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tuesday, february 28, 2017

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Modi says SP, BSP working towards a hung Assembly in U.P.

Polling below 60% in the ifth phase of U.P. Assembly elections

Airtel drops roaming charges from April 1 to counter Jio

Heena Sidhu, Jitu Rai win mixed doubles gold in air pistol

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C o i m b ato r e

HC denies parole to Mukhtar Ansari NEW DELHI

The Delhi High Court on Monday denied parole to BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari to campaign in the ongoing UP elections. The court observed that the right to contest the election does not give the candidate the get right to be released from jail for canvassing. NATION 쑺 PAGE 6

INLD threatens to gherao Parliament CHANDIGARH

The INLD on Monday threatened to gherao Parliament on March 15 and hold demonstration at Jantar Mantar in Delhi if Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not intervene in the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal issue. 쑺 PAGE 6


Bihar ruckus over exam paper leak PATNA

The Bihar Assembly on Monday witnessed vociferous protests by Opposition NDA leaders who demanded a CBI probe into the BSSC paper leak scam. Meanwhile, a delegation of IAS oicers met the Assembly Speaker seeking his intervention. NATION

B e n g a lu ru






N o i da


V i s a k h a pat n a m


T h i ru va n a n t h a p u r a m


Ko c h i


V i j ayawa da


M a n g a lu ru

India, China seek common ground on Afghanistan




쑺 PAGE 7



Both countries set aside diferences on Masood Azhar, Delhi’s NSG bid


T i ru c h i r a pa l l i


Ko l k ata










DU girl’s anti-ABVP tweets trigger political slugfest Daughter of Kargil braveheart complains of rape threats Vikas Pathak NEW DELHI

Suhasini Haidar NEW DELHI

Despite differences on a number of issues, including over the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), U.N. designation of Masood Azhar as a terrorist, and the ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor, India and China began to look for a “common ground” on Afghanistan during Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar’s visit to Beijing last week, official sources have told The Hindu. Officials reportedly even discussed the possibility of “joint development projects” that could be undertaken despite economic rivalries between the two countries in other parts of the subcontinent. The Foreign Secretary’s visit, which saw a restructured “Strategic Dialogue” with Chinese executive ViceMinister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Yesui, also witnessed an effort by both sides to “stabilise India-China relations” at a time the world is experiencing a new “volatility,” a senior official said.

Shifting calculus This indicates a shifting global calculus due to the recent surprise foreign and trade policy moves by the

New frontiers: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar holds talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing recently. PTI new U.S. administration under Donald Trump. “The overarching concern during the talks seemed to be that China had grown economically, and India has been growing because of a predictable international system so far,” one official, privy to the talks, said. “Each one of us is affected by the new unpredictability, and we must do what we can to bring down the volatility, instead of playing up our differences.” Officials who were privy to the negotiations told The Hindu that there was still little movement on issues that have been most highlighted in the past year,

mainly over Masood Azhar, where China has put a technical hold at the U.N. that will lapse in July, and the NSG, where India’s membership will be taken up again at the plenary session in June.

Another irritant Another possible flashpoint in May 2017 is Chinese President Xi Jinping’s global conference on the “Belt and Road Initiative (B&RI),” where the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan will be highlighted and which Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to attend.

Officials said that India had “made it clear” that it would not take part given the “sovereignty issues.” While talks on Azhar and the NSG failed to see any breakthrough, the fact that both the Indian and Chinese delegations included officials dealing with Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as the U.N. and multilateral ties showed that China was “open to finding solutions,” the official said. To that end, the strategic dialogue was divided into five different “sub-groups” — Afghanistan, nuclear issues, United Nations including the 1267 designation committee, bilateral issues, and consular and visa matters, or peopleto-people ties — with Joint Secretaries Pradeep Rawat for East Asia, Pankaj Sharma for (Nuclear) Disarmament, Rudrendra Tandon for U.N., and Gopal Baglay (appointed MEA spokesperson on Monday) for Pakistan-Afghanistan and Iran leading the discussions on the issues. On Afghanistan, it is learnt that the Chinese government, which proposed a separate discussion, had expressed its “admiration” for India’s work on developmental projects, including the Salma Dam in Herat.

A real surprise ending: Moonlight is the best

The social media protest launched against the RSS’ student affiliate Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarti Parishad by Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur after the Ramjas College violence snowballed into a political controversy on Monday, with political leaders taking positions for and against her. On her part, the student, daughter of Kargil braveheart Captain Mandeep Singh, visited the Delhi Commission for Women to complain against abusive ‘rape’ threats on social media from online trolls. BJP MP from Mysuru Pratap Simha created a controversy by comparing her to Dawood Ibrahim. “At least Dawood did not use the crutches of his father’s name to justify his anti-national stand,” he tweeted. Mr. Simha also posted a photograph showing the underworld don with the message, “I didn’t kill people in 1993. Bombs killed them.” In a string of tweets, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju sought to know who had poisoned the girl’s mind. “Who’s polluting this young girl’s mind? A strong Arm Force prevents a war. India never attacked anyone

In a gafe, neo-musical La La Land was mistakenly named for top prize, but it won six Oscars Brooks Barnes Cara Buckley LOS ANGELES

but a weak India was always invaded,” he tweeted. “Freedom of expression is not a licence to shout anti-national slogans in campuses. Criticise the govt but don’t abuse the motherland. Everyone has right of views but she said Pakistan didn’t kill our brave martyr & India should shun war. India never perpetrated violence!” he added. Earlier, the student had posted photographs of herself on social media holding a placard saying: “I am not afraid of ABVP.” She added

that she was not alone and every student of India was with her. Months back she had also posted her photo with the placard, “Pakistan did not kill my dad. War killed him.” In an apparent dig at her on Monday, cricketer Virender Sehwag tweeted that his bat, and not he, had scored two triple tons with actor Randeep Hooda applauding him and alleging that the girl was being used as a pawn. CONTINUED ON 쑺 PAGE 10 SEE ALSO 쑺 DELHI METRO

Kerala police clueless on ‘IS recruit’ Staff Reporter KASARAGOD

In an epic flub that drew gasps of horror — and joy — at the Dolby Theater here, Faye Dunaway mistakenly named La La Land the best picture at the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday night, but in reality Moonlight won the top prize. The producers of La La Land were still thanking their families and fellow artists when the interjection came that Moonlight had in fact won, as everyone wondered if it was a joke. But it wasn’t, and the La La Land people quickly exited the stage as producers and stars of Moonlight, just as stunned as everyone else, walked on. Warren Beatty and Dunaway had presented the best picture award. When Beatty opened the envelope, he took an extended pause before showing the card to Dunaway, who then announced La La Land as the winner. “I want to tell you what happened,” Beatty said in the chaotic moments after Moonlight was announced as the winner. “I opened the


A day after the startling message to his close relatives that Hafeezuddin, 26, a native of Padanna near Cheruvathur in the district, who was among the 17 suspected to have joined the Islamic State, was killed in a drone strike, the police here are groping in the dark about the information. The Kerala police are still

ascertaining the veracity of the information even as a ‘WhatsApp’ message said to have been received by a relative of the ‘slain’ youth showed the photo of his body lying on the ground, Special Branch DSP V.T. Assainar told The Hindu. “The local police could not as yet ascertain the whereabouts of the persons who went missing under mysterious circumstances in

June last year and are said to have joined the IS later,” Mr. Assainar said, adding that only Central agencies like the NIA could get any information, a stance maintained by Superintendent of Police K.G. Simon too. It still could not be confirmed whether the 17 missing persons, including women and children, are in Iraq or Afghanistan. THE IS CHALLENGE 쑺 EDITORIAL

Twist in tale: La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz (left) declares that the Best Picture Oscar is awarded to Moonlight, after it was announced by mistake that La La Land was the winner. At right are actor Warren Beatty and host Jimmy Kimmel. AFP envelope, and it said “Emma Stone, La La Land.” That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny. This is Moonlight, the best picture.” Moonlight, the story of a young, gay, black man, won

three statuettes in total, including the best adapted screenplay and the best supporting actor. “Very clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true,” said Barry Jenkins, director of Moonlight. “But to hell with dreams, I’m

done with it, because this is true. Oh my goodness.” Held up as an escapist, believe-in-yourself antidote for the times, the neo-musical La La Land won six Oscars, including statuettes for Damien Chazelle’s directing

and Stone’s acting, during a jaunty ceremony that swung between self-celebration and political acrimony — before its wild ending. NYT IRANIANS HAIL FARHADI’S OSCAR WIN 쑺 PAGE 12 MOONLIT REALITY 쑺 EDITORIAL

Global studies on India’s air quality lawed, says CPCB Bodies such as WHO used ‘arbitrary’ conversion factors to measure pollutants Jacob Koshy New Delhi

The Central Pollution Control Board — an Environment Ministry organisation that sets guidelines for monitoring and controlling pollution — says international studies linking air quality in India to disease and death are flawed because “…the ethologic, personnel immunity (sic) and demography of India are incomparable with international practices.” Bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) used “arbitrary conversion factors [to measure the prevalence of different pollutants]” to rank cities for air quality, the CPCB alleged in an internal newsletter published in November 2016 but not made public. CM YK

Persisting problem: In this ile photo, a youth wears a mask as he stands at India Gate as heavy smog covers New Delhi. AFP

The publication, called Matter-Fine Particulate: An Environmental Challenge, is a guide to understanding the genesis, prevalence, sources and health effect of extremely small particles of

dust that can result from a wide range of causes including road dust, domestic cooking and fossil fuel burning. The size of these particles determines the ease with

which they can be lodged within the body. Those smaller than 2.5 micron (PM2.5 ) are generally implicated for respiratory and cardiovascular ailments. Reacting, last week, to reports that air pollution killed 1.1 million Indians in 2015, Environment Minister Anil Dave told a press conference, “We seem to be far more influenced by things out of India. We have several of our own organisations and experts…and I trust them as much as I do our Army.” While acknowledging that PM2.5 pollution was a problem, no Indian agency has quantified death and disease due to air pollution in India. On the other hand, other than disavowing mortality figures, the government has

also never officially disputed any international report on how they measured pollution numbers for Indian cities. In its most recent update in 2016, the WHO said that 10 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world were in India, whose air quality standards require that the daily PM 2.5 averages not exceed 60 mg/cubic metre and 40 mg/cubic metre annually. The WHO arrived at its figures by collecting 24-hour and annual average of PM 10 and PM 2.5 of cities from government websites and, when it didn’t have figures for PM 2.5, used a constant number to convert from PM 10 measurements. CONTINUED ON 쑺 PAGE 10 ND-ND









Tuesday, February 28

RISE 06:47 SET 18:20 RISE 07:54 SET 20:11 Wednesday, March 01

RISE 06:46 SET 18:21 RISE 08:34 SET 21:14 Thursday, March 02

RISE 06:45 SET 18:22 RISE 09:16 SET 22:16

Building by-laws amended in Noida, Greater Noida Distance between buildings reduced, experts slam the new move Noida/Greater Noida

missions are granted to housing projects.

The distance between buildings in Noida and Greater Noida has been reduced from 16 metres to nine metres with a change in building by-laws being introduced here. While the authorities say this will help increase green cover, experts say it will restrict the flow of natural light and lead occupants of flats to feel suffocated. According to officials, this change will apply only to utility buildings, like clubs, inside a housing project. “An amendment in the building by-laws has been approved by the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA). As per the amended rule, the distance between two towers has

Green cover “The authority conducts surveys and thoroughly checks that a building is developed as per building by-laws. We have told the developers that green cover and ventilation are not compromised with,” explained a senior official. Experts, however, said that the move would lead to suffocation inside flats and reduce space available for emergency operations. “Reducing distance between two buildings will lead to problems like suffocation and disruption of flow of natural light and air supply. The move will also limit space for rescue operations,” said Udai Singh, a construction expert.

Purusharth Aradhak


Raje govt committed to bovine welfare JAIPUR

The Rajasthan government reiterated its commitment to development of cow sheds and claimed it is providing adequate grants to the registered ‘gaushalas’. Replying to a query by Congress MLA Sukhram Bishnoi, Minister of State for Cooperatives and Gopalan Ajay Singh Kilak said the government is providing ₹141 crore annually to 1,148 registered cow sheds. PTI

Explosives seized in Rohtas SASARAM (BIHAR)

A huge quantity of explosives was seized from a godown in Rohtas district on Monday. SP Manavjit Singh Dhillon said it included three bags of ammonium nitrate, ammonium phosphate, gelatin rods and 6,000 detonators. PTI

Cash van guard, cashier shot dead

The change applies to only utility buildings in a project. been reduced from 16 metres to nine metres. However, this will apply only to utility buildings in a project,” said Leenu Sehgal, GNIDA General Manager (Planning). A proposal in this regard was sent to the NCR Planning Board and the State gov-

ernment, which have reportedly approved the change. GNIDA officials have assured that green cover would not be compromised with, besides proper ventilation and flow of natural light being ensured, when per-

Congress stages walkout over Bhopal jailbreak

No fresh taxes in Bihar budget Thrust areas include development, poverty alleviation Amarnath Tewary Patna

The Bihar government on Monday presented a ₹1.60 lakh crore budget for the year 2017-18, with no proposal of any fresh tax. Presenting a revenue-surplus Budget of ₹14,555.59 crore in the Assembly, Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddqui said, “We’ve presented an expenditure of ₹1,60,085.69 crore for 201718, which is ₹15,389.42 crore more than the current year’s budget estimate of ₹1,44,696.27 crore.” “We’ve not proposed any fresh taxes in the budget. The focus areas are development, poverty alleviation and financial stability,” Mr. Siddiqui later told journalists.

‘Centre’s apathy’ In the budget, the fiscal deficit has been estimated at ₹18,112 crore, which is 2.87% of the Gross State Domestic

Bagful of proposals: Bihar Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui on his way to the Assembly to present the budget. RANJEET KUMAR

Product (GSDP) estimated at ₹6,32,180 crore. “We’ve maintained fiscal prudence despite the Centre’s apathetic attitude towards problems such as demonetisation, change in


Facing the heat

‘State governemnt failed to ensure security in prisons’

0 DISCLAIMER: Readers are requested to verify and make appropriate enquiries to satisfy themselves about the veracity of an advertisement before responding to any published in this newspaper. Kasturi & Sons Limited, the Publisher & Owner of this newspaper, does not vouch for the authenticity of any advertisement or advertiser or for any of the advertiser’s products and/or services. In no event can the Owner, Publisher, Printer, Editor, Director/s, Employees of this newspaper/ company be held responsible/liable in any manner whatsoever for any claims and/or damages for advertisements in this newspaper.

Better growth opportunities for pharma industry Special Correspondent

Press Trust of India Bhopal

The Opposition Congress on Monday staged a walkout in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly alleging that the jailbreak by eight SIMI operatives last year was result of the State government’s failure to ensure security in prisons. Eight SIMI men awaiting trial escaped from the high security Bhopal Central Jail on October 30 last year after killing a prison guard. They were subsequently killed in an alleged encounter with the police. Raising the issue during

the Question Hour, Shailendra Patel (Congress) said the district administration officials had not inspected the jail even once in the last two years, despite it being mandatory to do once in every three months.

No inspection “This shows the lapses on the part of the State government towards security of jail, which resulted in the jail break by SIMI operatives on the night of Diwali last year,” he alleged. Mr Patel said that DIG ( Jails) also did not carry out the routine inspection ac-

cording to the jail manual. Replying to a question, the Minister for Jails, Kusum Singh Mehedle, admitted that no inspection was carried out at the Bhopal Central Jail by the Collector or any other officer two years prior to the incident. He added said that the district administration officers inspected the Jail on December 7 and December 22 last year. The Opposition accused the Minister of misleading the House. Leader of the Opposition Ajay Singh said this was serious security lapse and staged a walkout along with his party colleagues.


Corruption case:Former Noida authority chief engineer Yadav Singh being produced in court in Lucknow on Monday. He was arrested for allegedly abusing his authority to amass crores in infrastructure projects in Noida. PTI

‘Act East policy promoting ties with Asia-Paciic region’


Unidentified miscreants shot dead a security guard and a cashier of an ATM cash van on Monday under Sohsarai police station of Bihar’s Nalanda district. Sohsarai PS In-charge J. P. Yadav said the deceased have been identified as Brajnandan Prasad and Ranjit Kumar. PTI

the funding pattern of Central schemes, and no special category status for the State,” the Minister said. The budget also mentioned the difficulties the State government faced due to demonetisation. “The currency crunch continued for 100 days, adversely affecting employment, income and expenditure. This happened because 94% of our economy is run on cash,” said Mr. Siddiqui. He further said that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had supported demonetisation only to later raise questions over its implementation. The budget, meanwhile, came under attack for not “offering anything new”. “How can the budget be affected by demonetisation when the last fiscal months of this year were not included in it? The budget has nothing new to offer,” said economist and political scientist Nawal Kishore Chaudhury.

India’s trade with nations of the region has grown ten times during the last 10 years: Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Special Correspondent JAIPUR

India's “Act East” policy aimed at reviving age-old ties with the Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) nations has strengthened trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region and encouraged manufacturers to create value chains with these countries, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Monday. Ms. Sitharaman said In-

dia and the CLMV countries could deepen each other’s manufacturing capabilities, learn from each other’s experiences and create a stronger regional platform for trade and commerce. India’s trade with the CLMV nations has grown ten times from 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to more than 10 billion U.S. dollars during the last 10 years. Addressing the 4th India-CLMV Business Conclave organised by the Department of Commerce and Confederation of In-

dian Industry (CII), Ms. Sitharaman said if the Indian manufacturers set up businesses in countries such as Myanmar, they would get benefit under the generalised system of preferences (GSP) for export to the U.S. and European Union.

Less duty for exports The GSP gives the benefit of zero or less duty for exports from least developed countries to the U.S. and E.U. The Minister invited

both governments and business communities of the CLMV countries to actively partner in “Make in India” programme, while affirming that India would participate in the Asia-Pacific region's manufacturing growth and develop a strong India-CLMV vertical within the ASEAN market. Ms. Sitharaman said the land and sea connectivity with the South-East Asian nations was being enhanced to boost trade, with the work having started on projects such as

Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport connecting Kolkata with Sittwe seaport in Myanmar. The Union Cabinet had last year cleared a proposal to create a ₹500-crore project development fund to increase economic presence in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, which can act as gateways for market access to China and E.U. Ms. Sitharaman said action was being taken for establishment of the fund. Chhuon Dara, Secretary

of State, Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia, said an increased regional connectivity, reduction in transaction cost of trade and skill development were imperative if the India-CLMV trade and tourism were to reach their potential. Vietnam Vice-Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung, Myanmar Commerce Minister Than Myint, CII president Naushad Forbes and Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje also addressed the conclave.

The changing eco-system will create better opportunities and growth up to 45% in the pharmaceutical industry by 2025, as new platforms are being created in the pharma sector with an increase in the per capita spending on health care, said the experts at a pharma summit here on Monday. The summit, organised by the Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) University, discussed opportunities and challenges in the pharma sector in the light of the recent developments such as demonetisation, Digital India, start-up campaign and introduction of goods and services tax. IIHMR University chairman S. D. Gupta said the major growth engines in the pharma sector would be domestic sales, exports, an ageing population, health insurance coverage and medical tourism. “All these factors put more pressure on effective management, availability and accessibility of pharmaceutical products especially in the remote areas.” Experts felt that in the midst of the national push to formalise all sectors of economy, management education in the health sector could play a vital role.

Published by N. Ram at Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002 and Printed by S. Ramanujam at HT Media Ltd. Plot No. 8, Udyog Vihar, Greater Noida Distt. Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P. 201306, on behalf of KASTURI & SONS LTD., Chennai-600002. Editor: Mukund Padmanabhan (Responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act). Regd. DL(ND)-11/6110/2006-07-08 RNI No. TNENG/2012/49940 ISSN 0971 - 751X Vol. 7 No. 50 ●









Despite note ban, Odisha projects growth at 7.94%


State budget presented in the Assembly by Finance Minister Pradip Amat

Meghalaya’s root bridge nominated for award

Cuttack civic body slammed for jaundice outbreak Mayor escorted out after she came to visit afected areas Correspondent CUTTACK

Prafulla Das


Meghalaya’s root-bridge has been nominated for the prestigious National Innovation Foundation award for grassroots innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge, officials said here on Monday. It is a community-driven innovation by forest dwellers in the southern slopes of of the State. The recognition is not for any single community, but for all communities who are engaged in growing living root bridges , they said. - PTI

Stolen mobiles worth ₹ 80 lakh seized MALDA

A large number of stolen mobiles estimated to cost about ₹80 lakh were seized in a raid in West Bengal’s Malda district on Monday. 10 persons were arrested in this connection. Malda SP Arnab Ghosh said 753 expensive mobile phones were seized from a den at Sujapur in Kaliachak area. The raid was conducted following a tip off and the phones are expected to cost an estimated ₹80 lakh. - PTI

NSCN(K) cadre arrested in Arunchal ITANAGAR

The Dao Division of the Assam Rifles has apprehended a alleged cadre of the NSCN(K) outfit from Mulong village. The cadre, identified as Machow Ngaimong, was arrested from the village on Sunday during an operation launched by a Assam Rifles team based on specific information, Defence PRO Colonel Chiranjeet Konwer informed in a release on Monday. - PTI

Truck driver booked for accident SHILLONG

The driver of the truck, which overturned killing 17 people and injuring 62 others in an accident in West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, has been booked for rash driving and negligence causing death, police said on Monday. The driver identified as Aldening Syiem was also injured and admitted at the Nongstoin Civil Hospital, district police super P. S. Nongtynger said. - PTI


Odisha’s annual budget for 2017-18 with a total outlay of ₹1,06,911 crore was presented by Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat in the State Assembly on Monday. “This budget is dedicated for the all round development of our State and welfare of our people,” Mr. Amat said in his budget speech in which he announced several new welfare schemes. Mr. Amat said despite downside pressure because of demonetisation, the State’s economy was expected to grow at the rate of 7.94% in real terms and 10.85% in nominal terms during the current fiscal year, especially due to higher growth in agriculture sector. “Going by the trend in the external and domestic economic environment the State economy can be expected to grow in the range of 8% to 8.5% during 2017-18,” he said. Like previous years, Mr. Amat presented the budget

Money matters: Odisha Finance Minister Pradip Amat presents the State budget in the Assembly on Monday. BISWARANJAN ROUT

in two parts – the first part was the agriculture budget and the second part the general budget.

Largest outlay While proposing an outlay of ₹14,930 crore for agriculture in the budget, Mr. Amat also proposed the largest outlay of Rs. 18,404 crore for education and skill development. The new schemes include ABADHA (Augmentation of Basic Amenities & Develop-

Youth consumes poison at police station

ment of Heritage & Architecture) for the holistic development of Puri to transform it to a world class heritage city. Mr. Amat also announced the Mukhyamantri Swasthya Seva Mission, which will be launched during 2017-18 with an outlay of ₹345 crore to be utilised for the development of infrastructure and peripheral healthcare institutions and financial assistance up to ₹3 lakh to needy and poor patients to cover the

cost of treatment of critical illness. As a tribute to legendary leader Buxi Jagabandhu in the bi-centenary year of Paika Bidroha, Mr. Amat announced the launch of BASUDHA (Buxi Jagabandhu Assured Water Supply to Habitations) for adequate and safe drinking water supply. The scheme will have two components with an outlay of ₹315 crore and ₹750 crore for urban water supply and rural water supply respectively.

Uniform for students Other new schemes include Malatidevi Prak Vidyalaya Paridhan Yojana to provide uniform for children undergoing pre-school education, and the Mukhyamantri Mahila Sashaktikarana Yojana to provide financial assistance to women’s self help groups and their federations under Mission Shakti. The State government held pre-budget consultations with a cross section of experts.

The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) and State administration have come under attack with public anger mounting due to the jaundice outbreak and mosquito menace here. On Sunday, Mayor Meenakshi Behera and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Debashis Samantray were severely criticised when they visited Tulasipur area, which has reported over 100 jaundice cases in the past two months. Ultimately, party workers had to step in and escort the leaders away. “We have been suffering for the last two months. But the leaders turn up only after reports of a jaundice outbreak appear in newspapers”, said Rama Pradhan, a residence of Ward 9. Jaundice cases have also been reported from neighbouring Ward 8 and 10. “Steps are being taken to identify the cause of the outbreak. People have been advised to use boiled water and avoid roadside eatables. We are planning to double

Epidemic: All govt hospitals in the city well-equipped to treat jaundice, says District Collector - FILE PHOTO

the number of health camps in the affected area,” the Mayor said.

