for the ninth place in the Asia Oceania junior Fed Cup under-16 girls’ tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Thursday. India will next play Korea. The winner will play the winner of the match between Indonesia and Malaysia for the ninth place.

Duel: Mizoram’s Laldinliana (right) and Bengal’s Moirangthem Basanta Singh ight for possession. PTI *


Bhambri crashes out Special Correspondent Quanzhou


India’s campaign ended in the British Open squash championship with the exit of Joshna Chinappa here in the second round late on Wednesday. Joshna lost 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 to Raneem El Welily of Egypt, a former World champion, in 27 minutes.

India loses to Australia BANGKOK

Australia beat India 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the Asia Oceania World Junior (u-14) tennis tournament on Thursday. The results: Australia bt India 3-0 [Casey Hoole bt Divesh Gahlot 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-5; Philip Sekulic bt V.M. Sandeep 6-2, 6-1; Philip Sekulic & Edward Vo bt Nishant Dabas & V.M. Sandeep 7-6(3), 6-2].

TV PICKS WC Qualifier: Spain vs Israel, Sony Six & Sony Six HD, 1 a.m. (Saturday) NBA: Sony Six & Sony Six HD, 5.30 a.m. (Saturday)


toms and Central Excise (Kerala) held its nerves to clinch a 78-77 thriller over a fighting Ludhiana BA.

Rayan Rozario Coimbatore

ONGC Dehradun scored its second straight win defeating Income Tax (Gujarat) 8871 in men’s Group B league of the 31st Federation Cup basketball championship here on Thursday. The IT boys knew they were up against one of the best teams in the country. But they displayed guts of steel, dribbling boldly and confidently into the rival area for precious points, in the first quarter. ONGC, the championship favourite, meanwhile, played in a much relaxed manner. The idea was to exercise its strategies for the final league against a strong Indian Overseas Bank on Friday. It was, in fact, a rehearsal of sorts for the team. After its main players secured a good 15-point lead in the first session, ONGC tested its bench strength. Income Tax, on the other

Dominating: ONGC’s Yadwinder Singh called the shots against Income Tax (Gujarat). M. PERIASAMY *

hand, continued to work hard at the flanks. Dishanth V. Shah, the only tall star in the team, who looked smooth and easy beating the defence in the first half, suddenly could not find the space to move around as he was completely checked by the big men from Uttarakhand. Income Tax could have

FEDERATION CUP still made a match of it had its bench been strong enough. It had just three to boast of as against ONGC’s eight. They tried their level best in the final quarter but the damage had already been done. Late on Wednesday, Cus-

The results: Men: ONGC (Uttarakhand) 88 (Yadwinder Singh 21, Vishesh Briguvanshi 20) bt Income Tax (Gujarat) 71 (Dishant V. Shah 20, Indravijay Singh 16); Army Service Corps & Centre (Karnataka) 87 (Issac T. Thomas 28, Vivekananda 16) bt Ludhiana BA 64 (Arshpreet Singh 19, Rajveer Singh 18); IOB 75 bt Central Railway 58. On Wednesday: IOB 82 (G. Sivabalan 20, Hareesh Koroth 19) bt Income Tax (Gujarat) 71 (Dhaval P. Ulva 20, Dishan V. Shaji 19); Customs & Central Excise (Kerala) 78 (R. Manoj 30, K.R. Nikhil 23) bt Ludhiana BA 77 (Arshpreet Bhullar 21, Rahul Mehla 16). Women: West Bengal 76 (Madhu Kumari 25, Sitamani Tudu 19) bt Kerala 55 (P.G. Anjana 11, Nimmi George 9); Chhattisgarh 105 (Poonam Chaturvedi 42, Riya Verma 18) bt Punjab 75 (Nicha Netam 15, Mahima Bharadwaj 11).

The results (play-off): India bt Kazakhstan 2-1 (Salsa Aher bt Takhmina Zhanatova 6-3, 6-2; Humera Shaik bt Anastasia Astakhova 0-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3); Salsa Aher & Sai Dedeepya lost to Kamilya Shalina & Takhmina Zhanatova 6-3, 7-5).

Yuki Bhambri lost 6-3, 6-2 to fifth seed Maximilian Marterer of Belgium in the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Challenger tennis tournament here on Thursday. The results: $50,000 Challenger: Quanzhou (China): Quarterfinals: Maximilian Marterer (Bel) bt Yuki Bhambri 6-3, 6-2; Second round: Bhambri bt Blaz Kavcic (Slo) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Doubles: Quarterfinals: Christopher Rungkat (Ina) & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Ruan Roelofse (RSA) & Chu-Huan Yi (Tpe) 4-6, 7-6(3), [10-8]. $15,000 ITF women, Heraklion (Greece): First round: Mira Antonitsch (Aut) & Karman Kaur Thandi bt Almudena Sanz-Llaneza Fernandez (Esp) & Maya Tahan (Isr) 7-5, 6-3. $15,000 ITF women, Sharm El Sheikh: Julia Wachaczyk (Ger) bt Ramya Natarajan 6-2, 6-3.






FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017


Sea ice hits record winter low Agence France-Presse Miami

The sea ice cover in the Arctic and the Antarctic hit new record lows for this time of year, marking the smallest polar ice caps in the 38-year satellite record, U.S. government scientists said on Wednesday. In March, the Arctic ice sheet should be at its biggest, but on March 7 the ice cover reached “a record low wintertime maximum extent,” said a statement by NASA. Data from the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado, also showed that on March 3, “sea ice around Antarctica hit its lowest extent ever recorded by satellites at the end of summer in the Southern Hemisphere”. The disappearing sea ice comes as the planet has marked three years in a row of record-breaking heat, raising new concerns about the accelerating pace of global warming and the need to curb burning of fossil fuels.

Solar-powered ‘skin’ for prosthetics Reuters LONDON

Amputees with prosthetic limbs may soon get a better sense of touch, thanks to the power of the sun, British researchers said on Thursday.

Ravinder Dahiya, a research fellow at the University of Glasgow, said the technology involves installing a thin layer of pure carbon around a prosthetic. This allows light to pass

through it and be easily used as solar energy, the researchers said. This extra and renewable energy can be used to power sensors that increase sense and feeling in a prosthetic limb.

Seasonal cycle The ice floating in the Arctic Ocean grows and shrinks on a seasonal cycle, reaching its largest size in March and its smallest at the end of the summer melt in September. This year’s Arctic maximum spanned 14.42 million That is 95,829 below the previous record low in 2015. When scientists take account of the average sea ice extent for 1981-2010, this year’s ice cover is 12,19,884 smaller. In the Antarctic, this year’s record low annual sea ice minimum was 21,10,840 That was 1,83,889 below the previous lowest minimum extent in the satellite record, which occurred in 1997, NASA said.



24-03-2017 - THE HINDU - SHASHI THAKUR - Link 1.pdf ...

FIRs had been registered. against 60 persons for the. same. On the action against. illegal slaughterhouses, Ad- ditional Superintendent of. Police, DGP headquarters,. Rahul Srivastav said eight. FIRs had been lodged in. Meerut, Varanasi and. Bareilly, and two illegal. slaughterhouses each clos- ed in Varanasi and Bareilly.

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