New pipelines At a high-level meeting chaired by Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) Central range A. B. Otta, it was decided that at least 50 squads comprising mason and workers would replace damaged pipelines that supply water to the affected areas. District collector N. C. Mishra, meanwhile, said that both the government hospitals in the city, along with the SCB Medical College and


Houses gutted

Was picked up for motorcycle theft

Hospital were well-equipped to treat jaundice patients. “We are planning to open district control rooms in at least two localities of Tulasipur to provide 24-hour help to jaundice patients,” said Mr. Mishra, adding that random water samples had been collected and sent for testing. Similarly, the mosquito menace, particularly in areas like Bidanasi that are adjacent to the Petanala drain, is adding to the troubles. A member of the civic staff admitted that the crisis had worsened after the desiltation work.

Mob attacks police in West Bengal Staff Reporter Kolkata

Syed Sajjad Ali Agartala

A youth accused of theft allegedly consumed poison under mysterious circumstance at a police station in Agartala. He was earlier picked up in connection with the theft of a motorcycle from the house of gymnastic icon Dipa Karmakar. Sources in the police said Khitish Sarkar, 22, was brought to the West Agartala Police Station from jail for the second time following a court order.

Critical condition On Sunday, a police team took Mr Sarkar in a semiconscious condition to the IGM Hospital from where he was shifted to G.B. Hospital. His condition remains critical, a doctor who attended

him said. The police station in charge, Narayan Saha, denied that the accused consumed poison or he was subject to any form of torture. “We took him to hospital after he started complaining of severe headache. Doctors later told us he was frothing from the mouth,” Mr Saha said on Monday.

Probe sought A senior activist of the Tripura Human Rights Organisation (THRO) demanded investigation probe to uncover the truth in the incident at the West Agartala Police Station. The group had earlier raised strong protests over custodial deaths at Bishalgarh and Kamalpur police stations in the State.

Major ire: People search for their belongings after a ire gutted their houses at Basistha in Guwahati on Monday.


An angry mob allegedly attacked police personnel in the Dantan area of Paschim Medinipur district, injuring three policemen. The incident took place after a local youth was killed in a road accident in the area. According to the police, the youth was run over by a truck loaded with sand in the Sonakania village in the district’s Dantan block late on Sunday evening. By the time police reached the spot a large mob had gathered there. A scuffle ensued between the locals and the police. “The mob turned violent and assaulted our officials. Three of them sustained injuries during the assault and the condition of two officials is critical,” district police sources said.

Report sought on vehicles carrying protruding objects Rights panel takes cognisance of mishap deaths Special Correspondent Kolkata

In January 2017, a family returning from Haldia to Kolkata met with an accident. Five persons of the family, travelling in a car, died. The truck, with which the car collided had objects protruding beyond the frame of the vehicles. Taking cognisance of the deaths the West Bengal Human Rights

Commission (WBHRC) has asked for a report from the Principal Secretary of State Transport Department. The officials has been asked to explain the provision under Subrule 8 of Section 93 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989.

Provision misused It is this particular Section which allows good vehicles to carry poles or rods or indivisible

load “so long as the projecting part or parts do not exceed the distance of one metre beyond the rear most point of the motor vehicle”. However, the authorities said that the provisions have been widely misused. Vehicles carrying rods, pipes used for construction protruding beyond the frame of vehicles can be easily be seen in the city and highways.










NCP-Cong. alliance to edge out BJP in power tussle over zilla parishads Despite strong showing, BJP unlikely to be ruling party in more than six zilla parishads

BJP sweeps rural, urban areas in vote share too Claims 29.67% of votes in 10 civic bodies, 25 zilla parishads Staff Reporter Mumbai

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) impressive performance in the recently-concluded civic polls in urban and rural areas has turned it into a topper not only in terms of elected representatives but also in terms of vote share. The party polled a total of 29.67% votes in the elections to 10 Municipal Corporations and 25 zilla parishads, much ahead of the Shiv Sena, which is a distant second with a vote share of 19.31%. The Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress polled just 17.47% and 16.46% of the total votes respectively.

Improved showing Breaking the vote share in terms of urban and rural

Alok Deshpande Mumbai

In the recently-held civic polls to 25 Zilla Parishads in the State, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was the overall leader in seats and held the number one position in nine zilla parishads, but it may not be the ruling party in more than six. This is because the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have formed an alliance and they are set to claim power in more than 15 zilla parishads.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena will be able to seek power in two parishads and may play spoilsport for the BJP in at least three parishads. The post-poll arithmetic effectively leaves the BJP with power in only six zilla parishads of the total 25 that went to the polls.

‘Power in sight’ NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “The NCP and the Congress have decided to form an alliance. We are confident to claim power in at

least 14 Zilla Parishads in the State.” On the Sena’s ongoing tiff with the BJP over the mayor’s post in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Mr. Malik, said, “The BJP knows very well that their actions in Mumbai will have a reaction all over the State. They will be extremely careful in Mumbai and may not hurt the Sena. After all, the Chief Minister has to take care of the party in all pockets of the State.” At present, except for Sindhudurg, Nanded,


divide shows the BJP not only enhanced its performance in rural areas with a 24.91% vote share — winning 63.76 lakh votes of the total 2.55 crore — but also surpassed its urban competitor the Shiv Sena convincingly. The NCP, which is at the number three position in overall figures, fared well in rural areas by winning 22.25% of the votes, which translates to 56.93 lakh votes. The Congress, which was relegated to the number four position, among the major parties in the State, polled 19.43% of the votes while the Sena polled 18.52%. While the NCP seems to be putting up a fight against the BJP in rural areas, no party seems close to throwing it a challenge among urban voters. The BJP won the urban

Ahmednagar and Amaravati, the Congress does not enjoy the number one status anywhere else in the State. The NCP is currently in the driver’s seat in Pune, Satara, Osmanabad, Parbhani and Beed. The Congress-NCP alliance could see it grab power in Nasik, Sangli, Solapur, Kolhapur, Hingoli and Yavatmal as well. The Sena is the single largest party in Ratnagiri and Raigad, but may play spoilsport in Jalna, Aurangabad, and Buldhana. The

areas (that is the 10 Municipal Corporations) with 34.02% of the vote, which is 95.17 lakh votes of the total 2.79 crore. The Sena, which was ranked second, is far behind with only 20.04% votes, translating to about 56.07 lakh votes. Both the Congress and the NCP are at third and fourth positions with 13.75% and 13.10% of the votes respectively.

Sena’s only solace The only corporation where the BJP is lagging behind the Sena is in Mumbai, where it managed to win 27.92% votes in comparison with the Sena’s 28.83%. Data shows that apart from the Congress, which polled 16.54% votes, none of the other parties managed to reach double digits in terms of voting percentage.

BJP, therefore, is effectively left with just Jalgaon, Latur, Wardha, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli.

Sticking together Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ashok Chavan too had hinted on a post-poll alliance with the NCP after the results for the 10 municipal corporations and 25 zilla parishads were declared on February 23. Both parties suffered heavy losses all over the State, including its rural base.


Rebel faction to return to RSS fold Outit broke away to take on the BJP govt. in Goa polls Special Correspondent Panaji

The Goa rebel faction led by Subhash Velingkar is looking to re-unite with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Mr. Velingkaer, the former Goa RSS Sanghachalak, told The Hindu on Monday that a formal decision would be taken by the 100-odd former office bearers of the rebel outfit in Goa, which represents nearly 2,000 of Goa’s rebel Swayamsevaks, by March 3 or 4. “Re-uniting with the parent RSS after the February 4 election was always on the cards,” said Mr. Velingkar. He said the main aim of forming a rebel RSS unit in Goa was to defeat the corrupt BJP government, which had taken the Sangh’s teachings for granted. “There will be no compromise on principles, the Goa Suraksha Manch, which fought the February 4 elections opposing the BJP will

also continue. The Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch, which is the parent body spearheading the cause of regional languages at the primary school level and opposed the government’s grants to English medium primary schools, will continue till these demands are met,” Mr. Velingkar said.

‘A temporary measure’ “We had already announced months ago, that breaking away from the RSS was only a temporary step. It was needed to take on the BJP government which had cheated the people of Goa and compromised on the principles of the RSS. As Swayamsevaks, we were duty-bound to oppose the local BJP,” he said. Mr. Velingkar was sacked from the RSS in August last year after he continuously attacked the Defence Minister and former Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, and the Goa BJP for “deviating

from the RSS teachings and betraying the cause of regional languages”. His detractors labelled the campaign as communal as most of the primary-level English medium schools, which availed of the government grants, belonged to Goa’s Roman Catholic Church. “The rebellion has proved a point to the RSS top leadership and the BJP that deviating from ideals and principles in pursuit of power, would not find endorsement of the Swayamsevaks,” said Mr. Velingkar. “Goa’s Swayamsevaks have shown that for them principles mean more than power,” he asserted and said none of the office bearers of the rebel Sangh outfit were looking to re-occupy the same positions they held prior to the rebellion. “None of us are hankering after positions. A Swayamsevak is a Swayamsevak for life. Positions mean nothing for us,” he said.

Cong. protests special Assembly session Pratapsing Rane says it is just a face-saving exercise by govt. Special Correspondent PANAJI

The Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader, Pratapsing Rane, on Monday ridiculed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for summoning the Goa Legislative Assembly just for a day on Tuesday. Mr. Rane said this was obviously done to avoid the lapsing of the State assembly, but was more of an afterthought and “topped a string of poor decisions by the BJP government in its five-year tenure.” “It is for the first time in the history of the country, that an Assembly session of the outgoing Assembly had to be convened for a day, after the Assembly elections. This has happened because

the government is in shambles. There has been no proper decision-making for the last five years.” Mr. Rane said, “As MLAs we do not even know what the business for the day-long session is going to be. The government has brought shame to Goa with such shoddy face-saving decisions.” On Saturday evening, Goa governor Mridula Sinha formally convened a daylong session of the State Legislative Assembly to be held on Tuesday, ostensibly in a bid to avoid a constitutional crisis arising out of the situation where the outgoing State Assembly not being in session for six months. The Opposition had earlier demanded that the


Governor either dissolve the House or convene a session before March 3 to avert a constitutional crisis. But Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar ruled out a session claiming he had been advised against doing so by the Advocate General of the State. He said the crisis emerged because of the decision of the Election Commission to hold on March 11 the counting of votes of the election held on February 4. In a representation submitted sent to the Goa governor earlier this month, Goa Congress president Luizinho Faleiro urged the Governor to either summon a session by March 3 or dissolve the Assembly altogether as per Article 174 of the Indian Constitution.












Young girl’s SOS call helps block 10 child marriages The girls from Malappuram were to get married during vacation

Waiter accuses Kerala MLA of assault THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The Kerala police on Monday opened a criminal inquiry against Independent legislator P.C. George on the suspicion of assaulting and verbally abusing an MLA hostel canteen waiter for “delaying” his lunch. Police said Mr. George’s assistant Sunny Thomas was also an accused in the case.

Unified Command to check extremism THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The Kerala government has constituted a Unified Command under Chief Minister Pinaryai Vijayan, as suggested by the Union government, to contain the spread of left wing extremism (LWE) in the State. The Unified Command will meet at least once in six months or as required.

Student stabbed to death by 17-year-old BENGALURU

A 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death, allegedly by a 17-year-old boy, during a brawl, barely a few metres from his school at Yelahanka on Monday afternoon. The police have taken the 17-yearold into custody. The victim, Harsha, a class 10 student, suffered multiple stab wounds and was declared dead at a city hospital.

Aadhaar linking must for PDS in Karnataka BENGALURU

Below poverty line and above poverty line families in Karnataka will not get their monthly ration under the public distribution system from April 1, if they fail to link the Aadhaar number with the Food and Civil Supplies Department. The Centre has set June 30 as the deadline to link Aadhaar with ration cards.

Abdul Latheef Naha MALAPPURAM

A young girl’s timely action has helped Childline volunteers swing into action to prevent 10 child marriages in the Karavavarakkundu panchayat in the Malappuram district of Kerala. Acting on a tip-off from the girl, the volunteers swooped down on the panchayat and found that 10 school-going girls were to be married off during the summer vacation.

‘I wish to study’ It was a distress call from one of the girls to Childline’s toll-free number — 1098 — which led to the identification of the 10 arranged marriages. “I wish to study. Kindly do something to save me from the marriage my parents have arranged for me,” the girl cried on the phone. The Childline team, com-

prising district coordinator Anwar Karakkadan and counsellors Raju Krishnan, M.V. Binu and Archana Haridas, was quick to respond. Investigation led to nine other similar cases at Manjalpara and Gandhipuram in Karuvarakundu panchayat. The marriage of some of the girls was fixed some months ago. Some of them had begun interacting with their prospective grooms on the phone. All of them belonged to poor families and their parents were making a living through daily labour. The Childline team contacted the ward member and the Child Development Project Officer (CDPO), who acts as the Child Marriage Prevention Officer in the area. Ward councillor Roshni Surendran had reportedly ignored the Childline alert. “She said she was not interested in the case, and that

she had more important things to do in the grama sabha,” said a Childline volunteer.

Counselling for parents The Childline has summoned the girls and their parents for counselling on Wednesday. “It’s our collective responsibility to prevent child marriages,” said counsellor Raju Krishnan. District Child Protection Officer Sameer Machingal said measures would be taken to prevent marriages before the girls turned 18. Social Justice Minister K.K. Shylaja told The Hindu that stringent action would be taken if there had been any failing on the part of district officials. Immediate steps would be taken to ensure that child marriages did not take place, she said. There are 29 Child Marriage Prevention Officers in the district.

Row in Kerala Assembly over actor’s abduction Opposition accuses government of weakening probe, shielding culprits benches as Mr. Thomas said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s statement ruling out a conspiracy behind the crime, and CPI(M) secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s contention that it was an isolated incident, exposed a concerted bid to weaken the investigation and shield the culprits.

Special Correspondent THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Members of the Kerala Opposition, belonging to the United Democratic Front (UDF), raised slogans, squatted in the well of the House and boycotted the Assembly proceedings on Monday, accusing the government of “scuttling” the investigation into the kidnap and assault of a Malayalam film actor by a gang of hirelings in Kochi. The Opposition members began their protest from the outset, demanding the suspension of the Question Hour to discuss the issue, which they wished to raise in the form of an adjournment motion. The House was plunged into turmoil when the Opposition members rose in protest as Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan decided to proceed with the Question Hour. Shortly, they were in the well of the House, enga-

Up in arms: Activists take out a protest in Kannur on Monday demanding safety for women in Kerala. S.K. MOHAN ging the Speaker in a verbal duel. His repeated appeal to them to return to their seats did not yield any result. As the Speaker continued with the proceedings, the UDF legislators began sloganeering and trooped out of the House displaying banners alleging lack of security for women in the State.

Although the Opposition members returned to the House minutes before the Question Hour ended, trouble erupted again when the House took up the notice for the adjournment motion moved by P.T. Thomas (Congress). There were heated exchanges between the Opposition and the Treasury

CM’s response Replying to the notice, Mr. Vijayan said the Opposition was trying to politicise the issue and create a smokescreen to deflect attention. The police had been given a free hand to investigate the case. Pointing out that the police had lost no time in nabbing the accused, Mr. Vijayan said he had not dictated terms to the investigating officers or ruled out a conspiracy. The government would not protect the criminals involved in the case.

Techie’s body arrives in Hyderabad

A slice of Bengaluru at the Oscars

Kuchibhotla was killed in Kansas on Wednesday; funeral to be held today

Good part of The Jungle Book was made at a studio in city


It was a sombre gathering, one the family of Srinivas Kuchibhotla would not have foreseen a decade ago when he left to pursue his dreams in the United States. The family members arrived at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on Monday for a final reunion with Srinivas, who was killed in a suspected act of hate crime that left the world shocked.

Media barred Kuchibhotla’s mortal remains arrived from New Jersey via Mumbai on a com-

Traumatic journey: Sunayana Dumala Kuchibhotla arrived in Hyderabad airport with the body of her husband. KVS GIRI

mercial flight, escorted by his wife Sunayana Dumala and a friend. The family reached the airport more than an hour before the expected arrival

of the flight, which was delayed by one hour. It was learnt that the Telangana government had arranged for about half-a-dozen vehicles for the family. The

Work on Bhogapuram airport soon

media was barred from entering the arrival arena. Kuchibhotla’s body was taken to the family residence in Bachupally on the city’s outskirts. The last rites are expected to be performed on Tuesday morning. On behalf of the Telangana government, Transport Minister M. Mahender Reddy accompanied the family to receive Kuchibhotla’s body. Malkajigiri MP Ch. Malla Reddy was also present at the airport. Shot while he was relaxing after work with his friend, Srinivas Kuchibhotla died at a hospital in Olathe, Kansas, on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter Bengaluru

It was on a few computer screens in Bengaluru that a blue screen at Hollywood was transformed into a rich canvas of dense forests that hosted the tense drama of Disney’s The Jungle Book. A significant part of the film, which took home the award for the Best Visual Effects during the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday night, was done in Bengaluru. Here, nearly 300 engineers — out of nearly 800 spread across L.A. and London — built and provided the finishing touches to a jungle world where Mowgli,

his friends and enemies walked and prowled. “The film was challenging and would be a huge benchmark for visual effects. We had childhood attachments too, for the Jungle Book is an Indian story. We always hope for the best, but an Oscar is the icing on the cake,” says Amit Sharma, head of compositing at MPC Studio Bengaluru, which was the lead VFX studio for the film.

6 forests scoured The mandate given to them was to render a photo-real world, where 224 unique animals would be “captured in their surroundings” as if

they were roped in for the film. Two teams scoured through six forests of south and central India, through three seasons, covering nearly 18,000 km. The result was 20 TB of information and four lakh photographs rendering a landscape, from the rocks to the waterfalls, ferns to pebbles. “The ‘man-village’ inspiration came from rural Rajasthan, the wolf caves from Badami caves, Banyan trees from Goa, and elephants from those seen at Periyar... these were the references, but everything was created from scratch,” said Mr. Sharma.


Bright and beautiful

Centre keen on developing greenield airports, says Ashok Gajapathi Raju ports, of which 125 were under the Airport Authority of India. Of them, just 70 were active commercially.

Special Correspondent VISAKHAPATNAM

Union Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Monday announced that work on the Bhogapuram International Airport near here would be launched soon. Land acquisition was almost complete, he said. Work on the international airport, about 50 km from Visakhapatnam, would be taken up in a fast-track mode. Stating that the Centre was keen on improving regional connectivity by developing greenfield airports and augmenting facilities at the existing airports, he told the annual general meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Visakhapatnam zone that the new airport at Bhogapuram would provide hassle-free connectivity to international passengers to and from Visakhapatnam.

Thrust on growth: Union Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapati Raju in Visakhapatnam on Monday. K.R. DEEPAK He said Vijayawada had witnessed an increase in air passengers by 71% followed by Visakhapatnam (65%). The Centre was spending ₹1,500 crore on runway expansion at Vijayawada, Tirupati and Rajamahendravaram. Asked whether the Visakhapatnam International

Airport, which is under the control of Indian Navy, would be closed to passenger traffic once the Bhogapuram airport became operational, he told reporters later that it might happen in future. Mr. Raju said even after 70 years of Independence, the country had only 400 air-

Rise in passenger traffic The Minister observed that though there was a phenomenal growth in passenger traffic, there was not much progress in air cargo. Mr. Raju said the Centre was receiving ₹11,000 crore and the States ₹3,000 crore to ₹3,500 crore from the aviation sector due to the steady rise in passenger traffic. Visakhapatnam MP K. Haribabu explained the projects being completed and envisaged for Visakhapatnam after the formation of BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. CII-A.P. chairman G.S. Shiv Kumar presided over the meeting. Among others, CII zonal chairman V. Muralikrishna and vice-chairman D.T Raju spoke.

Yellow bloom: Tabebuia trees in full bloom at the Cubbon Park in Bengaluru on Monday.


From waste picker to entrepreneur, she has come a long way Annamma, the irst rag picker to buy truck for door-to-door collection of dry waste in Bengaluru, runs a successful business business today,” she said, beaming with pride. She has been running the DWCC for ward 101, Kamakshipalya for four years now, and it’s a far cry from her earlier life. Money was scarce when she used to scrounge the streets for waste. But at the DWCC, she now deals with nearly two tonnes of dry waste every day.

Aditya Bharadwaj Bengaluru

She was a 10-year-old girl when she started following her grandmother as she picked up waste from the city’s streets. Thirty years later, Annamma has established herself as an entrepreneur in the very sector that her grandmother eked out a living. She has become the first waste picker to buy a truck for door-to-door collection of dry waste in the city, and is already looking to purchase a second vehicle in the near future. For somebody who was still picking waste from the streets even in 2013, Annamma’s rise is nothing less than phenomenal. “When the civic body wanted waste pickers to start manning dry waste CM YK

Phenomenal rise: Annamma has established herself as an entrepreneur, in the very sector that her grandmother eked out a living. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

collection centres (DWCC), I was not confident to take up the task. I lived in a hut with no electricity and had saved

₹50,000 to build a house. But I invested the money and started a DWCC. This centre has grown into a

House of her own She was able to take a loan to build a three bedroom house in Ullal Upanagar, where her hut once stood. “My daughters used to read sitting under a street light or read all night on the new moon day, as there was no electricity. Today they have a study room,” said Annamma. In a recent move, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara

Palike (BBMP) has given the responsibility of door-step collection of dry waste twice a week to DWCCs mostly run by former waste pickers in their respective wards. This entails expansion of DWCC operations and capital investments on vehicle and men. Annamma, who is one of the successful people in the sector, acted decisively and purchased a truck to start door-step collection of waste. “I don’t know how to read or write. But I am good at Math because of the business that I run. “These are tough times as the prices for plastic and paper waste have fallen. So the only way to survive is to increase the volume which is what I expect will happen with door-step collection,” Annamma explained her

strategy. Nalini Shekhar of the NGO Hasirudala, who has been working with Annamma for the past four years, said that it is a challenge for people like Annamma to become entrepreneurs as the waste sector run by former ragpickers is not being considered as an industry by banks. “For the truck, Annamma has gone for a vehicle loan with 18% interest, which we are looking to be taken over by some institution with a lower interest rate,” she said. Annamma is worried about the cost of expansion and the need to hire more people. “We presently need six men to run the show. But we have employed only four as my husband and I, work in the centre saving us the cost of two men,” she said.


Details of A.P. students, teachers out in the open They include Aadhaar and phone nos V.K. Rakesh Reddy ANANTAPUR

Lakhs of records pertaining to teachers and students of government and private schools across 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh have been put out on the website of the Commissionerate of School Education. Close to one lakh records of the teachers and more than 10 lakh records of students comprising their date of birth, caste, Aadhaar number, besides mobile number and personal details, including the date of joining and place of work or study, can be seen by anyone at The details of women teachers and girl students are also available. “How could you call me? How did you get my number and tell me my own

Aadhaar number,” asked Ravinish, a teacher working in the Zilla Parishad High School at the N.P. Kunta mandal headquarters village of Anantapur district.

‘Lack of concern’ Speaking to The Hindu, president of the School Teachers’ Federation of Andhra Pradesh, Ramu, took exception to the State government’s lack of concern for the privacy and security of the teachers and the students. “The State government cannot be so careless in handling the private information of lakhs of teachers and students. This is just not done. We will take up the issue,” said Sake Sailajanath, former Minister for Primary Education of the united Andhra Pradesh. ND-ND







HC denies parole to Ansari for campaigning in UP polls


Haryana pays tributes to Barnala, Jayalalithaa CHANDIGARH

‘Right to contest does not give candidate right to be freed for canvassing’

2 govt officials arrested for embezzlement

The Delhi High Court on Monday denied parole to BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari to campaign in the ongoing UP elections. The court observed that the right to contest the election does not give the candidate the get right to be released from jail for canvassing. His right to campaign is subservient to the constitutional mandate of holding free and fair elections.


Two senior government officials were arrested on Monday for their alleged involvement in the embezzlement of pipes which caused a loss of over ₹34 lakh to the State exchequer, Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) said. PTI

20 children injured as school bus overturns KANPUR

At least 20 children and the driver of the school bus they were travelling in were on Monday injured after the vehicle overturned in Rasoolabad in Kanpur Dehat district, police said. The bus was carrying about 40 students of a private school. PTI

Public interest “Even though a person with criminal background and antecedents would not be a desirable person to contest the elections, the legislation does not debar him from contesting the elections. However, the right to contest the election cannot imply that the candidate gets a right to be released from jail for canvassing as a candidate for being elected,” Justice Mukta Gupta said.

Mukhtar Ansari “Further, the requirement of a candidate to canvass in an election is always subservient to the larger public interest i.e. the constitutional mandate of holding a free and fair election. No candidate can be permitted to do any act which interferes with the process of a free and fair election,” she added. Justice Gupta set aside the February 16 order of a trial court granting Mr Ansari custody parole. The trial permitted Mr Ansari to go out with armed guards from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. to canvass till March 4 for the polls in the Mau constituency, from

The families of the four persons killed in recent panther attacks near the Sariska forest area in Rajasthan have been given a compensation of ₹4 lakh each, the State government said on Monday. State Forest and Environment Minister Gajendra Singh Kheenwsar stated in the Assembly.PTI

EC material The high court relied heavily on the material submitted by the EC in a sealed cover and also the fact that when Mr Ansari was granted parole for canvassing in 2012, law and order problems were

created and various FIRs were registered. An FIR had been registered even in January 2017 when his supporters were found to be creating a law and order situation. The high court looked into the antecedents of Mr Ansari, as placed before it by the EC, and said that “from the material placed on record, it cannot be said that the subjective satisfaction of the Election Commission is a mere apprehension not based on any credible material. On the material placed by the Election Commission in sealed cover it cannot be held that no case is made out before this court by the Election Commission for interfering with the impugned order (granting custody parole).” Mr Ansari, on the other hand, contended that mere unsubstantiated apprehension of a free and fair election was not sufficient to deprive him of the right as a candidate to participate in the election.

Separatists and religious groups on Monday expressed resentment over a Ministry of Home Affairs' report suggesting a close watch on moulvis (priests), masjids (mosques) and the media in the Valley in the wake of the growing alienation. Supporters of the Hurriyat factions and JKLF held a sit-in protest at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk to protest against “growing intimidation”.

‘Act of bullying’ In a joint statement, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik described the MHA proposals as “an act of bullying the Kashmiri nation”. “The Union Home Ministry is threatening people of Kashmir of dire consequences. We are told that our moulvis, masjids and its committees will be penalised. The revival of the police’s special operation group is also being proposed so that more oppressive

Sit-in: Activists of a separatist outit holding a demonstration in Srinagar on Monday against the recent Home Ministry report suggesting monitoring of religious clerics in the Kashmir Valley. NISSAR AHMAD.

steps are taken against Kashmiris. However, New Delhi will not succeed in breaking our resolve,” read the statement.

Direct interference Socio-religious group Jamaat-e-Islami ( JeI) termed the MHA move as “a direct interference in the religious matters of Muslims in

Kashmir”. “The move is tantamount to blatant violation of the fundamental right of religious freedom. These suggestions are not acceptable. If the human race is desirous of creating a peaceful and just world, it is achievable only by establishing an Islamic system of life,” said a JeI spokesperson.

PDP Minister’s cavalcade attacked

Abhay Chautala seeks PM’s intervention over SYL issue

Not the target, says Mir who was on his way to condole a party leader’s death

Press Trust of India


Peerzada Ashiq

INLD threatens Parliament gherao Chandigarh

Panther attack victim families given ₹4 lakh

JKLF supporters protest 'growing intimidation' in Valley Srinagar

where he is a four time sitting MLA. “A free and fair election is the basic structure of the Constitution, but no candidate has a legal right to canvas for himself de-hors the other statutory restrictions,” the bench said noting that though he was not granted bail, his release everyday was akin to a temporary bail. The Election Commission had come to the high court in appeal against the trial court order contending that his release was likely to cause law and order problems. The EC had also appealed against the order to provide eight security guards, saying it would be sufficient to overawe the electorate.

Akanksha Jain New Delhi

The Haryana Assembly on Monday paid tributes to former governor Surjit Singh Barnala and ex-Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha among others at the beginning of the budget session here. The members of the House also observed a two-minute silence to pay homage to the departed souls. PTI

Separatists, religious groups assail MHA's ‘Kashmir report’

The INLD on Monday threatened to gherao Parliament on March 15 and hold demonstration at Jantar Mantar in Delhi if Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not intervene in the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue. “INLD will fight a decisive war on the issue of SYL and announce the party’s next course of action over the matter on March 15,” Leader

Abhay Chautala

of Opposition in Haryana Assembly Abhay Chautala said here. He lashed out at Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar “not taking the SYL issue seriously” in the past

three years and not meeting the Prime Minister over the issue. “Khattar has no moral right to continue on his post,” Mr. Chautala said and described him as a “weak” leader who should immediately resign from the post. “If the PM does not give us time to meet him till March 15, we will gherao Parliament,” Mr Chautala threatened and claimed that the interests of Haryana on rights over waters of rivers have been always ignored.


Peerzada Ashiq Srinagar

Protesters attacked the cavalcade of ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Minister Zahoor Ahmad Mir in restive Pulwama on Monday, injuring a policeman on the head.

Clashes breaks out Eyewitnesses said clashes broke out when the cavalcade of State Forest, Environment and Animal Husbandry Minister and MLA


Pampore Zahoor Ahmad Mir was heading to condole a party leader in the area. Locals started hurling stones at the security personnel manning the streets for safe passage of the cavalcade at Pulwama’s Ratnipora area. “A policeman suffered a head injury in the stone pelting. We used teargas to disperse the protesters,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Pulwama, Rayees Muhammad Bhat.

Mr. Mir dismissed claims that he was the target of the protesters. “I had left when the incident took place,” said Mr. Mir. Parts of Pulwama has remained tense as a shutdown was observed for two days on Saturday and Sunday against the detention of a local youth.

Hizb on posters Militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen on Monday said the group has issued no posters

favouring a shutdown. Hizb spokesman Saleem Hashmi told a local news agency that “such posters, which appeared in Palhalan, Baramulla, and other adjacent areas was a plot of the security agencies”. “It is aimed at defaming the militant outfit. We have nothing to do with the posters. The families of the children who have been threatened in the posters have also suffered in the ongoing freedom movement,” said Mr. Hashmi.






NOTICE IS given to all concerned that our client Mrs Paran Dulat, W/ o Sh Amarjeet Singh Dulat, 57, Friends Colony East, New Delhi who is the absolute owner of third floor of Property No B−182, East of Kailash, New Delhi and has lost the original Sale deed dated 31/3/ 1997 executed by Mrs Pratima Aggarwal, for self and as General Attorney of Mr Vidyut Aggarwal and Neha Aggarwal through their attorney Sh Rajeev Aggarwal, in respect of the above mentioned property in favour of Sh I.C Khurana, S/o Sh Tulsi Das. An NCR/FIR/LR no 188551/2017 dated 24/02/2017 at Police station Crime branch, Delhi has been also lodged to this effect with Delhi Police. Our client has entered into an agreement to sell dated 6th February, 2017 for sale of the above entire third floor with Mr Kartik Shankar and Mrs Diksha M Shankar. Any person having possession of the aforesaid Sale Deed may return the same to our client or the undersigned. Incase the same is misused by anyone in any manner whatsoever, he/she shall be doing so at one’s own risk and costs. Any person claiming any right, title or interest in respect of the above property by way of sale, exchange, let, lease, licence, mortgage, inheritance, gift, lien, charge, possession, easement, trust or otherwise of any nature is hereby required to make the same known to the undersigned with documentary evidence within 10 days from date hereof, failing which the transactions shall be completed. Any claim made after the expiry of 10 days shall PERSONAL be treated as waived and not binding on our client or the purchasCHANGE OF NAME er. Sandeep Bisht, Partner and Advocate (D/1234/2008), RKP & AssoI, Sarla, W/o Rattan Singh, R/o Rz− ciates, Law Offices, 301, Asha 13, New T Block, Part 2, Gali no. Deep, 9−Hailey Road, New Delhi +911143540664. rkp@ 6, Uttam Nagar, New Delhi, changed 110001. my name as Sushma Devi.












Gopal Ansal seeks parity with brother NEW DELHI

Real estate baron Gopal Ansal on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking modification of its February 9 verdict asking him to surrender for serving a year in jail in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy. The apex court had recently asked Mr Ansal to undergo the remaining jail term in the case. PTI

HC defers hearing on Maratha reservation MUMBAI

The Bombay High Court on Monday deferred the hearing on Maratha reservation and asked if the Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes could decide on it. A Division Bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G.S. Kulkarni was hearing petitions on 16% quota for Marathas in education and jobs.

Fill vacancies in NHRC, says Supreme Court NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to fill up two vacant posts in the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by April 30. An apex court Bench headed by CJI J.S. Khehar passed the order on a Public Interest Litigation petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer and social activist Radhakanta Tripathy. ANI

Man attempts suicide outside SP’s office BIJNOR

The father of a 15-year-old boy, who was shot dead, allegedly attempted suicide by drinking poison outside the district police chief’s office here, accusing the police of failing to nab the perpetrators. He was rushed to a hospital in a serious condition. - PTI

Uproar in Bihar Assembly over SSC exam paper leak The government, however, managed to present the Budget for the year

Panel submits report on Tiruvannamalai project Road widening may not afect lora and fauna, NGT told Special Correspondent

identity of those who had sent recommendations to the BSSC chief for jobs. “Sudhir Kumar is an honest IAS officer and his arrest only shows the vindictive attitude of the government,” he said.

Special Correspondent Patna

The Bihar Assembly witnessed pandemonium on Monday, with the Opposition NDA leaders demanding a CBI inquiry into the Bihar Staff Selection Commission (BSSC) paper leak. A delegation of IAS officers met the Assembly Speaker seeking his intervention in the issue and the release of the arrested BSSC chairman, Sudhir Kumar. The NDA MLAs gathered at the gates of the Assembly with placards and shouted slogans against the government. Later, as the House sat for the day, the Leader of the Opposition, Prem Kumar, demanded suspension of Question Hour to take up the urgent matter. When the Speaker refused, Opposition leaders trooped into the Well of the House and raised slo-

Loud protests: BJP MLAs demonstrating in front of the Bihar Assembly in Patna on Monday against the leak of Bihar Staf Selection Commission question papers. RANJEET KUMAR gans against the Nitish Kumar government. They also demanded the sacking of Ministers allegedly linked to the scam. The House was then adjourned till 2 p.m. In the second half of the session, the government presented its revenue-surplus budget for the year

2017-18. Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui ended his budget speech in 20 minutes Former Chief Minister and leader of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) Jitan Ram Manjhi said he had some papers, which he would make public in a day or two, that would reveal the

Lalu’s support Earlier, RJD chief Lalu Prasad too had come out in support of Mr. Kumar. On Sunday, the IAS officers declared that they would no longer take oral orders, not even from the Chief Minister himself. On Monday, police officers, including members of the SIT headed by Patna SSP Manu Maharaj investigating the BSSC paper leak, were seen making a hurried entry into the Assembly. Later, IGP N.H. Khan told journalists that the “inquiry into the BSSC paper leak is moving in the right direction.”


A two-member expert committee which went into the Tiruvannamalai Girivalam Path Widening Project has submitted its report to the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) Southern Bench here. The Girivalam is the path taken by devotees of the famed Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple in Tiruvannamalai district. In its report, the committee indicated that the flora and fauna in the area may not be affected much by the project. It further said the Highways Department shall undertake maintenance of the odais/channels leading to the receiving water bodies lying within 20m on either side of the road as part of the project cost. A perusal of the report indicates that the committee has recommended that the

Green concerns: Trees on the Girivalam path in Tiruvannamalai were damaged by drainage work last year. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Highways Department may be permitted to undertake its work with various conditions in all stretches of the project. When the case came up for hearing before the Bench comprising Justice P. Jyothimani and expert member P.S. Rao, Tiruvannamalai District Collector Prashant

M. Wadnere and Superintendent of Police R. Ponni appeared. One of the applicants, Krishna Kumar, said: “We have sought time from the Bench to go through the report and give our comments.” The case was later posted for final hearing on March 28.

‘Racket was active for at least 2 years’ Accused held for Army exam paper leak say they have committed the crime earlier too least two years,” said an officer with the Thane Crime Branch.

Gautam S. Mengle Mumbai

The accused arrested in connection with the Army Recruitment Board question paper racket have allegedly told their interrogators that Sunday was not the first time they had leaked the papers, sources told The Hindu on Monday. The 18 accused were arrested in the early hours of Sunday by the Thane Police Crime Branch in simultaneous raids in Pune, Nagpur and Goa. A total of 350 candidates were detained from the three locations, who were allegedly memorising the question papers before appearing for the exams later in the day. “The accused confessed that

Caught at last: The accused in the Army Recruitment Board paper leak being produced in a Thane court on Monday. POONAM SHINDE

they had leaked question papers for other exams conducted by the Army Recruitment Board earlier. The entire operation, including renting halls and taking

aspirants to various locations and providing them with the question papers, has been conducted several times in the past. The gang has been active for at

How they operated Investigation into the modus operandi of the accused has indicated the involvement of some coaching centres in Thane that prepare aspirants for the Army Recruitment Board exams. “The accused would seek out owners or instructors at such coaching classes and tell them that they could get a hefty sum if they helped get clients for the racket. The owners/instructors would speak to their students and identify those willing to pay for leaked papers. They would then put the aspirants in touch with the accused, and get a cut from the money,” said an officer.

SC agrees to hear bar dance girls’ plea Petition says law stigmatises their job, interferes with their freedom of expression Legal Correspondent NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a petition filed by women working in Maharashtra’s bars, including dancers and waitresses, against the constitutionality of a 2016 State law containing a rather explicit definition of what is “obscene” in dance. The Maharashtra Prohibi-

tion of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (working therein) Act, 2016 was passed by the State Assembly to circumvent a 2015 Supreme Court judgment which ordered dance bars to be thrown open again and classified dance as a profession. The Bench has already

expressed its suspicion that this law was just a ruse to “circumvent” the court’s order.

Case posted to March 2 Responding to the plea made by the Bharatiya Bargirls Union for an early hearing, a Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra posted the case on March 2. The bar girls’ union ar-

gued that the 2016 law stigmatised their profession and unreasonably interfered with their free choice of expression through dramatic performances. “The act of tipping or giving gifts as a token of appreciation has been customary and an integral part of traditional dance culture..,” the petition said.

BJP is now a version of Cong.: Sena Staff Reporter Mumbai

Increasing the intensity of its attack against the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Shiv Sena on Monday called it “a version of the Congress” in its editorial in party mouthpiece Saamna. The attack comes when political circles in Maharashtra are abuzz with talks about a possible alliance between the Congress and the Sena in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which will help the latter get a majority of 114 seats in the 227member corporation. “Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the BJP won’t align with the Congress, but has made his party ‘Congress’ by inducting many from the Congress-NCP into the BJP fold,” the editorial said. The editorial further said: “That is why the Congress is preferable, but the question is where this BJPturned-Congress will take Maharashtra and the country.” The Sena also said the BJP leaders were making noise like empty vessels over the issue of who would become the Mumbai mayor. A day after the BMC poll results were declared, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had said that the civic body’s mayor would be from his party. CM YK








In Pakistan, it’s middle class rising The contradictions within this class will now set the future course for Pakistan’s economy and its politics

The IS challenge

Moonlit reality The confusions and highs of this year’s Oscar ceremony aptly relected the world outside


n hour into the Oscar ceremony, there was a whif of uncertainty in the air. La La Land was supposed to mop up every award in sight, but the irst sign that the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had other ideas came when the winner for Best Costume Design was announced. Everyone expected Mary Zophres to win for her retrorevival Technicolor clothes in La La Land — the eventual winner, Colleen Atwood for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, seemed surprised too. But as other awards began to slip away from the well-reviewed musical, a theme could be teased out. What is Fantastic Beasts if not a plea for equal treatment of people, magical or otherwise? Then, Arrival, a ilm about the inherent benignity of aliens (read immigrants) won for Best Sound Editing. Hacksaw Ridge, which is, in a way, an anti-guns movie, won in two categories. Fences, about an African-American father who fears racial discrimination, took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Earlier, Moonlight, featuring two minority communities (black and gay), won for Best Supporting Actor. This turned out to be one of those years the Oscar voter was underestimated. As a majority of voters are actors, there was the tendency to think they’d reward La La Land, a celebration of creation: the heroine wants to make movies, the hero wants to make jazz. It looked like the year of The Artist all over again. If that 2011 Best Picture winner recreated the silent ilm era, La La Land looks back at the Hollywood musical. More importantly, both ilms were a cocoon of comfort in the worst of times. After the tsunami that devastated Japan, after the assassination of Osama bin Laden, after Arab Spring, after riots in London, and after an event that proved far more tragic to disciples of design, the demise of Steve Jobs, The Artist was less ilm than balm. It was a world in which the biggest catastrophe was the arrival of talking pictures. It stood to reason that Hollywood, this year, needed to retreat into a similarly reassuring bubble, similarly distanced from reality, after Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential elections. The confusion over Best Picture summed it up perfectly. First, it was La La Land. Fantasy, it appeared, had won. Then, it was announced that a mistake had been made. The winner was actually Moonlight. Reality, it turned out, could not be kept at bay, not in a year an Iranian director boycotted the ceremony in protest. Asghar Farhadi, whose The Salesman won in the Best Foreign Film category, sent a note where he said his absence was “out of respect for the people of my country and those of six other nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.” It was indeed a grim reminder that the world under Mr. Trump is no La La Land. CM YK

he general perception still, and unfortunately, held by many people, foreigners and Pakistanis, is that Pakistan is largely an agricultural, rural economy, where “feudals” dominate the economic, social, and particularly political space. Nothing could be further from this outdated, false framing of Pakistan’s political economy. Perhaps the single most signiicant consequence of the social and structural transformation under way for the last two decades has been the rise and consolidation of a Pakistani middle class, both rural, but especially, urban.




he arrest of two suspected Islamic State associates on Sunday from Gujarat once again raises the question whether the terrorist group is inding support in India. Coincidentally, the arrests happened the same day that Hafeezudin T.K., one of the 21 persons who went missing from Kerala last year and were believed to have joined the IS, was reported to have been killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan. If these allegations and reports are correct, it would show that the IS is gaining some inluence at least among a handful of youth in India. In recent months, anti-terror oicials have arrested young people from diferent parts of the country — in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal and Rajasthan. The IS thrives on support from foreign jihadists, largely the young. Ever since the organisation declared a ‘Caliphate’ in 2014, it has attracted tens of thousands of ighters from around the world. It used two tactics — urging sympathisers either to travel to Iraq or Syria, its strongholds, and join the war, or carry out terror attacks in their own countries after declaring allegiance to the ‘Caliph’, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. India has remained largely insulated from this trend. The number of Indians to have joined the ranks of the IS is very small. According to a December 2015 report by the intelligence company Soufan Group, the number of Indians who have joined the IS was 23, compared to 760 from the U.K. and 150 from the U.S. The IS’s puritanical, one-size-its-all brand of Islam hasn’t found much resonance in India. Given the syncretic nature of Indian Islam, it is extremely diicult for groups such as the IS to become popular among Muslims, as it did in parts of Iraq and Syria. But lonewolf attacks, inspired by the IS world view and tactics, could pose security risks. The IS is not recruiting people through local communities as in the case of other terror organisations or, as in Pakistan and Afghanistan, through madrasas. The IS’s medium is the Internet. It reaches out through online propaganda. This is all the more signiicant at a time when the IS is under attack in its core territories and is desperate to expand its reach beyond West Asia. Of late it has carried out major terrorist attacks in India’s neighbourhood — in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, including the deadly bombing at the Sehwan Sui shrine in Sindh. This outreach to South Asia should worry India. To prevent the group from gaining a foothold on its territory, India needs high-level intelligence and counter-terror operations to continue. Equally important is better coordination between the state and Muslim religious leaders in countering radicalisation and having in place speciic de-radicalisation programmes, as western governments do. It is important to not let these isolated arrests be blown out of proportion to target the larger Muslim population, which right-wing elements often try to do. Bigotry cannot be checked with bigotry.

S. Akbar Zaidi

or middle classes, has not been easy, the term has acquired much prominence in social and anecdotal references. Increasing references to the middle class — durmiana tubqa — both as a political category but also as an economic one, occur more regularly in the media. Often, Pakistan’s middle class is referred to by the consumer goods that it has increasingly been purchasing, from washing machines to motorcycles. But more importantly, the term is used for those having an active political constituency and presence. In many ways, the terms used in India after Narendra Modi’s 2014 election, of an “aspiring” or “aspirational” class — also somewhat vague but nevertheless signifying some political and developmentalist notion — have also found some currency in Pakistan. Attempts to quantify Pakistan’s middle class, largely based on income and the purchase of consumption goods, show that as many as 42% of Pakistan’s population belong to the upper and middle classes, with 38% counted as “the middle class”. If these numbers are correct, or even indicative in any broad sense, then 84 million Pakistanis belong to the middle and upper classes, a population size larger than that of Germany and Turkey. Anecdotal evidence

Class categories transformed As academics know, signiiers of social categories such as “class” are no longer fashionable and we work in an environment which no longer theorises about classes of any kind. The political category of class has been replaced by numerous other categories such as “institutions” and other more generic and broader substitutes. This is particularly the case in Pakistan, where while there is much literature on Pakistan’s overdetermined military, there is some on the judiciary, media, gender, but little research and academic engagement with the social and structural transformation which results in how the nature of class composition has changed over time. The previous, more simplistic and simpliied class categories such as feudals, industrialists, and “the working class” have not only been transformed but are also now even more problematic. In this academic environment, where there is little research of core social categories, trying to identify and calculate the size of the middle class becomes particularly diicult. While a deinition, and hence estimation of Pakistan’s middle class,

and social observations, supplemented by estimates other than what people buy, would also support the claim that Pakistan’s middle class is indeed quite formidable.

Girls shining Data based on social, economic and spatial categories all support this argument. While literacy rates in Pakistan have risen to around 60%, perhaps more important has been the signiicant rise in girls’ literacy and in their education. Their enrolment at the primary school level, while still less than it is for boys, is rising faster than it is for boys. What is even more surprising is that this pattern is reinforced even for middle level education where, between 2002-03 and 201213, there had been an increase by as much as 54% when compared to 26% for that of boys. At the secondary level, again unexpectedly, girls’ participation has increased by 53% over the decade, about the same as it has for boys. While boys outnumber girls in school, girls are catching up. In 2014-15, it was estimated that there were more girls enrolled in Pakistan’s universities than boys — 52% and 48%, respectively. Pakistan’s middle class has realised the signiicance of girls’ education, even up to the college and university level.

Rise of the ‘youthias’ It is not only in economistic, or more speciically, consumerist, terms, that the middle class has made its presence felt, but also politically. The “naya Pakistan” of today is dominated by middle class voices and concerns. The “youthias”, as they are called, a political category of those who support Imran Khan and his style of politics, are one clear manifestation of this rise, as is the large support in the Punjab of Nawaz Sharif and his Punjab Chief Minister brother, Shahbaz Sharif. The developmentalist agenda and the social concerns of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government which is ruled by Imran Khan’s party, and those in the Punjab where the Sharif family dominates, are representative of this new politics. Free laptops, better governance, more information technology, better schooling, better urban health facilities, jobs for the educated youth, the right to information, and so on, represent government initiatives to appease this political category. Vague, expectational foundations from Europe and other western countries, that the middle class is necessarily democratic, tolerant and secular, have all come undone

by events in recent years. The expectation that the middle class is necessarily “liberal” no longer stands. In the case of Pakistan, on account of many decades of a forced Islamisation discourse, backed up by Saudi funding and growing jihadism, one might argue that Pakistan’s middle class is “Islamist”, very broadly deined, and also socially conservative and intolerant, pro-privatisation and pro-capital. Yet, social and structural transformation, from Internet access to girls’ education and social media activism, also results in trends that counter such strict formulations. While still probably socially conservative, contradictory counter-narratives would suggest that there is a large noticeable tension which exists within this category of the middle class which questions a simple categorisation of its ideological moorings.

A politics hardly progressive It would be trite, though not incorrect, to argue that Pakistan’s middle class is in an ideological ferment and transition, but its aspirations do not extend to groups and social classes outside its own large category. They are not interested in the working classes or their issues, they are comfortable making economic and political alliances with large capitalist landowners and industrialists, many of whom have close links with the military. At present, the politics of this middle class is a far cry from even a soft version of the term “progressive”. It is the multiple fractions within the middle class which have been dominating the political and developmentalist agenda in Pakistan. It is going to be the contradictions within this middle class which will now set the future course for Pakistan’s economy and its politics. Perhaps from the fringes of this middle class, one could possibly expect the emergence even of progressive forms of politics. S. Akbar Zaidi is a political economist based in Karachi. He teaches at Columbia University in New York, and at the IBA in Karachi

NOTA and the Indian voter The perceived cynicism of voters against the political class seems exaggerated sembly constituencies which went to the polls since 2013, and in 24 constituencies in the Lok Sabha elections. One can argue that in these constituencies the NOTA votes did make a diference to the election results assuming that in the absence of this option a majority of NOTA voters would have preferred one or the other candidate in the fray.

V.R. Vachana & Maya Roy


hree years, one Lok Sabha election and four rounds of Assembly elections have passed since the introduction of ‘None of The Above’ (NOTA) option in the Indian electoral system. The 2016 Assembly elections also saw some active canvassing for NOTA, which allows voters to express their dissent against all the contestants. In Kerala, a group of women activists hit the road urging people not to elect any candidate if no woman was present in the fray. In Tamil Nadu, a youth group campaigned for NOTA as a protest vote against corruption.

The patterns NOTA polling igures are still small. On an average, the maximum NOTA vote share has not crossed 2.02% of the total votes polled in any election cycle. The perceived cynicism of Indian voters against the political class thus seems exaggerated. However, it is worthwhile to look at the patterns of NOTA voting to ind out how the voters have used this option of negative voting. NOTA was introduced in India following the 2013 Supreme Court directive in the People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India judgment. Thus, India became the 14th country to institute negative voting. However, NOTA in India does not

Some early pointers E. LAKSHMI NARAYANAN

What India should and shouldn’t do to stop the group from striking roots among its young

In spatial terms, most social scientists would agree that Pakistan is almost all, or at least predominantly, urban rather than rural, even though such categories are diicult to concretise. Research in Pakistan has revealed that at least 70% of Pakistanis live in urban or urbanising settlements, and not in rural settlements, whatever they are. Using data about access to urban facilities and services such as electricity, education, transport and communication connectivity, this is a low estimate. Moreover, even in so-called “rural” and agricultural settlements, data show that around 60% or more of incomes accrue from non-agricultural sources such as remittances and services. Clearly, whatever the rural is, it is no longer agricultural. Numerous other sets of statistics would enhance the middle class thesis in Pakistan.

provide for a ‘right to reject’. The candidate with the maximum votes wins the election irrespective of the number of NOTA votes polled. NOTA button saw its debut in the 2013 Assembly elections held in four States — Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and the former Union Territory, Delhi. In these States and Delhi, NOTA constituted 1.85% of the total votes polled. The average NOTA vote share dropped to 0.95% in the 2014 Assembly elections held in eight States — Haryana, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kash-


The money bill route The passing of the Aadhaar Act as a money bill is in keeping with the general attitude of the current political dispensation towards Parliament (“What exactly is a money bill?” Feb.27). Subverting the sanctity of the legislature seems to be a norm as the frequent use of the ordinance route and misuse of the discretionary powers of the Speaker show. Such tacit reading of the rule book pre-empts quality discussion on important legislative matters. Aadhaar, being a piece of legislation with a far-reaching impact, should have been subject to scrutiny by all members of Parliament. The Opposition is also to blame for the state of afairs. Hardly any issue was discussed during the winter

Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh

V.R. Vachana and Maya Roy have recently completed their post-graduation from Azim Premji University, Bengaluru and are working as researchers

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

It is sad that young people are getting caught in the web being spun by the Islamic State, then dying and treating it as martyrdom (“Drone strike kills IS ‘recruit’ from Kerala”, Feb.27). No religion worth its name can recommend killing for any cause and dying for the propagation of religion. No religion can recommend the abuse of women. The crux of the problem lies in young people getting disillusioned due to a lack of opportunities to engage themselves with decent employment even after reasonable education. The government should instil hope and conidence in the youth. Everyone leaving the country should be screened. A.G. Rajmohan,

mir and Maharashtra. It increased to 2.02% in the 2015 Assembly elections held in Delhi and Bihar. While Delhi polled a mere 0.40%, Bihar saw 2.49% of NOTA votes, which remains the highest NOTA votes polled so far in any State in Assembly elections. In the 2016 Assembly elections held in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, NOTA vote share dropped again to 1.6%. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, NOTA constituted 1.1% of the total votes. Across the elections, the number of NOTA votes polled was larger than the winning margin in 261 As-

A quick analysis of NOTA usage in all elections so far does suggest some interesting early pointers. First, reserved constituencies have seen a relatively larger number of NOTA votes, which points to the continued social prejudice against political reservation for SC/STs. Second, constituencies afected by left-wing extremism have also recorded higher NOTA performance and here probably it served as an instrument of protest against the State itself. The Assembly constituencies of Gadchiroli, Jhargram, Kalyan Rural, Jagannathpur, Chatra, Umarkote and Chhattarpur igured in the list of top NOTA polling constituencies in the Assembly elections of 2014, while in the Lok Sabha elections, Bastar, the Nilgiris and Nabarangpur occupy three top slots in terms of NOTA votes polled. Given the disafection among the people in these areas against the Indian state, these numbers are expected. At the same time,

it is important to note that these voters have used the democratic means of NOTA to express their resentment rather than boycotting the polls outright. Last, NOTA igures are comparatively higher in those constituencies which have seen a direct contest between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. One may read into this some indication of the people’s disenchantment with two mainstream political parties and yearning for alternatives. Overall, Indian voters seem to be using NOTA not just to show their disapproval of the candidates in the fray but to express their protest against many things they perceive wrong in the political system. The early trends of NOTA need to be explored further with more elaborate statistical and ethnographic analysis. So far, a small number of Indian voters have come to see NOTA as an instrument of protest. This electoral option will become a meaningful means of negative voting only if it becomes a ‘right to reject’ rather than being a symbolic instrument to express resentment as it is now. A PIL has already been iled in Madras High Court seeking the full right to reject in place of NOTA.

session of Parliament and many sittings were prematurely adjourned. Jishnu J. Raju, Chempazhanthy, Thiruvananthapuram

All fundamental rights are not absolute and are subject to reasonable restrictions. Why should there be fear about providing biometric data to government agencies? The positive aspect is that it can help check wrongdoing such as in unearthing black money and in crime prevention.

G. Sivakumar, Coimbatore

Blood and gore Numerous participants getting injured in jallikattu has become routine news (Tamil Nadu, “Jallikattu leaves over 120 injured”, Feb.27). It is a pity that those who insist on holding this

“event” are nowhere to be seen as they are accountable for the accidents. Why is it that there is not even a single soul who asks questions? It is surprising that despite scores getting injured, there is no public interest litigation questioning the wisdom in conducting jallikattu. Should we wait for people to now start losing their lives?

engaged in manual scavenging should be given numerous opportunities to come up in life. Those who invest so much money in ‘Clean India’ projects seem to forget that there are many who have to deal with human waste.

V. Lakshmanan,

Though the redesign of The Hindu is refreshing, its revised and steep pricing left me quite upset. But all this vanished when I read “Bouquets and brickbats” (‘From the Readers’ Editor’, Feb.27). The idea to keep journalism intact in this highly competitive world especially for Englishlanguage dailies was a message made clear. I have decided to extend my support to The Hindu in its

Tirupur, Tamil Nadu

Shame on us It is disheartening that the practice of manual scavenging is still prevalent across India (Chennai, “The camera exposes a dirty untruth”, Feb.27). Those who force or coerce conservancy workers to do manual scavenging should be given the severest punishment. People

S. Kulandaisamy, Chennai

Cover price

quest to keep journalism balanced and independent. G. Surender, Chennai

■ Readers the world over are accustomed to paying a diferential (enhanced) price only for the Sunday issue. Much against this convention, one fails to understand why there is a diferential price for the Saturday issue as well. The Sunday price has left me perplexed and I am left wondering whether I am purchasing a magazine or a daily. Reader participation and cooperation are bound to take a severe beating. A Sunday paper does not draw as much attention as an edition on a weekday.

Seshagiri Row Karry, Hyderabad

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Bywords in Bundelkhand

Seeing the light

Ashish Ranjan, Bhanu Joshi & Neelanjan Sircar

In the small cantonment town of Babina, about 20 km from Jhansi, we join an ongoing conversation inside a tailor’s shop. It is a diverse group, Hindu and Muslim, forward caste and backward caste, and some are voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) while others for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), but no one will vote for the Samajwadi Party (SP) in this shop. “Village after village has emptied out due to Yadav terror. You can go two km from the neher (canal), and see for yourself if I am lying,” whispers the Muslim tailor. He alleges that local Yadavs, under the cover of SP rule, have aggressively seized land from the locals. The fear is palpable; as a Yadav elder walks by the shop, everyone goes silent. “Akhilesh has done good work, but we can’t have an SP candidate win from here. I will have to vote for the BSP this time,” says the tailor. Mr. Yadav, the incumbent Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, went to the polls showcasing his development work, and he remains highly popular across a broad swathe of the population. His slogan “Kaam Bolta Hai” (the work speaks for itself ) aims at building a narrative around economic development and popular government-run programmes, but Mr. Yadav has a problem. Whether fair or not, throughout U.P., his party’s organisation is still largely associated with Yadav domination of the local bureaucracy, police, and social structure — and ruling through fear and violence while diverting resources towards their own caste. Even after a very public battle to rid the SP of undesirable elements, Mr. Yadav has been unable to rebrand the SP as a party primarily concerned with broad-based development (consistent with his own reputation), as opposed to a party that primarily caters to the interests of Yadavs.

SP’s organisational trap The challenges Mr. Yadav faces in rebranding the SP in his own image raise an important question about electoral politics. Can a political leader ever really dissociate himself from his larger party organisation and the social movement that created it? Since its founding, the SP continues to derive its organisational strength from the support of the AllIndia Yadav Mahasabha, which pro-

Challenge: “While Akhilesh Yadav may be able to separate himself from his father at the helm of the party, he cannot separate himself from the party structure.” The CM’s Samajwadi Vikas Rath Yatra passes through Unnao. RAJEEV BHATT

motes a view of a Yadav community that is imbued with extraordinary political skill and a capacity for “muscular” politics. This is not a party structure built to simply take orders from the top; rather, at every level, it is nested within the logic of caste assertion in politics. Simply put, while the Chief Minister Yadav may be able to separate himself from his father at the helm of the party, he cannot separate himself from the party structure his father built. We meet a family from the backward class (OBC) Rajbhar community on the outskirts of Babina, sitting and chatting in front of their home; all had voted for the SP in the previous Assembly election in 2012, but all will vote for the BJP this time. This region of U.P., Bundelkhand, has been going through a drought over the past few years, and Mr. Yadav’s government has provided relief by depositing money (based on agricultural landholding) to affected farmers. The family, like many others around, seem unclear on how much money was owed to them, but they repeat a rumour we hear often — money was disproportionately diverted to Yadavs and they got very little. True or not, the perception is important. “It isn’t just about doing work, we want

someone who treats us all equally,” says a middle-aged man. His younger brother, busy fixing a bicycle, looks up and jumps in: “Akhilesh has done work, but the people working underneath him are rotten. What is Akhilesh supposed to do, bechara (unfortunate one)?” Repeatedly, one hears this sort of explicitly economic rationale for deserting the SP. It isn’t about caste solidarity. After all, the Rajbhar community is numerically far too small to command a candidate from their own caste in any of the major parties. Rather, it is about fair access to benefits irrespective of caste or religion.

The case for BJP The Rajbhar man looks up again from the bicycle he’s working on and says, “We need someone like Narendra Modi, who is with all castes.” This language is not unique to the region. In Farrukhabad, next to a bridge over the Ganges, we meet a small shop owner from the OBC Lodh caste who complains, “Hamari ginti nahin hoti (we are never counted),” bemoaning the fact that his community is not explicitly counted in the caste/religion arithmetic of SP and BSP. Like the Rajbhar family, the shopkeeper’s hopes ride on the BJP. The popular view of

the BJP from the ground is of a party that does not see caste, and certainly does not work for a single caste like the Jatavs (BSP) or the Yadavs (SP). This is an extraordinary reversal from the politics of the 1990s in U.P. The electoral rise of the BSP and SP was built upon a narrative of upper caste domination of the bureaucracy and of parties like the BJP, against which subjugated groups, like the Dalits, OBCs, and Muslims, had to forcefully assert their power. Today, many of those same backward classes seem more willing to ally with upper castes than with Yadavs. It would be naive to believe that this new image of the BJP isn’t at least in part due to Hindu consolidation through the ideology of Hindutva, but it would be overly simplistic and essentialist to argue that support for the BJP is completely driven by it. The BJP is now led by a backward class leader, in Mr. Modi, and it has been out of power in U.P. since 2002, a period over which the BSP and SP have taken turns demonstrating their identity-based biases to voters in the State. The BJP promises to be something different.

Taking everyone along A political campaign that started out with larger debates about development and law and order has reverted to the same bald-faced caste/religion arithmetic that has characterised U.P. politics for decades. But the arithmetic is driven by the exact opposite phenomenon as the 1990s, a desire to remove caste and religion as the basis for economic distribution rather than the explicit assertion of it (as in the 1990s). It’s a stark reminder that politics has a way of eventually catching up with political science. While Jatavs (13% according to the 2011 Census), Muslims (19% according to the 2011 Census), and Yadavs (purportedly around 10%) are numerically large groups, even combined they are far from a majority of the population of U.P. And these groups largely split their support between two parties. In the long run, a party logic that only distributes to a defined small fraction of the population cannot sustain the broad coalitions, across caste and religion, required to win elections. It’s a principle that is showing its teeth at a most inconvenient time for Akhilesh Yadav. Neelanjan Sircar, Bhanu Joshi and Ashish Ranjan are ailiated with the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi.

The WTO dispute that India lost over solar power and the one that it has now iled against the U.S. are similar. It is best for both countries to ind an amicable solution WTO law, the complainant can give 15 months to the defendant to implement the ruling. If 15 months were provided, India would be able to complete the JNNSM without having to painstakingly restructure the entire mission. After the 15-month period, the ruling would be applicable. However, nothing meaningful came from from these negotiations. The Indian government then announced that it had decided to file many cases against the U.S. because eight of the latter’s states had domestic content requirements in the renewable energy sector. Few imagined that India would pursue the dispute and ask the WTO to establish a panel. The decision to not pursue the formation of a WTO dispute resolution panel came after Indian officials met the transition team of U.S. President Donald Trump and were assured that a settlement would be reached. It was decided that the cases would not be pur-

Armin Rosencranz & Aditya Vora

India and the U.S. have been filing a number of disputes against each other, challenging the other’s domestic content requirement in the renewable energy sector. The last was in September 2016 when India requested consultations with the U.S. under the dispute settlement system regarding alleged domestic content requirements and subsidies provided by eight U.S. states. This request came three days after India lost the case brought by the U.S. India in the present case claims that California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana and Washington are providing renewable energy subsidies similar to those of the domestic content requirement under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission ( JNNSM), which, the U.S. claims, violates World Trade Organisation (WTO) law. India alleges that these states have been granting subsidies to local manufacturers in the renewable energy industry along with the requirement that the products be made domestically. As India lost the case filed by the U.S. at the WTO, critics claim that the present case has been filed by India as a reciprocation. India seems to be charging the U.S. of the same issues in the same field to leverage a settlement in the case that it lost.

The WTO ruling JNNSM required that 20 gigawatt (GW) of solar power should be generated from domestically produced modules or solar cells. The WTO found that the mandatory domestic content requirement under JNNSM violated the National Treatment provision of Article III:4 of the WTO agreement. The Indian government has significantly reduced the domestic content requirement after the initiation of proceedings at the WTO. At the beginning of the mission, the domestic content requirement in the auctioned contracts was as much as 50% of the total output generating capacity. This value dropped significantly through the auctions and is currently down to 5%. The U.S. is still unsatisfied with the measures undertaken by the government. Before the final judgment was delivered by the WTO, there was a lot of chatter about the case being settled by the two governments. Assurances were given by high-ranking officials from both nations that a settlement would be reached. The Indian government also offered to restrict the domestic content requirement to government-owned companies, saying that only public sector undertakings would be mandated to use domestically produced modules. After the WTO ruling was delivered, India asked the U.S. not to implement it. Under


On the SP’s problems in rebranding and the BJP’s success in repositioning itself

sued further and that the Trump administration would seriously consider the settlement once in office. The request for the establishment of a panel came on January 24, 2017. The reasons stated by India include that the eight U.S. states were giving “performance-based incentives” for generating renewable energy. These incentives were contingent on the fact that domestically produced goods were being used and were given to offset the investment cost. India claims that this violates Article III:4 because the measures provide less favourable treatment to imported products than domestically produced goods. Even though India has requested establishment of the panel, is it still possible that an amicable solution may be found. However, with the new Trump administration and its ‘America First’ policy, there is a good chance that the panel will be established and the case argued before the WTO. This would affect relations between the U.S. and India. Both the cases are in fact the same, so it would be in the best interest of both nations to settle it. Armin Rosencranz is professor of law at Jindal Global Law School. Aditya Vora is a third-year law student there.





Beyond borders


Fundamental rights can’t be abridged

Asghar Farhadi’s ilms show that cinema rises above bans that are imposed by the likes of Donald Trump

The Supreme Court, by a 6-5 majority judgment, has held that Parliament under the Constitution has no power, under Article 368 of the Constitution (dealing with the procedure for amendment of the Constitution, etc.), to abridge or take away the fundamental rights guaranteed in Part III of the Constitution. In a historic ruling, delivered by the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Subba Bao, the majority judgment reversed the previous decisions of the Court. The Constitution had given fundamental rights a “transcendental position and kept them beyond the reach of Parliament”, it said.

Namrata Joshi



That Asghar Farhadi won the Best Foreign Language Film award at the Oscars for The Salesman was no surprise. In fact, it had been expected after he decided to boycott the award ceremony in protest against the U.S. President’s executive order banning the entry of people into the U.S. from seven countries, including Iran, the celebrated ilmmaker’s country. Farhadi had said in an interview that he would not attend even if he could. In his acceptance speech, which was delivered by Anousheh Ansari, Iran’s irst woman in space, Farhadi said: “Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear. A deceitful justiication for aggression and war... Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others. An empathy which we need today more than ever.” It is this very empathy that has been the hallmark of all of Farhadi’s works. Unmistakable in The Salesman, much like in his other ilms, is also Farhadi’s characteristic complex, subtle and layered moral web and air of suspense, all within the folds of family and domesticity. A couple moves into a lat whose previous occupant was allegedly a prostitute. Things come to a head when a stranger unleashes violence against the woman and cracks start developing in the marriage. As the need for taking revenge starts overpowering the man, we are left wondering who is right and who is wrong. Can the victim turn into a criminal, and vice versa? The story takes place against the backdrop of rehearsals for a performance of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Farhadi’s dissent is not surprising given that he is a product of new wave Iranian cinema, which is known for its unique, at times disguised, narratives that often involve children speaking about contentious issues besetting the country. This is why Iranian cinema has for long prospered despite governmental controls and strict censorship laws. Cinema became the window into Iran for the rest of the world after the 1979 revolution. Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Majid Majidi, Dariush Mehrjui, Jafar Panahi, all inluenced by neorealism and European art-house cinema, have been its most acclaimed practitioners. Unlike an exiled Makhmalbaf, or Jafar Panahi who is under house arrest in Iran, Farhadi functions in freedom save a small period of ban imposed on him for his support for Makhmalbaf and Panahi. Ever since he came into the spotlight with About Elly, he has been feted for providing the viewers a ringside view of modern-day Iran, about class and gender diferences, dysfunctional families, messy relationships and marriages on the verge of breakdown. At the same time, there is universal appeal in the moral dilemmas of his characters. The Salesman was produced by Memento Films Production and Asghar Farhadi Production in co-production with Arte France Cinéma. It shows, like all of Farhadi’s ilms, that cinema has to rise above national boundaries and bans that are imposed by the likes of Mr. Trump. CM YK


German retreat





Critical pedagogy/ Philosophy

Not the best of all worlds

A child in the classroom should not be treated as a “piggy bank” that a teacher fills with knowledge, said Brazilian philosopher Paulo Freire. Instead, she should be an active participant who, along with the teacher, creates knowledge based on her own experiences. Teaching and learning then assume a more political character, where the student and teacher together challenge oppressive ideas in society. This is what Freire called ‘critical pedagogy’, an idea that he expanded in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC


Will the new Nokia 3310 revive company's fortunes?

The Correspondent at Headquarters (London) says the gradual withdrawal of the enemy continues, pressed by the British Infantry. Occasionally determined resistance is offered by isolated detachments especially in the vicinity of Bapaume but without delaying the general British advance. Trees are piled across the roads to Bapaume which are also obstructed by fresh craters, masses of stone and wire. The underground galleries and water supply of Bapaume have been blown up.


Jacob Koshy

A study shows that actors vying for the Oscars are more likely to win if they are American and portray themes that resonate with American culture. The same holds true for the BAFTA awards and British actors. These awards thus fall short of their claim to reward the best movies in the world, irrespective of where they are made. Niklas K. Steffens, from the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland, and his colleagues analysed the distribution of awards since 1968 for Best Actor/ Actress in a leading role by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) and the same by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs). They analysed 908 prize winners, comprising 97 winners and 383 nominees for the Oscars and 97 winners and 331 nominees for the BAFTAs.

The results published on February 5 in the British Journal of Psychology showed that American actors dominated the awards, winning more than 50% of all prizes across both the awards. Actors, they found, were also more likely to win if they belonged to the same social group as the judges. This meant that American actors won 52% of all BAFTAs but 69% of all Oscars, while British actors won 18% of all Oscars but 34% of all BAFTAs. “These results show that whether we see a given performance as extraordinary is not just a function of the objective quality of that performance,” Dr. Steffens said in a press statement. “For perceivers are much more likely to recognise a performance as truly brilliant when perceivers and performers share membership in a social group.” The data also showed that a person’s nationality made a difference. For the

Oscars, American actors received 67% of all nominations but 78% of all awards. At the BAFTAs, British actors won 31% of all nominations but 42% of all awards. Moreover, Dr. Steffens said, belonging to the same social group as the judges dramatically boosted actors’ chances of being rated as “outstanding” as opposed to merely “excellent”. Another important determinant of success was the subject matter of the film. At the Oscars, American artists accounted for 26% of award winners who acted in films about nonAmerican culture but for 88% of award winners whose performance was in films about American culture. Apart from problematic notions of how to define American themes, it could very well be that the study’s results are skewed by many more American and British films being considered for nomination than international ones.










DU girl’s anti-ABVP tweets spark row Ms. Kaur replying to him said that she could think [for herself ] and she was opposing violence against students. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s office tweeted, “Against the tyranny of fear we stand with our students. For every voice raised in anger, intolerance & ignorance there will be a Gurmehar Kaur.” The DCW urged the Delhi Police to take swift action against those threatening her. “She [Kaur] has received rape and death threats on twitter. I have personally spoken to Delhi Police Commissioner to take action against these trolls,” said Swati Maliwal, DCW chairperson.

Congress leader Manish Tewari came out in support of the girl: “You may not like what the person thinks but trolling, mindless threats... trolling emanating from people whom the Prime Minister follows. This is the worst form of state intimidation and this is not how democracies and democratic countries function.” CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted, “All efforts to bully and threaten students and others not doing the Sangh’s bidding will be resisted and pushed back. Hounding of & threats to @mehartweets by Sanghi trolls tells how effective she is. Like her father, she is a brave person. More power to her.”

Studies on India’s air quality lawed: CPCB

‘Centre has not asked CRPF to stop use of pellet guns’ Petrol bombs were thrown at us in Kashmir Valley but we showed restraint, says outgoing Director-General Vijaita Singh New Delhi

K. Durga Prasad, outgoing Director-General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), said on Monday that the Centre never asked him to “continue or stop the use of pellet guns” against protesters in the Kashmir Valley, which has seen a surge of violence since July 8 last year after an alleged Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist, Burhan Wani, was killed in an encounter. Mr. Prasad said the CRPF had modified the pellet guns with a “deflector” to minimise any physical harm to the protesters in the Valley. The deflector will be an attachment on the muzzle end to prevent the pellets from hitting the face and upper part of the body.

Brothers with ‘IS links’ remanded Mahesh Langa

Mr. Prasad said though the number of stone-throwing incidents had come down in the past four months, he was not in a position to certify that its cause was demonetisation. The government had earlier said that the scrapping of old ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes had led to a sharp decline in the number of stonethrowing incidents. Asked if the Home Ministry had asked him to stop the use of pellet guns, Mr. Prasad said, “Nobody asked me to continue or stop their use. I have been given a task, our boys are doing a great job of performing it. The decision will be taken by the man on the ground. Petrol bombs were thrown at us but we showed restraint.” Mr. Prasad retires on February 28.

nounce his successor. The government faced severe criticism for using the pellet guns, and several political parties had asked for its complete withdrawal. During his visit to Kashmir on August 24 and 25 last year, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said an alternative to pellet guns would be given to security forces in the coming days. “These guns were earlier considered non-lethal but some incidents have taken place … an alternative will be given,” Mr. Singh had said. K. Durga Prasad

The CRPF is the largest Central force deployed in Jammu and Kashmir for counter-insurgency as well as law-and-order operations. The government is yet to an-

Mallya questions SC Bench Counsel asks judges why the case has been suddenly shifted to their court call its contempt notice. Dismissing submissions made by the banks that Mr. Mallya should be even refused a hearing in the contempt case, the Bench had asked them to respond to the businessman’s recall petition.


A traic policeman wears a mask to protect from air pollution at ITO intersection in New Delhi. FILE PHOTO

Of the 124 Indian cities, whose pollution figures are available in the WHO database, only 8 had direct PM 2.5 measurements. According to the CPCB publication — by far the only available government critique of this methodology — this conversion is problematic as air quality monitoring machines varied widely in their measurements even within the same city. In some cases PM2.5 was only 8% of PM10 and other cases 86%, according to a 2014 assessment of air quality parameters in Delhi by the CPCB. “The average thus works out to about 47%,” D. Saha of the CPCB and one of the authors of the report told The Hindu. “But the WHO assessment uses a 75% conversion

[and therefore leads to a higher estimate of PM2.5 ].” Devices that measured PM10 and PM 2.5 employed different methods as the latter — given the size of particles — were extremely prone to fluctuation. Notwithstanding that India didn’t have a certification agency that checked the quality of air pollution monitors, particulate matter levels in a city were also influenced by weather and the model that simulated weather patterns in Europe couldn’t be extrapolated to India, the report said. “Most of the simulation models being used in India have foreign origin…only the catchy outputs are discussed and disseminated to public and ultimately attract media,” it added.

Snag grounds AI light Press Trust of India Mangaluru

A Kochi-bound Air India flight from Mumbai with 58 passengers and crew on board made an emergency landing at the airport here on Monday due to a tech-

nical snag. “The Air India flight coming from Mumbai and heading towards Kochi made an emergency landing at 7.50 pm at Mangaluru airport due to a technical snag,” an airport official said.

Two brothers arrested by Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) for their alleged links with international terror outfit Islamic State (IS) have been remanded in police custody for 12 days by a local court in Rajkot where they were produced by the agency on Monday. In the remand plea, the ATS told the court that the two “confessed to being in touch with IS handlers on social media platforms to plan a terror attack”. ATS counsel told the court that “the accused admitted to have learnt bomb-making techniques from literature which was supplied to them by the IS handlers, who encouraged them to plan a major terror attack targeting some religious place in the State”. Seeking their custodial interrogation, the counsel argued that the agency wants to know how they established contact with the international terror outfit and also whether there are other ‘sleeper cells’ active in the State or anywhere in the country. The brothers, Wasim Arif Ramodia and Nayim Arif Ramodia, are well-educated, with one of them holding a master’s degree in computer application. They were arrested late on Saturday night from Rajkot and Bhavnagar respectively. The agency claimed that the arrests were made after keeping them under surveillance for more than a year. This is the first time in Gujarat, the police have arrested two persons having alleged links to the IS.

India’s door open while others look inward: Jaitley

Legal Correspondent NEW DELHI

A Supreme Court Bench of Justices A.K. Goel and U.U. Lalit was caught unawares on Monday when fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya’s lawyers queried why the case against their client has been suddenly shifted to their court when it was already partly heard by another Bench. The case has been for long been heard by a Bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton Nariman. That Bench had issued contempt notice to Mr. Mallya last July. It had also, on the other

Vijay Mallya hand, agreed to give Mr. Mallya a reasonable opportunity to be heard when he moved the court with a plea to re-

Judges clarify “Why is it listed before us? Either the judges [ Justices Kurian and Nariman] must have said something or the Chief Justice of India has passed an order,” Justice Goel told C.S. Vaidyanathan, counsel for Mr. Mallya. The Bench scheduled the case for Friday. The banks had returned

to the Supreme Court seeking contempt of court action against Mr. Mallya for providing a ‘vague’ statement about his assets despite a Supreme Court order to facilitate the recovery of his debts worth over ₹6,000 crore. The consortium, represented by Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi, argued that Mr. Mallya had failed to disclose his assets both to the court and his banks, especially the receipt of a payment of $40 million out of a total $75 million (₹515 crore) from British liquor major Diageo Plc following his resignation as Chairman of United Spirits Limited in February 2016.



Celebrating togetherness: Minister of State for Home Afairs Kiren Rijiju with Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu during the golden jubilee celebrations of Nyokum Yullo Festival at Joram in Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday. PTI

SC agrees to hear BCCI oicial’s plea ‘Oice-bearers not allowed to work’

Says the world is turning increasingly protectionist

Disputes numbers On the large number of people who lost their vision after being hit by pellets, Mr. Prasad said: “The numbers given to me about people losing their eyes [to pellet guns]

is much less than what is being made out. Yes, people have been injured, they have got pellet injuries in their face and hand, that’s why we have made our own deflectors, to ensure that pellets don’t cause much damage.” Another CRPF official said, “We have asked our men to fire at the feet now. With deflectors, there is only a two per cent chance that the shot fired may hit above the abdomen as compared to the rate of 40 per cent earlier.” He said none of their operations had been suspended due to stone-pelting incidents. “When there is an operation going on, some locals do throw stones at us but no operation has been suspended halfway because of stone-

pelting. Locals obstruct our operations under duress. They are being pressurised and are under threat by militants,” Mr. Prasad said. Mr. Prasad said the CRPF would soon use a robot to detect IEDs and explosives in the areas affected by Leftwing extremism. He said the capabilities of the robotic device were being ascertained in consultation with the IIT, Bombay. Using the device, hidden bombs beneath the dirt tracks or ‘pucca’ roads could be identified and safely defused, Mr. Prasad said. He said 2016 had the ‘lowest level’ of violence in the LWEaffected areas and the force estimates that the weapon and ammunition strength of the Maoists has come down to a large extent.

ED arrests company director Devesh K. Pandey NEW DELHI

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Kritika Dahal, director of the Hong Kong-based International Rising Ltd. HK which was allegedly involved in a money laundering racket run by a diamond trader. The agency suspects that the trader laundered over ₹1,478 crore on the pretext of exporting gold and diamonds. The ED had initially registered a case against the diamond trader, Ritesh Jain, for allegedly opening bank accounts in the name of dummy companies for carrying out illegal transactions. Ms. Dahal had become the director of International Rising on Mr. Jain’s instructions, said the agency. According to the Directorate, huge amounts were credited to these accounts from over 100 accounts of different shell companies. More than ₹92 crore in old notes was also deposited. As many as 500 accounts were used to layer the funds for evading detection, it is alleged. “The funds from all the shell companies and firms were finally transferred to the accounts of Rajeshwar Exports Pvt. Ltd., belonging to Mr. Jain. The money was further diverted for payments against the import of overvalued consignments. In all, 355 Bills of Entries were raised,” said an ED official. There was an outward flow of 21.22 crore dollars, equivalent to ₹1,421 crore, from the accounts of Rajeshwar Exports within one year, said the Enforcement Directorate.

Impossible to stop upload of vulgar content: Google Tells court preventive proiling mechanism doesn’t exist

Legal Correspondent NEW DELHI

Vidya Ram London

India is one of the most “open economies in the world”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said here on Monday as he contrasted India’s approach to reform to an increasingly inwardlooking world. “When the world is turning increasingly protectionist, India is opening up,” he told investors, politicians and business people gathered at a meeting hosted by the U.K. India Business Council and Federation of India Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Minister is on a five-day trip to the United Kingdom. “India has the potential for a growth rate higher than what we are achieving today,” he said. In the early days of liberalisation, he added, there were dissenting voices but those “fears have receded to the background”. “You have much greater support for reform than any other time in history. The idea of a protectionist economy has not been an issue CM YK

Contrary view on Brexit Special Correspondent LONDON

Brexit should not be seen as a part of the global move towards protectionism, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in London. “As far as the U.K. is concerned my meetings over the last few months, what they have repeatedly emphasised and I accept that message, is that unlike for India… We’ve opened up and it’s been more welcomed than opposed.”

Focus on reform agenda Mr. Jaitley has used his public appearances during the trip to focus on India’s reform agenda, outlining the long-term impact it hoped the implementation of GST, and demonetisation would have in efforts to improve the collection of taxes, enabling the government to increase spending on infrastructure, and poverty

what is happening in certain other countries Brexit should not be interpreted as a protectionist exercise,” he said. “Quite the contrary,” he said. “The policy message I have got is an extremely liberal one. They would like to expand and open up more,” he said. He will meet Philip Hammond on Tuesday. reduction. He acknowledged there could be “teething problems” in the first few days after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is introduced, but maintained confidence that it would come into effect by July or September. Asked about the health of the banking sector, and particularly non-performing loans in the State banks, he said that the current quarter was looking better and that it was best to focus on the future, rather than “panic”.

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed a petition by Amitabh Chaudhary, BCCI joint secretary, alleging that the court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) is not permitting office-bearers to perform their duties. Justice Dipak Misra, who heads the Bench hearing the BCCI case, agreed to hear the petition on an early date after consulting his colleagues on the Bench, Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud. In his application, Mr. Chaudhary said the court had made it clear that the CoA would supervise the implementation of reforms, and the senior-most vicepresident would perform the duties of president and the joint secretary that of secretary of the BCCI. Mr. Chaudhary alleged that the CoA had now authorised the chief executive officer, Rahul Johri, to deal with legal matters and the cases filed by and against the cricket body. However, the BCCI consti-

Krishnadas Rajagopal NEW DELHI

Amitabh Chaudhary tution provides that such powers would be exercised by its secretary, the plea said adding that several activities, including the junior team selection, were stuck as the office-bearers were not allowed to function. Mr. Chaudhary said the four members of the CoA, headed by former CAG Vinod Rai, were persons of proven credentials, but they were not following the court directions. The Supreme Court appointed the four-member CoA to run the affairs of the BCCI and implement courtapproved recommendations of the Justice R.M. Lodha panel reforms.

Trying to prevent a person from uploading objectionable content online before he even does it will be like attempting to prevent murder, unless it is a case of a repeat offender like a serial killer, Google told the Supreme Court on Monday. The search engine giant was responding to the court’s repeated query on whether it can set up some mechanism or body to identify and prevent those who upload obscene content featuring women and children.

Bench concerned A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and U.U. Lalit was referring to the loss of reputation and dignity of women and children when sexually abusive videos of them are uploaded on websites. “There is no reasonable way to prevent a person from uploading even before the said content is origin-

ated. It is well-nigh impossible. No way to nip it in the bud. Data numbering in billions are uploaded ...” Abhishek Manu Singhvi, counsel for Google, said. Noting that every person sitting in this courtroom wants a mechanism to prevent or stop such abusive material from finding its way into the internet, Mr. Singhvi said an intermediary such as Google could not prevent any person uploading from anywhere in the world from “showing his true colours”.

Repeat offender “Murder is impossible to prevent unless there is a pattern in the crime like in the case of serial killers. Yes, we can detect the footprints of a pattern in the case of a repeat offender on the internet like in the case of a serial killer but not otherwise,” Mr. Singhvi said. “As with all crime, the job is to go after the criminal. But to try to strain the intermediary [Google] to

bring in a preventive profiling mechanism is impossible,” the senior advocate said. The court asked the government about the possibility of a preventive mechanism. “Unless I know something has been done, how can I prevent it,” Centre’s counsel Balasubramanium replied with a question.

Objectionable words When Justice Lalit suggested whether “200 or so words” found objectionable could be blocked, Mr. Singhvi said these words might be used in other perfectly legal contexts on the internet and these functions would also be unwittingly blocked. The court is hearing a PIL petition filed by Prajwala, a non-governmental organisation, highlighting the increasing number of instances of sexual assault videos of women and children being uploaded on the internet. ND-ND








Irom Sharmila refuses security escort IMPHAL

Irom Sharmila has refused to accept the security escort provided to her by the State authorities on the direction of the Election Commission. Ms. Sharmila, who is contesting against Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, said she had no enmity with anyone. PTI

Supreme Court grants bail to Bastar journalist NAGPUR

The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Santosh Yadav, a journalist, who was arrested in 2015 for his alleged Maoist links. Mr. Yadav was currently lodged in the Jagdalpur jail after being charged under the draconian Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act.

Three minor tribal girls gang-raped in Tripura AGARTALA

The police on Monday arrested two of the four accused in the gang rape of three tribal minor girls at a village in north Tripura. The incident occurred at Astarampara in the Dhumachara police station limits in Dhalai on Saturday.

Powerful blast in Manipur, no casualties IMPHAL

A powerful bomb exploded at Okram Chuthek in Imphal east district on Sunday night. There was no casualty. The police suspect the hand of insurgents behind the blast. Another bomb was also found nearby. Elections will be held in Manipur on March 4 and 8.

SP, BSP playing for hung House: Modi Says both realise they won’t win, and seek a bargaining chip Press Trust of India Mau (U.P.)

Sensing defeat, the SP and the BSP have launched a new game plan for a fractured mandate in Uttar Pradesh so that they can have bargaining power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday. “The SP and the BSP, after the third phase of polling, have realised that they have no chance of winning and so they have launched a new game, a new technique ... even if we are defeated or our seats decrease, no one should get a majority,” he said at a meeting in this eastern Uttar Pradesh town. “I want to tell the leaders of the SP and the BSP to try whatever means they can to defeat the BJP, there is no problem with it ... but do not play with the future of U.P. It has suffered a lot in the past,” Mr. Modi said in his over hour-long speech. “You [SP, BSP] might be thinking that in case of a hung House, you will get a chance to bargain but the people of U.P. have shown you in the Lok Sabha polls, by ensuring a full majority for BJP, and in these elections, they will ensure that BJP wins with a huge margin,” Mr. Modi said.

Democratic right The Prime Minister said it was the right of the SP, the Congress and the BSP in democracy to try to win elections by doing whatever they want against the BJP. “When the polls were announced and the SP got afraid that they will not win,

Long walk: BJP supporters heading to an election meeting of Narendra Modi at Ghosi in Mau. RAJEEV BHATT in a hurry they went and sat in the lap of the Congress ... they boarded a sinking ship. They got encouraged by media coverage and got intoxicated and thought they can befool the people,” Mr. Modi said. However, the public can differentiate milk from water, he said.

Alliance hype On the hype on the SP-Congress alliance, Mr. Modi said soon after entering into an understanding they were claiming they would get a two-thirds majority and there were also reports that “certain people” will come out for campaigning. “But soon after the first two phases, those very people decided to stay away from campaigning,” Mr. Modi said. Pointing out that his party believes in taking its allies along even if it got full majority on its own, the Prime Minister said all its alliance partners would be made

part of BJP government in UP if it came to power, even though on its own. “The ship of the Samajwadis has sunk ... BSP is not able to do anyhing ... Bhatija (Akhilesh) is thinking how to save himself, while Bua (Mayawati) is worried thinking what the bhatija has done...,” he said. Noting that the country was being hailed all over the world today because it got a full majority government at the Centre after 30 years, Mr. Modi said when he, as the PM, shook hand with world leaders, they saw “125 crore Hindustanis” in him. He called for a full majority for his party in the polls so that UP was hailed across the country. Speaking about the “backwardness” of eastern UP, Modi said that with fertile land, enough water, the people and dreams of youths, it can be made the aan, baan and shaan (pride of place) of the country.

From Jaunpur to Varanasi, Modi to helm BJP campaign

Register FIR against Modi: Cong. to EC

Focus shifts to eastern U.P., as party faces crucial phases

Devesh K. Pandey

Nistula Hebbar VARANASI

As polling ends for the fifth phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh, the contest now remains for the crucial eastern part of the State and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is determined to give it that extra bit of push. Senior BJP office-bearers confirmed to The Hindu that Mr. Modi would be holding three rallies on successive days in the area from March 3 to 5. “He will be in Jaunpur on March 3 and in Mirzapur on


March 4 and will hold a public meeting in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi on March 5,” said a senior national office-bearer of the party. Party leaders say that their own internal reports suggest that the BJP is poised to make a strong showing in these last two phases of this long drawn out and keenly contested election. “We are determined that our most popular face will press home our advantage,” said the office-bearer. The messaging of the last

two phases has been centred on securing a decisive verdict, and the ending of backwardness, particularly in the eastern part of the State. Mr. Modi told a public gathering in Mau on Monday: “The SP and BSP say their seats may decrease and they may fall short but no one else should get a majority so that they can do deals later.” BJP’s State unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya said the statement by Mr. Modi was an appeal to the electorate to give a decisive verdict.


The Congress on Monday asked the Election Commission to register an FIR against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct in Uttarakhand. Such action had been taken against the party’s vice-president Rahul Gandhi for delay in concluding a roadshow, the memorandum submitted by Congress leaders said. The party alleged that on February 10, Mr. Modi had held a public rally at Haridwar without permission of the Commission.

Under 60% turnout in Phase 5 Provisional voting settles at 57.36%, a marginal increase from the previous poll Omar Rashid LUCKNOW

The 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election recorded its lowest turnout thus far, with the average provisional voting (till 5 p.m.) in the fifth phase on Monday settling at 57.36%. This was still a marginal increase from the previous elections. In 2012, the districts that went to the poll on Monday had recorded 57.09% voting. The figure for the 2014 Lok Sabha election was 55.5%. In the first four phases, covering the entire stretch of west U.P., Rohilkhand, Braj, parts of Awadh and Terai, and the whole of Bundelkhand, the voting percentages were 64.2, 65.5, 61.16 and 61. In the fifth phase, elections were held to 51 seats spread across 12 districts — Balrampur, Gonda, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Shrawasti, Bahraich, Siddharthnagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Amethi, Sultanpur and Barabanki. The rul-

Women to the fore: Voters wait in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Allahabad on Monday. AP

ing Samajwadi Party had won 37 of the 51 seats in the previous elections. Its ally, the Congress, and the BJP won five each. The BSP could only win three. The phase included key political constituencies such as Ayodhya-Faizabad, Sultanpur and Amethi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency.

Locking horns Both the SP and the Congress had fielded candidates

in Amethi as the two parties could not come to an agreement. Tainted former SP Minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, against whom the Supreme Court had ordered filing of charges of gang rape a few days ago, is battling Garima Sinh of the BJP and Amita Sinh of the Congress in this constituency. Ms. Amita is the wife of senior Congress leader Sanjay Sinh and Ms. Garima is his estranged first wife. Amethi recorded a voting percentage of 57, an increase of two per

cent from 2012. The SP and Congress are also locked in a friendly fight in Gauriganj. In all, the Congress has fielded candidates in 14 seats in this phase and is pitted against the SP in half of them. The BSP fielded candidates in all the seats. The BJP is fighting in 50, having left one to its ally Apna Dal. The SP is fighting in 43 and the RLD in 31. The turnout in Ayodhya increased marginally — from 60.24 to 60.7 — while there was a sharp drop overall in Sultanpur and Faizabad districts. If Sultanpur’s vote percentage fell from 68.60 to 56.53, the figure in Faizabad went down from 69.61 to 60.1. Balrampur district, however, witnessed an increase — from 49% to 54.24%. Other important seats in this phase are Akbarpur (BSP State president Ram Achal Rajbhar is in the fray) and Itwa (where Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey is contesting). Itwa recorded less than 50% polling.

Nishad Party’s idea of power Its founder, Sanjay Nishad, wants better prospects for backward communities Smita Gupta Gorakhpur

On the edge of Gorakhpur in the working class locality of Rustampur, political workers wearing red caps are gradually filling up a small square of empty land in front of a former pradhan’s home. A cavalcade of cars arrives, jamming the narrow lane: out steps a balding, bespectacled man in a dark suit. The crowd raises a cheer and rushes to garland him. This is Sanjay Nishad, whose Nishad Party is contesting all seats in Uttar Pradesh in alliance with the Peace Party of India of Mohammed Ayub , the Apna Dal (Krishna Patel faction) and the Jan Adhikar Party of Babu Singh Kushwaha, once BSP chief Mayawati’s righthand man. In some seats, this alliance, representing the backward communities of Nishads, Kurmis, Kushwaha and Muslims, can play spoilsport for the BJP, the BSP and the SP-Congress alliance that are locked in a tri-

Long way to go: Nishad Party activists at an election meeting in Gorakhpur. SMITA GUPTA angular fight. Of the four, the Nishad Party has shown the most potential, particularly in eastern Uttar Pradesh. If the party represents the Nishads, Kewats, Binds, fisher-folk and boatmen, its name is also an acronym — Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal (Nishad), or “Our common weak and exploited Indian party”. Conscious how difficult it is to make an electoral breakthrough, the Nishad Party

has given ticket to rebels and musclemen from the three other formations.

Tactical moves But these are just tactical moves by Dr. Nishad, a former Kanshi Ram protege, who left the BSP to start the Nishad Party. “This party has been created for those who have so far been deprived of the benefits and taste of power,” he says. To bring Mulayam Singh

and Mayawati to power, Nishads, Muslims and other extremely backward communities, he says, played their role. But “when it came to filling government vacancies and appointments at police stations, most jobs went to the Yadavs. Those are the benefits of power.” Elaborating what he means by the “taste of power”, he explains, “If you ask Nishad or Muslim schoolchildren whether they will get a job when they grow up, they will say that they are studying, but don’t know about the future. When an educated Nishad or Muslim doesn’t get a job, their younger siblings feel there is not much point acquiring any education.” If his coalition wins some seats who will it support? “ ... whoever promises to give the communities we represent a designated share in the OBC quota,” he says. “But we are clear we will not support the BJP because it is opposed to reservation.”









‘Regime behind Kim’s death’ S. Korean intel calls the attack on Kim in Malaysia state-sponsored terrorism Choe Sang-hun SEOUL

President Park expresses ‘belated regret’ SEOUL

South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye expressed “belated regret” on Monday over the scandal that triggered her impeachment, as the Constitutional Court wrapped up hearings on her fate and her supporters screamed threats outside. In a statement read out by her advocate on Monday, Ms. Park reiterated that her only fault was trusting and seeking advice from her friend Choi Soon-Sil, who took care of her daily affairs for years, including her wardrobe choices. AFP

Need answers on Trump’s Russia links: Bush WASHINGTON

Former President George W. Bush said on Monday that “we all need answers” on the extent of contact between President Donald Trump’s team and the Russian government. Mr. Bush also defended the media’s role in keeping world leaders in check, noting that “power can be addictive,” and warned against immigration policies that could alienate Muslims. “I am for an immigration policy that’s welcoming and upholds the law,” Bush told NBC’s “Today” show. AP

Officials from North Korea’s secret police and Foreign Ministry were involved in the killing of the estranged half brother of the country’s leader, South Korean intelligence officials told lawmakers on Monday. Ever since Kim Jong-nam, the eldest brother of Kim Jung-un, was first reported assassinated, the South Korean government has held the North responsible. On Monday, the National Intelligence Service in Seoul provided more details of what it described as statesponsored terrorism, saying that four of the eight North Koreans identified as suspects by Malaysian authorities were agents from North Korea’s Ministry of State Security, the secret police.

Worked for Pyongyang Speaking on Monday in a closed-door parliamentary hearing, Lee Byung-ho, director of the National Intelligence Service, said two

Iran’s Navy has test ired the latest versions of the Nasir and Dehlaviyeh missiles during military exercises in the Gulf, local media reported on Monday. “The latest naval cruise missile called Nasir was test-ired during Velayat 95 naval manoeuvres in the southern waters of the country,” said Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan, according to the Fars news agency. He said the missile had hit its target. AFP

have said Kim Jong-nam was killed by an extremely toxic nerve agent known as VX. They said the North Koreans had hired and trained two women, one from Indonesia, the other from Vietnam, to attack Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The women smeared his face with the chemical while he was waiting to check in for a flight to Macau, where he and his family had a

Director boycotted the award ceremony in protest against Trump’s travel ban Tehran


other suspects worked for the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The remaining two were affiliated with Air Koryo, the North’s state-run airline company, and Singwang Economics and Trading General Corp., Mr. Lee said, according to two lawmakers who attended the briefing. Singwang is among North Korean companies facing U.N. sanctions. Malaysian authorities

Iranians hail Farhadi’s Oscar win Associated Press

Iran tests missiles in naval exercises

Assassination chronicles: The cover of a Chinese magazine features a portrait of Kim Jong-nam. REUTERS

home, they said. The two women are now in police custody in Kuala Lumpur. Mr. Lee, the South Korean intelligence chief, was quoted by the lawmakers as saying that the eight North Koreans, working as two four-member teams, converged in Kuala Lumpur to carry out the February 13 assassination. He said Ri Jae-nam, a State security agent, and Ri Jihyon, a Foreign Ministry official, had brought Doan Thi Huong, a 28-year-old Vietnamese woman, into the assassination plot, while Siti Aisyah, a 25-year-old Indonesian woman, was hired by O Jong-gil, a state security agent, and by Hong Songhac, a Foreign Ministry official. The four North Koreans who made up the assassination team left Malaysia the same day Kim Jong-nam was killed and are believed to be back in their country, Mr. Lee was quoted as saying. Malaysian police have confirmed their departure. NYT

Iranians on Monday cheered the choice of one of their own for the best foreign film Oscar, lauding director Asghar Farhadi’s boycott of the Hollywood ceremony for his film The Salesman as an act of defiance against the Trump administration. Mr. Farhadi refused to attend the Academy Awards, announcing after the temporary U.S. travel ban was initially imposed last month for citizens of seven Muslimmajority countries that he would not attend the cere-

mony even if an exception was made for him. Iran was one of the seven countries affected by the measure, which has since been blocked from being carried out by a federal court ruling. The Salesman about a couple performing Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and their attempts to find peace and justice after the wife is attacked at their Tehran apartment had become a rallying cry for immigrant rights after the travel ban. The six nominated directors in the foreign language

category had put out a joint statement ahead of the award decrying what they called the climate of “fanaticism” in the U.S. The award was the second Oscar for Mr. Farhadi, after his film A Separation won in the same category for 2012. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he saw the prize as taking a stance against Mr. Trump’s executive order. “Proud of Cast and Crew of The Salesman for Oscar and stance against #MuslimBan. Iranians have represented culture and

civilization for millennia,” he tweeted in English. Vice President Ishaq Jahangiri praised Mr. Farhadi both for the award and for boycotting the ceremony, calling it a “priceless action.” State radio and television briefly reported on Mr. Farhadi’s Oscar, while Tehran film daily Banifilm ran an oped saying Mr. Trump had “probably never imagined what contribution the travel ban would have for Farhadi’s film.” The trade paper said the executive order had likely propelled “The Salesman” to victory.

German hostage beheaded by Islamists in Philippines

Kansas consoles Indian community

Militants had demanded a ransom of $6,00,000 by Sunday

Varghese K George

Agence France-Presse Manila

Islamist militants in the Philippines have beheaded the German hostage they were holding for ransom, the government in Manila said on Monday. A video posted by the Abu Sayyaf group, which was monitored by intelligence group SITE, showed Jurgen Kantner being killed by a knife-wielding man. Shortly after the video appeared, government envoy Jesus Dureza confirmed the German’s death. Military officials in the south said they had not yet found the German’s body.

Linked to IS The Abu Sayyaf, blamed for the worst terror attacks in Philippine history, had demanded a ransom of 30 million pesos ($6,00,000) to be paid by Sunday to spare the 70-year-old. The group had previously released videos showing a haggard Kantner

German national Jurgen Kantner. AFP

appealing for payment of the ransom. Mr. Kantner was abducted from his yacht, the Rockall, off the southern Philippines last year. The vessel was found drifting on November 7, with the body of Mr. Kantner’s companion Sabine Merz with a gunshot wound. The couple had been kidnapped and held for 52 days in Somalia in 2008 before

they were freed, reportedly after a huge ransom was paid, press reports said. The Abu Sayyaf, whose leaders have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group, have been kidnapping foreigners and Christians for decades and holding them for ransom in the jungles of the strife-torn southern Philippines. They have frequently killed hostages if their demands are not met, and last year murdered two Canadians. Apart from Mr. Kantner, they are now holding at least 19 foreigners and seven Filipino hostages, military spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said. The group, formed from seed money provided by a relative of Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, also carried out the bombing of a ferry in Manila Bay in 2004 that claimed 116 lives in the country’s deadliest terror attack.

‘We want you to know that you are loved and you are welcome here,’ say the State’s leaders Washington

Indian community is a vibrant and integral part of Kansas, and the violence that claimed the life of Hyderabad-born Srinivas Kuchibhotla last week is not the nature of the place, State Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer told a gathering of mourners in Kansas city on Sunday. “We saw evil, but we also saw goodness. Events over the last few days brought out the best of Kansas,” he said, reciting the Upanishad prayer ‘Asato Ma Sadgamaya’. For a community shaken by the incident, the words of Maggie and Laura, sisters of Ian Grillot, the 24-year old white man who stood up to the killer and took a bullet on his chest, was reassuring. “The moment I saw the commotion on the road and heard about the shooting at the restaurant, I knew in my gut that Ian was involved. He wouldn’t run away... We have been raised that way. To love one another, to be

kind to one another… whatever is the colour of the person. Black. White or rainbow,” Ms. Maggie said. The family lives an earshot away from the restaurant where Kuchibhotla was shot dead and his friend Alok Madasani injured. “I take my own kids to this restaurant often,” she said. “The cardinal principle that guide us is: treat others the way you want to be treated.” Ms. Laura added her brother did not consider himself a hero. “He believes he only did what anyone else in the same situation must do.”

Life-saving act Mr. Madasani, recounted the story of another white American whose intervention probably saved his life. He barely knew Brad, as a copatron of the bar that the Indian friends used to visit every week. “After the incident happened, he came to be by my side. He didn’t care whether he [the attacker] was going to come back, if the situation was controlled,

Swedes puzzled over ‘security adviser’ The man identiied as Sweden’s NSA on Fox News has no links with its security establishment Mr. Bildt’s time in the spotlight began on Thursday, when he appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” to argue that immigrants were the cause of a violent crime wave in Sweden.

Liam Stack Christina Anderson

A man described as a Swedish defence and national security adviser appeared on Fox News last week to defend President Donald Trump’s claim that criminal immigrants are wreaking havoc in Sweden. But according to court records and Swedish officials, the man, identified as Nils Bildt, has a criminal record in the U.S. and no ties to Sweden’s security establishment. In fact, he may not even be named Nils Bildt. “We don’t know this guy,” said Mikael Abramsson, a spokesman for the Swedish military. “We have never heard of him in the Swedish armed forces, and he cannot speak on our behalf.” That sentiment was CM YK

No such adviser? ‘Nils Bildt’ appeared on a show to argue that immigrants were the cause of a crime wave in Sweden.

echoed by Rasmus Eljanskog, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who said no one by the name of Nils Bildt worked there. Magnus Ranstorp, the head of terrorism research at the Swedish Defense University in Stockholm, went one step further. “There isn’t any

Nils Bildt,” he said. According to public records, Mr. Bildt was born Nils Tolling, the son of the chairman of the Swedish Equestrian Federation, and went by that name as recently as May, when he registered a business, Modus World West, in Montana.

Crime factor Nils Bildt may not be a Swedish defence and national security adviser, but crime is a topic he may know a thing or two about. Prosecutors in Virginia charged him in 2014 with public drunkenness and obstruction of justice, both misdemeanors, as well as one felony count of assaulting a police officer, according to court records. He was convicted of misdemeanor assault in November 2014 and sentenced to 12 months in prison, although his sentence was partly suspended.

David Tabacoff, the executive producer of “The O’Reilly Factor,” defended the decision to invite Mr. Bildt on the show. “Our booker made numerous inquiries and spoke to people who recommended Nils Bildt,” he said in a statement, “and after pre-interviewing him and reviewing his bio, we agreed that he would make a good guest for the topic that evening.” Another Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, reported that Bildt told the paper he was “unaware” of the charges. He also said the title “Swedish defense and national security adviser” was made up by a Fox News editor. “I had no personal control over what title they chose,” he wrote. “I am an independent analyst based in the U.S.A.” NYT

For peace: Alok Madasani, who was injured during the attack, and his wife Reepthi Gangula take part in a vigil on Sunday. AP

he just came by my side because he knew I was the one who was suffering. He removed his shirt. He knew that there was a lot of blood that I’m losing and he kept his shirt around the wound so that I don’t lose more blood. When I was being taken in the ambulance,

that’s what the guys in the ambulance told me... ‘That is probably what... saved your life,” Mr. Madasani said. Police of chief and mayor of Olathe in the outskirts of Kansas City, and U.S. Congressman Kevin Yoder who represents the area — all had the same message: ‘this was

Trump plans 10% hike in defence spending Large reduction in foreign aid likely

an isolated incident and the Indian American community must look ahead.’ “We will wrap our arms around you, and we want you to know that you are loved and you are welcome here,” Mr. Yoder, a Republican, said. Speaking at the event, Jay Kansara, Director of Government Relations, Hindu American Foundation, said the group would take up the death of Kuchibhotla with U.S. lawmakers to ensure that “such hate crimes are not repeated, whoever is the target”. Mr. Madasani agreed with the view that the incident should not be taken as representative of America. “It was rage and malice in an individual’s heart that killed my friend… killed our friend. It’s an isolated incident that doesn’t reflect the true spirit of Kansas, Midwest and United States.” Mr. Madasani said, “I want to take this opportunity to ask... all of you for tolerance of our diversity and for respect of humanity.”

7 killed in attack on prison bus Agence France-Presse Colombo

Agence France-Presse Washington:

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday teased a budget plan that includes a substantial increase in defence spending and cuts in foreign aid. Previewing a plan that will attempt to translate campaign promises into dollars and cents, Mr. Trump promised a “public safety and national security budget”. An administration official said that Mr. Trump’s plan would include a $54 billion increase in defence spending and a corresponding decrease in non-military programmes. “Most federal agencies will see a reduction as a result,” the official said.

There will also be a “large reduction in foreign aid” he said, on condition of anonymity. The proposal, which will be picked over and must ultimately be approved by Congress, would increase defence spending — already the largest in the world — by almost 10%. Meanwhile, officials said the Pentagon has finished plans to intensify the fight against the Islamic State (IS). Mr. Trump had demanded that top brass find additional ways to defeat jihadists. That review is now complete, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was to present the findings to Mr. Trump’s top national security advisors later Monday.

Attackers opened fire on a prison bus outside Colombo on Monday, killing five prisoners and two armed guards in the worst gang-related violence to hit Sri Lanka in decades. Police said the gunmen sprayed bullets at the bus as it passed through a wooded area near the capital, also wounding four guards. One of the victims was a senior member of an underworld group operating in Sri Lanka, where automatic weapons remain easily available eight years after the end of a decadeslong war. “It is believed that the shooting was a result of enmity between two underworld gangs,” police said in a statement. ND-ND







market watch 27-02-17 % CHANGE

Sensex ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd28,813 dddddd -0.27 US Dollar dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd 66.71 dddddddd 0.16 Gold ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd30,125 dddddddd 0.92 Brent oil ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd 56.20 dddddd -1.55



ACC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1417.50. . . . . . . -20.60 Adani Ports. . . . . . . . . . . . . 296.65. . . . . . . . . -0.60 Ambuja Cements . . . . 229.90. . . . . . . . . -2.10 Asian Paints . . . . . . . . . . . . 1001.95. . . . . . . . . -7.05 Aurobindo Pharma . 679.35. . . . . . . . 13.10 Axis Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 508.95. . . . . . . -19.20 Bajaj Auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2795.05. . . . . . . -19.05 Bank of Baroda . . . . . . . 164.40. . . . . . . . . -3.75 Bharti Airtel . . . . . . . . . . . 355.70. . . . . . . -10.55 BHEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152.80. . . . . . . . . -0.65 Bosch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21645.75. . . . . -345.15 BPCL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 707.70. . . . . . . . . -9.95 Cipla . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 585.25. . . . . . . . . -7.15 Coal India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329.95. . . . . . . . . . . 2.25 Dr Reddys Lab . . . . . . . . 2857.00. . . . . . . -30.40 Eicher Motors Ltd. . . 24337.35. . . . . -540.35 GAIL (India) . . . . . . . . . . . . 515.30. . . . . . . . . -2.25 Grasim Ind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1018.35. . . . . . . . . -6.55 HCL Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 839.95. . . . . . . . . -2.90 HDFC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1375.70. . . . . . . -10.00 HDFC Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1393.60. . . . . . . . . -0.70 Hero MotoCorp . . . . . . . 3175.90. . . . . . . . . -0.85 Hindalco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180.75. . . . . . . . . -1.35 Hind Unilever . . . . . . . . . 866.45. . . . . . . . . . . 8.20 ICICI Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278.85. . . . . . . . . -5.65 Idea Cellular . . . . . . . . . . . 114.55. . . . . . . . . -5.05 IndusInd Bank . . . . . . . . 1319.30. . . . . . . -21.45 Bharti Infratel Ltd. . 288.15. . . . . . . . . -9.75 Infosys. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1012.40. . . . . . . . . . . 3.55 ITC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264.60. . . . . . . . . -1.05 Kotak Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800.50. . . . . . . -10.45 L&T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1465.85. . . . . . . -20.75 Lupin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1464.10. . . . . . . . 14.10 M&M. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1293.85. . . . . . . -11.00 Maurti Suzuki . . . . . . . . . 5951.50. . . . . . . -79.50 NTPC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165.40. . . . . . . . . -0.10 ONGC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194.70. . . . . . . . . -1.30 PowerGrid Corp . . . . . . 192.75. . . . . . . . . -6.40 Reliance Ind . . . . . . . . . . . 1238.90. . . . . . . . 56.15 State Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268.25. . . . . . . . . -2.20 Sun Pharma . . . . . . . . . . . . 674.45. . . . . . . . . -0.10 Tata Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . 457.80. . . . . . . . . -4.55 Tata Motors Dvr. . . . . . 277.15. . . . . . . . . -3.80 Tata Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82.70. . . . . . . . . -0.75 Tata Steel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 480.60. . . . . . . . . -5.15 TCS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2489.85. . . . . . . . . . . 8.05 Tech Mahindra . . . . . . . . 499.80. . . . . . . . . -3.85 UltraTech Cement. . . 3737.20. . . . . . . -48.90 Wipro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 489.75. . . . . . . . . . . 3.65 YES Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1421.90. . . . . . . -24.85 Zee Entertainment . 503.80. . . . . . . -14.75


Bharti slashes roaming costs amid battle with Reliance Jio

‘Investors may as well put money in bank, play golf’

Does away with national roaming, cuts call charges while overseas by up to 90%

Bharti’s Mittal urges global regulators to back consolidation

Vikas Dhoot

Vikas Dhoot



Mobile subscribers of India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel are in for a far simpler roaming experience when they travel within and outside the country from April, with the company on Monday scrapping the high charges levied on voice calls, SMS and data services when users leave their home networks. For international travellers, call charges have been reduced by up to 90% to as low as ₹3 per minute and data charges by up to 99% to ₹3 per MB across popular roaming destinations, the company said, adding that these would apply even if customers failed to opt for international roaming packages with lower rates, a key reason for shocking bills after international trips. “Today, we have a global network that works everywhere in the world… in the farthest of remote areas of sub-Sahara and the Himalayas, using the same handset,” said Sunil Mittal, Bharti Airtel’s chairman.

Days after Bharti Airtel announced a takeover of Telenor’s India operations, the Indian company’s chairman Sunil Mittal said there was perhaps scope for further consolidation in the telecom sector and more network sharing by players, even as he exhorted global regulators to encourage consolidation instead of issuing new licences to generate revenues for the exchequer. “I was delighted to hear that the Indian government is comfortable with the number of operators coming down from 12 to 5,” said Mr. Mittal, who is also the chairman of the GSM Association (GSMA) representing more than 800 global mobile operators. “Probably, it will be down to four. Let’s see where it ends up.” “Governments have got it wrong for too long – giving out new licences means more money for the government and more competition for the customers. It is quite the contrary,” he said. The Indian telecom industry is undergoing a fresh round of consolidation, triggered by the entry of Mukesh Ambani led-Reliance Jio. While Bharti has said it will buy the local unit of Norway’s Telenor, Vodafone India and Idea are in talks for a merger. Last year, Reliance Communications, and Aircel Ltd. had announced a plan to merge. Tata group’s telecom arm is now reportedly in talks with Reliance Communications and its partners for a merger. According to PTI, Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak, who is also attending the Mobile World Congress, had said the consolidation in the market was likely to yield five major players ensuring

Indicative direct rates in rupees a unit except yen at 4 p.m. on February 27




US Dollar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 66.51. . . . . . . 66.83 Euro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 70.36. . . . . . . 70.70 British Pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 82.52. . . . . . . 82.94 Japanese Yen (100) . . . . . .. . 59.24. . . . . . . 59.53 Chinese Yuan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 9.68. . . . . . . . . 9.73 Swiss Franc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 66.01. . . . . . . 66.33 Singapore Dollar . . . . . . . . . . .. . 47.29. . . . . . . 47.52 Canadian Dollar. . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 50.71. . . . . . . 50.96 Malaysian Ringitt . . . . . . . . . .. . 14.98. . . . . . . 15.05 Source:Indian Bank



February 27 rates in rupees with previous rates in parentheses

Bar Silver (1 kg) . . . . . .. . . . 44,140. . . . (43,910) Retail (1 g) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 47.20. . . . . . (46.10) 24 ct gold (10 g) . . . . .. . . . 30,010. . . . (30,000) 22 ct gold (1 g) . . . . . . .. . . . . . 2,851. . . . . . (2,850)

GMR unit completes debt rejig

Roaming cautiously “Yet, 55% of people in the developed world switch off mobile data while roaming. My estimated guess is that about 90% of travellers from the emerging markets switch off their mobile data, perhaps even voice when they travel,” Mr. Mittal said, while delivering the keynote address at the Mobile World Congress here. International travellers grabbed local sim cards, went to the nearest WiFi hotspot, or waited to get to their hotel to then look at their emails instead of using their own numbers, he pointed out. “What have we done to our industry? This must

Barrier free: Operators across the world must collaborate to remove the cost barrier to roaming, says Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal. AFP

stop. As we leave this room, we are going to shake this system. I can promise you within my term at GSMA, roaming charges and bill shocks will be a thing of the past,” said Mr. Mittal who is also the chairman of the GSM Association (GSMA) representing over 800 global mobile operators. In a statement issued soon after the speech, Bharti said that these roaming benefits for domestic users would kick in on April 1 and that there would be no additional data charges for national roaming. “Airtel customers roaming within India will enjoy free incoming calls/SMS and there will be no premium on outgoing calls…Also, there will be no additional data charges on national roaming. Home data packs for customers will apply even while they roam across India,” the country’s largest operator said. The announcement comes almost a week after Mukesh Ambani-led Reli-

ance Jio announced its tariff plan, under which all domestic voice calls would be free and there would be no roaming charges. “This marks the death of national roaming and the whole country will now be like a local network for our customers, who will not have to think twice before making or receiving calls or using data while travelling outside their home base,” said Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel. Although Bharti has some affordable international roaming packages for its customers with different validity periods of up to 30 days, there are still several cases of customers inadvertently failing to choose these packs and suffering bill shocks due to the steep roaming charges on international networks, the firm said. Now, even if consumers don’t opt for such packages, they will be protected from bill shocks through an automatic adjustment that is

equal to the daily pack for that particular country. “This will allow our customers to use their devices abroad without any fear,” Bharti said. For example, when a subscriber travelling to the U.S. without a pack hits the threshold of ₹649 (the price of the one-day pack for the U.S.), he/she will automatically move to the one-day pack with free incoming calls/SMS, 100 India and local country outgoing minutes, 300 MB data and other benefits. Similarly, a customer travelling to Singapore would move to the oneday pack the moment his/ her usage hits the ₹499 mark, Bharti said. “As an industry, operators across the world must collaborate to remove the cost barrier to roaming and offer customers the convenience of staying connected without the fear of exorbitant bill charges,” Mr. Mittal said. (The correspondent is in Spain at the invitation of Samsung Electronics)

enough competition but not fragmentation of spectrum. Mr. Mittal asserted, “You don’t want one or two healthy operators, one or two struggling operators and three or four in the ICU. You really want a few sustainable solid operators who can put up the investments that are required for new technologies, the demand for data at speeds that you want.” The consolidation debate is underway across the globe, with the U.K. scuttling a proposed merger and Italy allowing another with some conditions attached. Citing the example of U.S., where AT&T and Verizon are two strong players, with T-Mobile and Sprint challenging them from behind, Mr. Mittal said the U.S. would be fine with just three solid operators committed to rolling out the latest net-

works and providing the best value to customers. “All regulators must encourage consolidation. This is extremely important for the industry to put capital at work with returns at a level that is reasonable. We don’t want a situation where too much has been taken away from the industry and they are not able to fulfil the dream of what you want,” he said. With the global industry having invested $2.25 trillion in capex, with almost $200 billion in hard capex added every year excluding spectrum costs, he said returns on investments had been falling sharply. With return on capital deployed having dipped to low single digit levels in markets like India, Mr. Mittal said: “We may as well keep our money in the bank and go out to play golf.”

Special Correspondent HYDERABAD

A consortium of lenders has converted debt to the extent of ₹2,992 crore in GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Ltd. into equity shares under a Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR) plan. Consequently, the consortium would have a shareholding of 52.4% in GCEL while the balance 47.6% would be held by GMR. The balance project debt, after the conversion, is ₹5,800 crore. Prior to the SDR, the total outstanding debt, including accrued interest, of the subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Ltd. was ₹8,800 crore. The lower debt levels resulting from the restructuring, undertaken under a scheme permitted by the Reserve Bank of India, would result in improving the long-term viability of the project, a GMR release on Monday said.

‘India, a lab to learn about what works in development’ World Bank CEO says the country inluences global growth Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva has described India as a “laboratory”, for the world to learn about what works in development and to find new ways to collaborate. Ms. Georgieva, who is in India on her first official visit, said in a statement: “India is our biggest middle income client. Its economic growth influences global growth. Its achievements in health and education contribute to the world achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.” “I am keen to learn more

Kristalina Georgieva

as India is a laboratory for the world to learn about what works in development and to find new ways to collaborate,” she added. While on a visit to

Pakistan in January, Ms. Georgieva said she had “constructive discussions” with that country’s leadership on the Indus Waters Treaty. India, Pakistan and the World Bank are signatories to the Treaty and are in discussions on resolving disagreements the two countries have over India’s construction of two hydroelectric power plants. Maintaining its neutrality as a signatory, the Bank had announced a pause in the separate processes initiated by India and Pakistan under the Treaty to allow the two nations to resolve their disagreements amicably.

U.S. re-evaluating self-driving car guidance Automakers have raised concerns about Obama-era guidelines including on data Reuters WASHINGTON

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said on Sunday she was reviewing self-driving vehicle guidance issued by the Obama administration and urged companies to explain the benefits of automated vehicles to a skeptical public. The guidelines, which were issued in September, call on automakers to voluntarily submit details of selfdriving vehicle systems to regulators in a 15-point safety assessment and urge states to defer to the federal government on most vehicle regulations. Automakers have raised numerous concerns about the guidance, including that it requires them to turn over significant data, could delay testing by months and lead to states making the voluntary guidelines mandatory. In November, major automakers urged the then-incoming Trump administration to re-evaluate the guidelines and some have called for significant changes. Automakers called on CM YK

Right balance: While technology could improve safety, Elaine Chao is concerned about the potential impact on jobs. AP

Congress earlier this month to make legislative changes to speed self-driving cars to U.S. roads. Ms. Chao, in her first major public remarks since taking office last month, told the National Governors Association: “This administration is evaluating this guidance and will consult with you and other stakeholders as we update it and amend it, to ensure that it strikes the right balance.” The Secretary said selfdriving cars could dramatic-

ally improve safety. In 2015, 35,092 people died in U.S. traffic crashes, up 7% and the highest fullyear increase since 1966. In the first nine months of 2016, fatalities were up 8%. Ms. Chao, noting research that 94% of traffic crashes were due to human error, said: “There’s a lot at stake in getting this technology right.” She said the Trump administration wanted to ensure it “is a catalyst for safe, efficient technologies, not an

impediment. In particular, I want to challenge Silicon Valley, Detroit, and all other auto industry hubs to step up and help educate a skeptical public about the benefits of automated technology.” Companies including Alphabet Inc’s self-driving car Waymo unit, General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, Uber Technologies Inc, Tesla Inc and others are aggressively pursuing automated vehicle technologies. Ms. Chao said she was “very concerned” about the potential impact of automated vehicles on employment. There are 3.5 million U.S. truck drivers alone and millions of others employed in driving-related occupations.

Rules on drones She also said she would seek input from states as regulators develop rules on drones. “We will ask for your input as the (Federal Aviation Administration) develops standards and regulations to ensure that drones can be safely integrated into our country’s airspace,” she said. ND-ND








Stung by Note 7, Samsung aims to reassure on battery safety

‘SBI merger to hurt staf, customers’

Sundaram Finance restructuring units

N. Anand

Mulls less complex balance sheet


Forms new battery advisory group to help regain consumer conidence Vikas Dhoot BARCELONA

‘Centre to draft policies on ethanol, methanol’ NEW DELHI

The Centre will soon come out with policies on second-generation ethanol as well as methanol, nonconventional fuel resources,which will bring down crude import bill by ₹1 lakh crore, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said. This will create an industry worth ₹1 lakh crore and provide jobs to about 25 lakh youths, he said. PTI

Titan forays into premium sarees BENGALURU

Titan Co Ltd. said it has forayed into premium sarees and women’s ethnic wear category under the brand name “Taneira.” The company has opened its irst Taneira store here that has a collection of handwoven sarees and ethnic wear from across the country with products ranging up to ₹2.5 lakh, the irm’s senior vice president (Strategy and Business Incubation) Ajoy H Chawla said. PTI

Paytm E-Commerce unveils Paytm Mall MUMBAI

Paytm E–Commerce announced the introduction of its new Paytm Mall application on Android. Paytm Mall aims to ofer a combination of Mall and Bazaar concepts to Indian consumers. “Only trusted sellers passing strict quality guidelines and qualiication criteria will be allowed on the ‘Mall’,” Paytm said in a statement here. All products listed on the mall will also go through Paytm certiied warehouse. PTI

Global electronics player Samsung has formed a new battery advisory group comprising experts and academics as part of its damage-control exercise to regain consumer confidence after its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones were plagued by exploding batteries. The firm launched two new products on Sunday evening — a Galaxy S3 tablet and a Galaxy Book — and said it was betting big on the next generation 5G network technologies for telecom operators. “The past six months have undoubtedly been one of the most challenging periods in our history,” said David Lowes, senior vice president and CMO of Samsung Electronics Europe. “We did not meet the high standards of quality and excellence we set for ourselves and the consumers have come to expect from us. We are determined to learn every possible lesson and we recognise that regaining consumer trust can only be earned by actions, not words,” he said. Speaking at a press conference, Mr. Lowes said that the firm had implemented a broad range of processes to further enhance product safety, following internal and third-party investigations into the exploding batteries episode. “This includes additional protocols and multiple safety layers and a new eight-point battery safety check. We have also formed a battery advisory group, comprising external advisors, academics and research experts. The aim of this group is to maintain a clear objective perspective on battery safety and innovation, not only for our benefit

Talking shop: David Lowes, Chief Marketing Oicer of Samsung Europe, speaks during an event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday. REUTERS but also for the benefit of the industry as a whole,” he said. “We are encouraged by the positive response of customers to the actions we have taken. We are committed to radical and quality innovation that never compromises customer safety,” Mr. Lowes said, stressing that the company is investing heavily in 5G network technologies, new products with powerful hardware and an enhanced VR (virtual reality) user experience.

5G network portfolio Announcing the launch of its commercial 5G network portfolio, Samsung Electronics America president and COO Tim Baxter said this would save operators the pain of expensive and timeconsuming fibre optic install-

ations to connect offices and homes and the first commercial deployment of its solutions is expected by early 2018. Apart from the core network solution, Samsung has launched integrated 5G radio base stations designed for easy deployment of gigabit coverage and home routers that are compact and can be installed by consumers on their own. “We have already set up regional trials with three commercial versions of these products in markets such as the U.S., Korea and Japan. A few days ago, we announced an upcoming trial in U.K.,” Mr. Baxter said, adding that 5G networks will enable users to download movies in seconds, use multiple camera angles at sports events, lag-free gaming and

self-driving cars, among other things. Samsung’s new tablets — Galaxy Tab S3 and the Galaxy Book — both sport a 13-megapixel rear camera and offer expandable storage and more efficient batteries that can be charged speedily. The S3 has a 9.7 inch display while the Galaxy book has two versions with 10.6inch and 12-inch display options. Both devices support Pogo keyboards with no separate charging or pairing required. The Galaxy Book is aimed at users who need to do more with their tablets and offers the full desktop Microsoft Office experience with Windows 10. (The correspondent is in Spain at the invitation of Samsung Electronics)

The proposed merger of State Bank of India with its five associate banks from April 1 will throw up numerous financial and physical challenges to the industry, banks, employees and customers, said a top official of the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA). “Firstly, it will affect the seniority of top officials of Associate Banks; secondly, it will result in redeployment or loss of jobs of some workmen and closure of branches and finally, the banks might lose some of their regular customers,” said C.H. Venkatachalam, AIBEA general secretary. The Centre had announced State Bank of India will merge its associate banks with itself. The associate banks are State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur (SBJJ), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Travancore (SBT), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) to create a global bank. AIBEA has been opposing the merger from the beginning as there was scope for opening more banks in the country, instead of closing the existing ones, citing proximity to each other, he said. “No doubt, the revenue will increase, but at what cost? What we need is not big, but strong, efficient and vibrant banks. Big banks also mean bigger risks. It will not open branches in rural or unbanked areas. Lots of rich people will become its customers, while small customers, who were loyal to some of these associate banks, will move to other banks post-merger. It will benefit only rich people,” he said.

Simple structure: Revamp will result in a lesser number of direct subsidiaries and associates on SFL’s balance sheet. K.T. Jagannathan CHENNAI

Sundaram Finance is in the midst of a major restructuring exercise in a bid to move towards a less cumbersome structure. “The objective is to reduce the complexity of the SFL balance sheet structure,” said a note circulated internally by the company. The revamp exercise will see “the number of direct subsidiaries and associates on SFL balance sheet reduce to seven and one, respectively, in 2017-18,” it said. Currently, the SFL balance sheet mirrors the performance of 13 subsidiaries and seven associates as well. The reorganisation exercise involves three crucial components — merger of Sundaram Insurance Broking Services Ltd. and Infreight Logistic Solutions Ltd. with SFL; de-merger of the shared services division of Sundaram BPO into SFL; and de-merger of select shared services business, non-financial services investments, along with select real estate assets, to Sundaram Finance Investment Ltd. SFL has already announced that all shareholders of SFL will be offered one share in Sundaram Finance Investments Ltd. for every SFL share held. “After the de-merger, SFL will hold 26.47% shares in Sundaram Finance Investments Ltd.

and the public, 73.53% shares,’’ it said. In all, SFL proposes to demerge 18 non-financial services investments into Sundaram Finance Investments Ltd. These investments are in Flometallic (40.63%), Sundaram Hydraulics, Axles India (38.82%), IMPAL (18.52%), Transenergy, Vishnu Forge, Delphi TVS (3.19%), Dunes Oman (43.69%), Sundaram Clayton (11.24%), Wheels India (11.08%), Turbo Energy (32%), Sundaram Dynacast, Lucas TVS (5.32%) and Brakes India (6.67%). Besides, it has investments in Sundaram Business Services Ltd (100%) and Sundaram BPO India Ltd. (84.25%), which are subsidiaries of SFL. Also, it has investments in TVS Investments (14.98%) and Techtran Polyenses. The current exercise “will maintain the primary role and obligation of SFL as a co-promoter in its non-financial services investments,” the note said. It added that “the current regulatory framework allows an opportunity to create a shareholder-friendly transaction with an appointed date of April 1, 2016.” As at March, 2016, total assets under management for SFL were ₹17,895 crore. Of this, commercial vehicles accounted for 51.7% and cars, 32.9%. Construction equipment, tractors and others brought up the rest.

SEBI to tighten algo trading rules The strengthened regulations would aim to minimise instances of lash crashes Special Correspondent MUMBAI

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) plans to further tighten the regulations for algorithmic trading to minimise instances of misuse of such systems that can be used to execute complex trading strategies at a very high speed. SEBI chairman U.K. Sinha said that while India was one of the few countries in the world to regulate algorithmic trading — popularly called algo trading — the market watchdog is looking to further strengthen the norms so that instances of flash crashes that have happened overseas, and also in India a few times, could be minimised. “India is one of the very few countries in the world which have some mechanism for controlling the misuse of algo. SEBI has been able to come out with some minimal regulations on algos. For instance, we have provided for high order to

Last tango: SEBI Chairman U.K. Sinha said his one regret was not seeing the start of a single InvIT or REIT. PRASHANT NAKWE trade ratio penalty system. We are reviewing whether that penalty should be enhanced further,” the outgoing SEBI chief, whose tenure ends on Wednesday, told reporters at a media conference. Algorithmic trading refers to the use of software programmes to execute trading strategies at a much faster pace. On the National Stock Exchange (NSE), algo trades accounted for close to 16% of all trades. On the BSE, it was 8.56% in January.

The SEBI chairman also said that while many countries and regulators, including the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), have been debating on this issue for many years, only India had been able to come out with proper regulations. Mr. Sinha, who got an extension twice, spent a total of six years at the helm and will be succeeded by Ajay Tyagi, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) who served as Addi-

tional Secretary (Investment) in the Department of Economic Affairs. Mr. Sinha also highlighted the fact that the regulatory body has tried to bring transparency and consistency in its own actions against entities indulging in market malpractices while cleansing the market by providing an exit option to regional stock exchanges and delisting noncompliant companies. He said that the one regret he has is that not one Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) or Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) was launched while he was the chairman. He, however, added that he expected these to be unveiled in the next two months. “The reason why it has not been launched is not because of SEBI. It has something to do with other regulators because they have to take some decisions about allowing their regulated entities to participate in InvIT and REITs market,” he said.

‘DSP BlackRock Micro not the irst to stop fresh lows’

StayAbode raises angel funding

If a fund gets fat, there is little scope to buy, sell, say advisors

Special Correspondent

Sanjay Vijayakumar CHENNAI

When mutual funds stop accepting fresh funds for investments, it’s not always a cause for concern for investors. DSP BlackRock Micro Cap Fund is a case in point. It has stopped accepting fresh inflows for both lumpsum investments and systematic investment plans (SIPs), effective February 20. As an investor you need not worry about such moves and there are enough alternative investment options, according to investment advisors. The fund, which invests in small and mid-cap stocks, cited liquidity challenges and soaring valuations as key factors which led to the CM YK

decision, adding that large inflows into the scheme may prove detrimental to the interests of the existing unit holders. DSP BlackRock Micro Cap Fund had assets under management of ₹4,780 crore as of January 31. Existing SIPs continue in the scheme. Consultants pointed out that this was not the first time a mutual fund had stopped accepting fresh funds. In the past, funds like IDFC Premier Equity Fund, Franklin India Prima Fund and others had stopped accepting fresh inflows. “When a fund focused on investing in small-cap firms already has over 50-60 stocks under its scheme, the scope for investing further is

limited,” said Manish Saluja, Founder, Prime Wealth Advisors, a wealth management firm. “The fund has become fat and there would be limited opportunity to buy and sell,” he said, adding it did not mean this was the end of the road for investors who could look at similar schemes from other funds like Franklin India Smaller Companies Fund. “The fund was investing in companies beyond the top 300,” said Chirag Gokani, Founder and Principal advisor, Wealthwiz Advisors. “After a point, opportunities to invest become limited and the fund cannot take big exposure in single companies. It is a wise decision to stop fresh inflows.”


StayAbode, a start-up that is building co-living spaces, said that it had raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding from a consortium of investors led by Ishan Manaktala and Angie Mahtaney. Gaurav Bhalotia (Ex-VP Engineering, Flipkart), Vishal Lulla (CEO, Vishal Exports) and investors from online funding platform LetsVenture also participated in the round. StayAbode said it offers more than 180 beds spread over four properties across Bengaluru. The funding would help it expand to other cities. Mr. Bhalotia said, “StayAbode is using technology to create living spaces that support the new lifestyle of the young.” ND-ND








The kingpin of Aussies’ spin tale Former India International S. Sriram in the limelight after home team’s debacle Amol Karhadkar PUNE

Westbrook seals Thunder’s win LOS ANGELES

Russell Westbrook scored 21 points in the fourth quarter en route to his 29th triple double of the season as Oklahoma City Thunder beat New Orleans Pelicans 118-110 in the NBA on Sunday. The results: Los Angeles Clippers 124 bt Charlotte Hornets 121 (ot); Oklahoma City Thunder 118 bt New Orleans Pelicans 110; Toronto Raptors 112 bt Portland Trailblazers 106; Boston Celtics 104 bt Detroit Pistons 98; Memphis Grizzlies 105 bt Denver Nuggets 98; Utah Jazz 102 bt Washington Wizards 92; San Antonio Spurs 119 bt Los Angeles Lakers 98; Milwaukee Bucks 100 bt Phoenix Suns 96. AFP

S. Sriram turned up in Maharashtra’s colours at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in December 2011 in what turned out to be the maiden First Class match at the picturesque venue and the last of a prolonged career of the former Tamil Nadu stalwart. No wonder then that when Sriram — the only Indian in the Australian touring entourage — touched down in Pune a week ago for the first Test match at the stadium, he would have had a sense of déjà vu. Little would the Australia spin bowling consultant have imagined that he would be in the limelight even 48 hours after Australia completed a 333-run rout of India in the series-opener against India. After all, Steve O’Keefe — the left-arm spinner who ran through India’s batsmen on a rank turner with a rich 12wicket haul — had credited Sriram for helping him turn the tables. Sriram admitted his

drudgery in domestic cricket has been instrumental in shaping him up as a coach. “I know what it is to fail as a spinner as well,” Sriram, who started off as a left-arm spinner but excelled as a batsman as his career progressed, told reporters ahead of Australia’s optional training session at Gahunje on Monday. “So I think that’s really more important than to know what you did to succeed. Until the age of 19, I went through the grind of domestic cricket as a spinner. So I pretty much know what it feels like to bowl spin in India and do well and not do well.”

Love affair Sriram has had a love affair with Australia. He was the first recipient of the BorderGavaskar scholarship, then played domestic cricket for Australia’s National Cricket Academy and even featured in a tour game against the visiting team in 2001, just after he made his ODI debut for India. Even his big break as

Driving force: Australia spin coach S. Sriram has been credited for his success by Pune Test wrecker-in-chief Steve O’Keefe. AFP

coach was when he worked with O’Keefe and others during Australia-A’s tour to India in 2015. It doesn’t come as a surprise when he talks about the Australian attitude just like an Aussie. “If I talk sense they listen to me if I talk bull-

Pune pitch draws more lak

We want a ive-day match: KSCA Special Correspondent Bengaluru

Sock takes title by default MIAMI

Jack Sock claimed his second ATP title of 2017 on Sunday as top-seeded Milos Raonic withdrew before the Delray Beach Open final with a torn hamstring. Canada’s Raonic, ranked fourth in the world, was playing his first tournament since suffering his fourth adductor muscle injury in 12 months at the Australian Open in January. Raonic said he was hurt in a semifinal win over former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro on Saturday. AFP

Hussamuddin wins silver NEW DELHI

Mohamed Hussamuddin lost a closely contested final to settle for a silver medal as India signed off with three medals at the 68th Strandja Memorial boxing tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria. Hussamuddin was beaten 3-2 by Ukraine’s Mykola Butsenko in the bantamweight (56kg) final. India thus ended with three medals after Amit Phangal (49kg) and Meena Kumari Maisnam (54kg) lost their respective semifinals to settle for bronze medals. PTI

Having received no instructions yet from the Indian team management, the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) will proceed with its plans of preparing a sporting pitch for the second Test at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, according to secretary R. Sudhakar Rao. “So far, we have not been told anything [about pitch preparation], but the Indian team is yet to arrive. Once they arrive, we have to see if they make any suggestions,” said Rao.

Uber-dry pitch India and Australia are due to arrive in Bengaluru on Tuesday, with the match beginning on March 4. The visitor holds a 1-0 lead in the series after triumphing on an uber-dry pitch in Pune inside three days. “Our intention is to prepare a sporting, Test-match pitch. We want a five-day match. We definitely don’t

Curators ‘forced’ to prepare tracks, says a senior pro

want to see the match end in two and a half days,” he added. For now, the KSCA’s ground staff, led by curator K. Sriram, would continue to water the playing surface, Rao stated. “We like to keep some moisture underneath. So we haven’t stopped watering it. We’ll water it until two or three days before the match. Then we will see what the pitch looks like, two days out, and take a call,” he said. P.R. Vishwanathan, the South Zone head of the BCCI’s Ground and Pitches Committee, is expected in town soon, to oversee preparations. “On the first two days, the pitch should be good for batting and help mediumpacers. On days two and three there should be slow turn. “Then on the last two days there should be more turn. I have told Sriram to prepare that kind of wicket,” said Rao. “At least, that is our intention.”

S. Dinakar Chennai

After the ‘fiasco’ in Pune, the process of preparing pitches for home Tests came under more fire when a senior BCCI curator backed Pandurang Salgoankar’s claims in a chat with The Hindu here on Monday. The curator said, “The orders come from the teammanagement and are then passed on to the BCCI. The curators just follow the instructions. Their hands are tied and they are forced to prepare pitches they don’t actually want to make.”

Natural constraints He said, “It is impossible to prepare rank turners all the time. For instance, it is hard to make turners in Northern India during winter or when it rains. There will be a lot of dew on the pitch and it is very difficult to make it a dry turner. And in places such as Kolkata, the nature of the soil does not suit raging turners. Still, we get clear instructions.”


Rest and contemplation

orders come < > The from the teammanagement and are then passed on to the BCCI The curator added, “Former India captain M.S. Dhoni publicly said the Indian team wanted pitches where the spinners receive considerable help.” How, then, is a mine-field of a pitch prepared? The top curator said, “The pitch for the Test is earmarked well in advance. No other matches are played on it. Then we don’t roll or water it for a week, or do so minimally. The pitch becomes dry. “On occasions, we don’t water the surface at all and then water it a little, by not more than a can, on the eve of the Test. Then the top layer actually becomes loose and the ball starts ‘gripping’ for spinners, making them even more dangerous.” So, poor water programming and little or no rolling are the essential compon-



Down time: A day before their departure for Bengaluru, the members of the Indian squad went on a trek on Sunday of a resort in the Western Ghats some 30km from Pune. Virat Kohli tweeted this picture from the trip.

ents. On these surfaces, the spinners also get to exploit the rough and the cracks that open up as the match progresses. A powdery surface, fissures on the track, and pronounced patches provide the sort of encouragement to spinners that does not quite reflect their true ability. In the home series against South Africa last season, the Indians played on ‘spinning tops’. And the host was successful. In Pune, the ploy boomeranged. The curator noted, “We all want to prepare good tracks with even bounce that deteriorate gradually and last five days, wickets on which both the batsmen and the bowlers have an equal chance to succeed.” India batting great Mohinder Amarnath told this newspaper, “The pitch at Pune was not a good one for cricket. We should play on Test match wickets.” That does not seem to be happening.

Ranji Trophy titans Rajinder Goel and Padmakar Shivalkar have been nominated for the Col. C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016. The BCCI made the announcement on Monday, also stating that former India wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer would deliver the fifth MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture. The lecture and the BCCI Annual Awards ceremony 2016-17 will be held in Bengaluru on March 8. Goel and Shivalkar, both left-arm spinners, did not get to represent the National team but the awards committee, consisting of N. Ram, Ramachandra Guha, and Diana Edulji, felt the BCCI needed to “recognise the services rendered by Goel and Shivalkar, who were not fortunate enough

to play for India.” Goel, who played the bulk of his cricket for Delhi and Haryana, finished with a total of 750 First Class victims during a career that spanned 27 years. The 74year-old is still the highest wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy history with 637 scalps. Shivalkar, who represented Bombay in the Ranji Trophy, played 124 First Class matches, claiming 589 wickets. The BCCI has also introduced the Lifetime Achievement Award for Women, with former captain Shanta Rangaswamy to be its first recipient. Meanwhile, former India and Tamil Nadu leg-spinner V.V. Kumar and the late Ramakant Desai have been nominated for the BCCI Special Award, “in recognition of their yeoman services to Indian Cricket.”

Ankur Mittal strikes silver; Jitu, Heena win gold in test event Mittal misses the gold by one point to James Willett of Australia Kamesh Srinivasan New Delhi

Ankur Mittal provided a fantastic finish to the day with a silver medal in double trap after Heena Sidhu and Jitu Rai had combined to win the mixed doubles gold in air pistol, an event that is being recommended for the next Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. It was indeed a memorable day for the host in the shooting World Cup at the Dr. Karni Singh Range in Tughlakabad on Monday. It was a maiden final in a World Cup for the 24-yearold Ankur and he put up a CM YK

fabulous show in the marathon 80-shot final, shooting 74 and missing the gold by one point to James Willett of Australia. “Am very happy. I missed a few in the final and lost the gold by one bird. I will do better next time. “I had to shoot a 30 in the last round to make the final, and doing that gave me a lot of confidence,” said Ankur, who had won the Asian championship gold in 2014, and a bronze in the Asian meet last year. In the mixed air pistol event, Heena Sidhu (240)

SHOOTING pulled the team into the final after Jitu Rai (235) struggled after a good start. Heena had a fine finish after a struggle at the start. In the gold medal match against Japan, Heena and Jitu shot increasingly well to beat Japanese pair of Tomoyuki Matsuda and Yukani Konishi 5-3 in a single-shot format, in which a team having a better total gets a point, and the first to reach five, wins the contest. Slovenia beat Chinese

Taipei 5-3 for the bronze. The results: Men: Double trap: 1. James Willett (Aus) 75 (WR) 138; 2. Ankur Mittal 74 (137); 3. James Dedman (GBR) 56 (137); 6. Sangram Dahiya 24 (138); 10. Shapath Bhardwaj 132. MQS: Prithvi Singh Chahal 130; Sanjay Rathore 129. Women: 50m rifle 3-position: 1. Zhang Yiwen (Chn) 455.7 (584); 2. Xiang Wei Jasmine Ser (Sgp) 453.8 (585); 3. Eva Roesken (Ger) 443.6 (585); 7. Tejaswini Sawant 402.4 (582); 12. Elizabeth Susan Koshy 580; 12. Anjum Moudgil 578. MQS: Gaayathri Nithyanandam 575; Lajja Gauswami 572.

Oice-bearers’ list needed by March 1 G. Viswanath Mumbai

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has asked the BCCI’s full-member associations to revert by March 1 with names of its current office-bearers and members of the governing body or managing committee or working committee. The CoA advisory addressed to the full members said: “You are also called upon to obtain undertakings from your current office-bearers and members of your governing body/ managing committee/working committee to the effect that they are not disqualified in terms of the criteria laid down and forward copies of the same to the Committee of Administrators. This should be done latest by 5 p.m. on 1st March 2017.” Some officials have resigned from their posts, while some have ceased to function without actually resigning. For example, the secretary of the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA), Rajesh Patel, treasurer Dhiraj Jogani, and vice-president Kanhaiya Lal Contractor have stepped down without actually tendering their resignation in writing. They had been office-bearers of the GCA for a long time. “I have been working as the secretary for the last nine years. We have to abide by the Supreme Court’s decision and so I am resigning,” Patel had said during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Motera Stadium recently. But others like the GCA president Amit Shah, vicepresident Parimal Nathwani and joint secretary Jay Shah

have not done so. “They will not be able to contest the next GCA elections. Shah and Nathwani have been GCA office-bearers from 2009 and 2010 and they go into the cooling-off period. “They probably have a year or two left to complete nine years. Similarly Jay Shah also goes into the cooling-off period because he has completed his first three-year term. “Elections were due in September 2016. And the automatically-disqualified office-bearers are taking decisions,” said a BCCI official following the developments at GCA. The Sardar Patel Stadium at Motera has been razed, ₹67 crore has been advanced to a company for starting the redevelopment work and the association is either in the process or completed the process of a loan for ₹300 crore. The redevelopment of the stadium, with a proposed capacity of more than one lakh, largely depends on Shah and Nathwani’s power to raise money and direct matters.

Response unlikely Many associations did not respond to an earlier letter from the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, asking for details just as the CoA has done. It is understood that many associations are likely to keep quiet and not respond to the CoA advisory. The CoA has also asked full members to furnish the compliance orders it has met with. It may be noted the Vidarbha and Tripura Cricket Associations have already adopted the Justice Lodha Committee recommendations.

The Bradman house that Leeming rebuilt Seeing Don through the Bowral prism

Lifetime awards for Shivalkar, Goel Special Correspondent

Kohli named captain of the year India Test skipper Virat Kohli has been named ‘Captain of the Year’ at the 10th annual ESPNcricinfo Awards. Kohli led India to nine wins out of 12 Tests in the year gone by. Englishman Ben Stokes won the Test Batting Performance of the Year for his incredible counter-attacking innings of 258 runs off 198 balls against South Africa in Cape Town. Stokes’ teammate Stuart Broad’s six for 17 in the third Test ensured a series victory for England and fetched him the Test Bowling Performance of the Year award — for the second year running. PTI

shit they don’t. They’ve really been open. That’s the best thing about this Australian team,” he said. “They’ve been open to listen first and then obviously I made sense a little bit and they started listening and they started trying out things

in the nets and saw that it worked for them and I think that’s how it has gone.” Despite the ideal start to the series, as Australia travels to Bengaluru — closest of the four venues to Sriram’s hometown Chennai — Sriram, with his vast experience of Indian conditions, stressed that the opening win will not necessarily have a bearing on the remaining three matches. “India is such a big country, there’s no one-stop solution. If you say ‘this will work’, it is not going to work. So you have just got to adapt on the go. You have got to see what works for you on that day,” he said. “I think that’s where O’Keefe really scored because he was prepared to experiment; he was prepared to sort of try different things in the nets, which goes back to our time in Chennai in 2015. So I think he knew that he had to come with an open mind for every day of a Test Match. What works on day one may not work on day three. He knows that. I think that’s his biggest strength.”

Will BCCI full-member associations respond to CoA advisory?

On the mark: Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu won the gold in the mixed air pistol event in the World Cup.

Discussing Don: Andrew Leeming, Gideon Haigh and N. Ram at the presentation of ‘The Bradman house’ in Mumbai on Monday. VIVEK BENDRE Nandakumar Marar Mumbai

The work done by Andrew Leeming in restoring the house where Sir Donald Bradman lived in Bowral was described by renowned Australian cricket writer Gideon Haigh as an effort to bring out dimensions of the man not uncovered till now. “Andrew tried to say something fresh about Bradman, now when we thought we know everything.” Marvelling at the iconic Australian cricketer, at an event jointly organised by the Mumbai Press Club and The Hindu, Haigh said: “Seven decades after he played, we are still talking about him. “Bradman arrived at his own methods to grow as a performer, very much in keeping with the Australian respect for result rather than style. Steven Smith showed that quality in the Test match (Pune).” The highly resourceful nature of Bradman, seen in the way he dealt with cricketing challenges and responded to situations in sport and life, took root in childhood at the Bowral home, which Leeming bought after reading an advertisement and renovated. Wielding a cricket stump, batting reactions were honed trying to connect with a golf ball thrown against a rough water tank stand; the varied bounce also sharpened fielding.

did not go < > Leeming looking for the house, the house found him. For the last 10 years, he has been working at this N. Ram

The investor explained in detail the research done in recreating various aspects of the famous house in Shepherd Street. Leeming described the various options available to cricket tourists wishing to know more about Bradman, first-hand at the house. Kasturi & Sons Limited Chairman N. Ram introduced Leeming. He said: “This is the story about how this place at 52 Shepherd Street, Bowral, was saved thanks to private philanthropy. Andrew Leeming did not go looking for the house, the house found him. For the last 10 years, he has been working at this.” Listeners included former India Test captains Nari Contractor and Diana Eduljee, the latter now on the Committee of Administrators (CoA). BCCI administrators Ratnakar Shetty and Rahul Johri were present. Cricket columnist Ayaz Memon was the MC. Leeming told the audience that Sunil Gavaskar and Aussie cricketer Simon Katich had visited the house at Bowral. ND-ND







‘Happy to win another medal’


I thought this was the closest I was to becoming a world champion, says Harika V.V. Subrahmanyam HYDERABAD

GM D. Harika, fresh from her third consecutive World Championship bronze medal, said it will take some time for the semifinal defeat against China’s Tan Zhongyi in the Armageddon tie-break at Tehran last weekend to sink in.

Dominic Thiem wins Rio Open RIO DE JANEIRO

Dominic Thiem won the Rio Open on Sunday with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Pablo Carreno Busta in the final. This was his eighth ATP singles title and his sixth on clay. “The confidence is pretty high now. I feel great the way I’m playing,” said Thiem, who now heads to Acapulco, Mexico, for the clay-court tournament there.

Harsh but no regrets “But, I have no regrets. It is harsh, definitely. Honestly, I thought this was the closest I was to realising my dream of being a world champion as I was playing and fighting back consistently. “The way I fought back in key moments right through the event was immensely satisfying,” Harika said in an exclusive chat with The Hindu at her residence here on Monday. The 26-year-old quipped that it looked as if the Worlds bronze medal was destined to be hers forever given “her consistency in winning it three consecutive times”. “I thought there would be some interesting stories to tell after this tournament had I won the title. But, it has eluded me once more. I


Shakib wishes to play in Pakistan KARACHI

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who is currently representing Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League, has expressed his desire to play again in Pakistan. “The crowd, the ground, the environment, the fans and the atmosphere were all fabulous. I really wish to play again in Pakistan once things get better,” the Express Tribune quoted him as saying.

Reason to smile: D. Harika with the World Championship bronze medal in Hyderabad on Monday. V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

am happy to be back with another medal rather than return empty-handed, which would have been dubbed a disaster,” Harika said. “Maybe, I have to become more stronger as a player. There is always scope for improvement at any level and I am no exception. I am sure one day the World Championship will be mine,” she

said. “I can vouch no other player has won three consecutive bronze medals. I am proud of this record.”

Lacking something? Asked if there was anything which she felt she lacked to clinch the world title, Harika said: “I would put it this way. I don’t enter any world championship saying I have

to win. “There are so many factors involved. You need a bit of luck too. “If you remember, the toss to choose the colour in the tie-break (Tai preferred black with which only a draw was enough for her to enter the final) was a huge factor at a decisive moment. Even if I were to be given the option, I would have opted for the same colour for the obvious reason,” Harika said. “I was very confident of winning the semifinal. Yes, it was a contest which was taking a heavy toll in terms of pressure. “Everything happened so quickly before I could realise in the tie-break. In terms of experience in a World Championship, I feel I have handled the pressure factor pretty well. There was no panic at any stage. “I simply enjoyed the challenges as they unfolded on the board and was always fighting back in key moments. In fact, in every bronze medal effort there was something new to learn. I think this is what makes one a different player as fresh targets are set,” Harika said.

Moondancer claims feature HYDERABAD: The M.Satyanarayana-trained Moondancer (P.Trevor up) won the Alcock Arabian Million, the main event of the races held here on Monday. The winner is owned by M/s Thimmaraja Yelamarthi & Chitturi Krishna Kannaiah. WANDERING ANGEL PLATE (D. III), (1,100m), Cat. II, 5-y-o & over, rated 46 to 70: SKETCH OF BEAUTY (P. Trevor) 1, Picture Perfect (Beuzelin Louis) 2, Hunter’s Pride (Akshay Kumar) 3, Catherine (Mukesh Kumar) 4. Not run: Tinsel Town. 3/4, 1-1/4, 3/4. 1m 05.76s. ₹27 (w), 7, 6, 7 (p), SHP: 25, FP: 104, Q: 46, Tanala: 200. Favourite: Catherine. Owners: M/s. Kudithi Mahender Reddy, Rammohan Belde, T. Rakesh Reddy & Shaik Asif. Trainer: Anupam Sharma. JANGAON PLATE (1,600m), Cat II, maiden 3-y-o only (Terms): SUPREMO (S. Sreekant) 1, City of Sails (P.S. Chouhan) 2, You Can I Can (N. Rawal) 3, Bayrd (Beuzelin Louis) 4. Not run: Reunion. 1/2, 23/4, 1/2. 1m 39.90s. ₹140 (w), 19, 12, 15 (p), SHP: 53, FP: 2088, Q: 631, Tanala: 13084. Favourite: China Millennium. Owners: M/s. Rajesh Sanghani, Keerthi Narasimhachar, P.A. Raju & E. Anoop Kumar Reddy. Trainer: L D`Silva. CIRCAR CUP (1,600m), Cat. II, 4-y-o & over, rated 46 to 70: TOP CONTENDER (Neeraj Rawal) 1, George Cross (Imran Chisty) 2, Princess of Dreams (Beuzelin Louis) 3, Euro Zone (P.S. Chouhan) 4. Hd, 1-1/2, 3/4. 1m




Rawat advances Sports Bureau GUWAHATI

Creating a space for themselves among the established


Chopra, Gaikwad and Karthik seek recognition through consistent performances

Confused Palace fans vandalise own team bus LONDON

Crystal Palace supporters inadvertently vandalised their own team’s bus with the club’s name, thinking it belonged to Middlesbrough, prior to their Premier League clash on Saturday. “40,000 pounds worth of damage on our coach thinking it was the Boro coach. Nice one! #cpfc,” Palace's assistant head groundsman Dean Waters tweeted. REUTERS

Proving a point: While Prashant Chopra has broken through in the ongoing Vijay Hazare tournament, Dinesh Karthik has reinvented himself. FILE PHOTOS Vijay Lokapally BHUBANESWAR

Prashant Chopra and Ruturaj Gaikwad are creating space for their brand amidst the established. The ongoing Vijay Hazare cricket tournament has offered them a platform to stake their claims. What if the IPL auctions are over? What if they don’t force their way into reckoning for a spot in the national squad for the Champions Trophy later this June? The canvas for them to perform and explore is vast. This could be just the beginning for players like Chopra and Gaikwad to make a statement. Gaikwad is 30. His statemate Kedar Jadhav was 28 when he made his debut and struggled to convince his critics. Jadhav, however, returned with a bang when he slammed a scintillating 120 against England in the ODI

Toro Rosso open to re-branding of engine BARCELONA

Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso is still open to re-branding its Renault engines this season if it can find a suitable partner, said team principal Franz Tost. “We are free to do this and once we have found a partner which wants to do a deal, then we are more than open to negotiate this. It can happen during the season as well, said Tost. REUTERS

on home turf at Pune. He could back himself to earn a consistent run in the playing XI. So Gaikwad can back himself too. Gaikwad’s aggregate of 211, including a 132 against Himachal Pradesh, makes him an exciting stroke maker to watch. He has figured in just one First Class match thus far but limited overs cricket seems to be his domain. There is reason for Gaikwad to back himself. Just as Chopra. For the 24-year-old Chopra, cricket was the driving force in his life. Hailing from Solan, he explored all possible career avenues before settling down to pursue his passion in cricket. It reflected in his two knocks in this tournament — 100 against Maharashtra in a brilliant chase that almost won the game for his team and a destructive 159 against

Delhi on Sunday. The feature of that knock by Chopra, with an experience of five First Class seasons, was the unhurried approach to his task. He was not averse to let go a few deliveries but no bad ball went unpunished. Once he got his eye in, even the good ones were dispatched with stellar combination of footwork and ability to pick the line early. “I look to play the ball on merit. It makes your job easy. Not all balls can be hit for fours and sixes. You can take your chances but, again, not always can you be successful. It is better to pick the ball and the bowler to make your point,” said Chopra on his approach to batting. It is not just about the newcomers. Dinesh Karthik, a veteran of 13 seasons now, stands tall with his exquisite

shot selection that has fetched him a match-deciding 118 against Delhi and an unbeaten 56 that fashioned the chase against Uttar Pradesh. He is reinventing himself and, inspired by Parthiv Patel, looking for a comeback to the Indian team. Karthik can be an example for some other veterans in the field, not to forget Ashish Nehra. Part of a Delhi team that is undergoing a painful transition, Nehra symbolises the spirit of a fighter. His spell of 9-1-39-4 confirms the importance of blending experience with the demands of the situation. Nehra, 37, and Karthik, 31, are as important a part of the process as Chopra and Gaikwad, who seek recognition through consistent performances. Age is just a number on this competitive cricket circuit.

Sixth seed Sidharth Rawat fought his way past Haadin Bava in the first round of the $15,000 ITF Futures tennis tournament here on Monday. The results: First round: Aryan Goveas bt Faisal Qamar 6-2, 5-7, 6-3; Karunuday Singh bt Paramveer Singh Bajwa 6-3, 6-4; Sidharth Rawat bt Haadin Bava 3-6, 6-3, 6-2; Timur Khabibulin (Kaz) bt V.M. Ranjeet 6-4, 6-3; Dalwinder Singh bt Vijayant Malik 6-2, 6-3; Sasi Kumar Mukund bt Mohammed Iftikhar Sheikh 6-0, 6-3. Doubles: Mateusz Terczynski (Pol) & Jose Vidal Azorin (Esp) bt Anirudh Chandrasekar & P.C. Vignesh 6-3, 3-6, [10-5]; Alexander Centenari (USA) & Sami Reinwein (Ger) bt Aryan Goveas & Jayesh Pungliya 6-4, 7-5; Vijay Sundar Prashanth & Sanam Singh bt Vasisht Cheruku & Prajwal Dev 6-2, 6-4.

Mercedes piles on the laps Reuters Barcelona

World Champions Mercedes pounded out the laps while Ferrari went fastest and rivals Red Bull and McLaren hit immediate setbacks as Formula One’s new crop of cars made their test debuts on Monday. Valtteri Bottas had completed well over a race distance by lunchtime with 79 timed laps of the Circuit de Catalunya. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, a four-time champion with Red Bull but without a win last year, was fastest in the sunny opening session with a lap of 1:22.791 seconds and 62 laps to his credit.

39.28s. ₹30 (w), 8, 9, 7 (p), SHP: 26, FP: 122, Q: 61, Tanala: 607. Favourite: Euro Zone. Owners: M/s. Mir Firasath Ali Khan, Mir Zamin Ali Khan & Mir Saqafath Ali Khan. Trainer: K.V. Srinivas. WANDERING ANGEL PLATE (D. II), (1,100m), Cat. II, 5-y-o & over, rated 46 to 70: KIREETI (P. Trevor) 1, Legend (Md Sameeruddin) 2, Dandy Girl (Akshay Kumar) 3, Rapidest (Abhishek S. Pawar) 4. 3/4, 1-1/2, hd. 1m 06.12s. ₹41 (w), 10, 10, 8 (p), SHP: 23, FP: 330, Q: 123, Tanala: 685. Favourite: Rapidest. Owner: Mr. Kasuganti Srirangarao. Trainer: R.H. Sequeira.


PATRONS CUP (2,000m), Cat. III, 4-y-o & over, rated 26 to 50: TELANGANA QUEEN (Deepak Singh) 1, Valee Tiger (Akshay Kumar) 2, Angels Bay (G Naresh) 3, Samba (Neeraj Rawal) 4. Hd, 31/4, 3/4. 2m 07.66s. ₹180 (w), 26, 7, 17 (p), SHP: 19, FP: 759, Q: 240, Tanala: 7480. Favourite: Valee Tiger. Owner: Mr. A.K. Jaiswal. Trainer: Faiyaz Shaikh.



A.P. RACE HORSE OWNERS ASSOCIATION TROPHY (1,600m), Cat I, 4-y-o & over, rated 86 & above: EXCLUSIVE WIND (P.Trevor) 1, Western Wind (Akshay Kumar) 2, Kolors (Abhishek S. Pawar) 3, Alameda (G Naresh) 4. 1-3/4, 3/4, 1/4. 1m 37.51s. ₹23 (w), 9, 8, 32 (p), SHP: 33, FP: 92, Q: 48, Tanala: 1018. Favourite: Western Wind. Owner: Mr. G. Narasa Reddy. Trainer: Anupam Sharma.


ALCOCK ARABIAN MILLION (1,400m), 3-y-o (Terms):

MOONDANCER (P. Trevor) 1, Highly Acclaimed (Srinath) 2, That’s My Class (Akshay) 3, Star Gazer (P.S.Chouhan) 4. Nk, 1, 1/4. 1m 24.67s. ₹9 (w), 6, 10, 11 (p), SHP: 35, FP: 57, Q: 36, Tanala: 300. Favourite: Moondancer. Owners: M/s Thimmaraja Yelamarthi & Chitturi Krishna Kannaiah. Trainer: M.Satyanarayana. WANDERING ANGEL PLATE (D. I), (1,100m), Cat. II, 5-y-o & over, rated 46 to 70: CAMBORNE (Md. Ismail) 1, Legacy Machine (Beuzelin Louis) 2, Act In Time (P. Trevor) 3, Time Is Luck (Neeraj Rawal) 4. 2-1/2, nk, 1/2. 1m 06.02s. ₹44 (w), 12, 9, 7 (p), SHP: 30, FP: 242, Q: 136, Tanala: 541. Favourite: Act In Time. Owners: M/s. M. Praveen Kumar, M. Prashant Kumar & V. Narendar Reddy. Trainer: L D`Silva.



RAIN FOREST PLATE (1,400m), Cat. III, 4-y-o & over, rated upto 30: PREP ONE (Beuzelin) 1, Abracos (Naresh) 2, Hal Chal (Gopal Singh) 3, Roma Rouge (Koushik) 4. Not run: Ram Man. 1/2, 2-1/2, hd. 1m 28.44s. ₹9 (w), 7, 8, 35 (p), SHP: 17, FP: 25, Q: 21, Tanala: 733. Favourite: Prep One. Owners: Mr. Rama Seshu Eyunni, Dr. Peddi Reddy Prabhakar Reddy & Mr. P. Prabhakar Reddy. Trainer: D.Netto. Treble (i): ₹3893 (6 tkts), (ii): ₹2718 (21 tkts), (iii): ₹226 (647 tkts). Jkt (i): 30% ₹9835 (5 tkts), 70%: ₹114744 (c/o), (ii): 30%: ₹10538 (26 tkts), 70%: ₹45667 (14 tkts).

Hockey lights up lives in Khunti Initiative sees the sport as an integral part of education and livelihood

Making a diference: Merel de Blaeij, centre, at a training session in Khunti. MANOB CHOWDHURY Amitabha Das Sharma RANCHI

A nondescript hamlet tucked in the jungle roads comes alive with the giggle of young voices and clashing of hockey sticks as one traces the way to Gutuhatu in Khunti. Not far away in the capital, Ranchi, the international stars of its multi-crore franchise Ranchi Rays practice on the classy astroturf of the Morhabadi stadium for the snazzy Hockey India league (HIL). These two scenes fall in an unkind juxtaposition depicting a picture of unbalanced development, which is currently the story of Jharkhand losing out in the map of hockey excellence. “You would be surprised by the energy and physical built of the children here, most of whom don’t get even a fraction of the prescribed diet for a young hockey player,” says Sandip Singh, Olympian and the former India hockey captain, who is an ambassador of the ambitious ‘One Million Hockey Legs’ initiative. Sandeep, who is one of the best defenders and dragflickers produced by the

country, sees the reflection of his belief in the grit of the handful of kids in their school uniform trying out the newly developed hockey skills on a dusty patch adjoining their village with no protective gear to shield them from the hard hockey ball. This forms a part of a unique blend of development initiative funded by the Tata Trusts that brings together livelihood, education and hockey in an integrated process. Sandip Singh has joined Olympic gold medallist Merel de Blaeij, Nicolaas den Ouden and Wisse Kopal from the Bovelander and Bovelander B.V, founded by the Dutch legend Floris Bovelander. Unlike many other previous efforts that primarily sought to train young talents in isolation, this initiative sees hockey as an integral part of education and livelihood. “The mindset of the children and the coaches here is amazing,” says Merel de Blaeij, who was a part of the Holland women’s hockey team that won gold in the 2012 London Olympics.










(set by Arden)

11 Original native voice, in case of a dialect (9)



Eating to survive

3 ...same time do it correctly (5) 4 Evasive action works (9)











21 24





13 It could be dead give away (4)

6 It's eaten before and after church, little at a time (9)

18 Box train joins others right away... (3,5)



5 Make sauce? (5)

15 Everyone will check out, back at the capital (8)



12 Choose a negative entity, reject boy (5)


19 ...can't rob? (4) 22 Face the other way — it's high time (5) 24 Enforcer leaving it in a mess (9) 26 Like to be sure to establish (9) 27 Animal will take the wheel (5)

■ ACROSS 1 PM's constrained, bandicoots totally reject his popularity (7) 5 Winch able to check past rewinding (7) 9 Amusement turned out to be not same, not realised yet (5) 10 New one and old — having consumed food felt like throwing up (9)


28 Studied at regular speed on land (7) 29 Cancel score (7) ■ DOWN

7 Birdman used to be paid once (5) 8 Full monty possible in duty (6) 14 Get into a tiff with hair shorn off (4,5) 16 They ight when drunk, and one thousand workers support (9) 17 Wild rhino held in check — most difficult to handle (9) 20 Run for a month at half current (6) 21 It often gets hot high above ground (6) 23 Prize for a stretch limousine, perhaps (5)

1 Gate opens inally, I clue it differently (6)

24 Food comes through New Delhi (5)

2 Stone him — in denial perhaps... (9)

25 His resolve improved a bit, but he wasn't successful (5)

Solution to puzzle 11941 S A L U N C T I D A E O C C L U K I U L A N B R MA D E I I I D T E A S E I L S G R OMM A G A T O U R I E E D



Solution to yesterday’s Sudoku

There was a famine in the Kuru country. Ushasti, son of Chakra, lived in a village where mahouts resided. Ushasti and his young wife were starving. Ushasti wanted to keep himself alive, because he was keen to acquire Brahma vidya. He came upon a mahout who was eating forest grams and he asked him for some. The mahout said that he had eaten most of the grams and there was very little left. Ushasti said he did not mind, for he had to eat something to be alive. The mahout shared the leftover grams with Ushasti. He then offered Ushasti some water. But Ushasti said that he had eaten the grams in order to avoid death. But water was not a necessity at that point. The moral of the story is that when one is danger of dying due to starvation, one should not be finicky about what one eats, said M.K. Srinivasan in a discourse. Even if the food is of sub-standard quality or if it is only leftover food, one can still consume it in order to save one’s life. But to eat more than what is necessary to keep alive falls in the category of desire. One should eat enough to survive, but not more. Ushasti also gave some grams to his wife. She ate some and kept aside the rest. The next morning, Ushasti told her that the king was performing a sacrifice. If he (Ushasti) could go to the sacrifice and offer his services, he would be rewarded. But to sustain himself for this, he again needed some food. The wife, who had saved up some of the grams, offered them to him. They were stale, but Ushasti ate them and then proceeded to the king’s sacrifice. ND-ND








Real on top

Smooth start for Federer

Bounces back to beat Villarreal Reuters MADRID

Fowler wins trophy, Lahiri finishes tied-11th PALM BEACH (USA)

Anirban Lahiri carded 71 in the final round to finish tied 11th, with a five-under-par 275, at the $6.4 million Honda Classic here on Sunday. American Rickie Fowler, with a similar final-round card, scored his fourth PGA Tour victory with 12-under-par 268. REUTERS

Klopp believes board decided Ranieri’s fate LONDON

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said the Leicester City’s board was likely responsible for Claudio Ranieri’s sacking and that the concept of ‘player power’ was often exaggerated. “Players are not more powerful. We were much more powerful in the past. It depends always on the board. As long as the players talk together there is no problem. It is not about how powerful (the players are),” Klopp said. REUTERS

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale both scored as Real Madrid staged a remarkable late comeback from two goals down to win 3-2 at Villarreal and stay top of La Liga on Sunday. Substitute Alvaro Morata got the winner in the 83rd minute to complete a 19minute turnaround that keeps Zinedine Zidane's side on course for its first Liga triumph since 2012. Villarreal's Manu Trigueros lashed home from inside the area to put the host ahead five minutes after the break and Cedric Bakambu doubled the lead in the 57th with a fine finish past Keylor Navas, though he was fortunate not to be ruled offside.

Strong rally Real looked destined for a second loss in a week on the east coast after Wednesday’s 2-1 reverse at Valencia but Bale, making his first start since November, headed a

Mauricio Pochettino believes Harry Kane is on course to becoming a Tottenham Hotspur great after the striker scored the 100th club goal of his career. “Harry has the profile and starting to be a legend with the goals he’s scoring and the way he behaves,” said the the Spurs manager. AFP


Agence France-Presse Dubai

Heady stuf: Gareth Bale rises majestically to power home Real Madrid’s irst goal against Villarreal on Sunday. AFP

Roger Federer took the opening step in his bid for a record eighth title at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Benoit Paire. Federer, playing his first match since winning a record 18th Grand Slam title a month ago in Melbourne, had been unsure of his form after dealing with a leg injury picked up at the Australian Open combined with a month off court after his title triumph. But, he need not have worried as he defeated Paire for the fourth time without a loss with the streaky Frenchman treated on his right ankle and also jeered for tossing a racquet in the second set as he was crashing to defeat. Federer is playing the event for the 13th time, improving to 48-5 in the Emir-

ate where he keeps a training base. Federer won his 11th match since losing to Tomas Berdych in the 2013 semifinals. He has yet to win an eighth title at any event having achieved seven in Dubai, Wimbledon, Basel, Cincinnati and Halle. Paire had his ankle strapped trailing 4-1 in the opening set and then lost serve as Federer took a 5-1 lead. The third seed wrapped it up after less than 30 minutes with a service winner. The second set was equally one-way as Federer went through in well under an hour. The results (first round): Roger Federer bt Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-3; Philipp Kohlschreiber bt Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-6(1); Marcel Granollers bt Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-2; Guillermo GarciaLopez bt Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-3; Roberto Bautista Agut bt Karen Khachanov 6-1, 7-6(4).

Bagan takes on Valencia in AFC Cup Amitabha Das Sharma Kolkata

Mohun Bagan enjoys the advantage of playing at home as it looks to seal a berth in the group stage while hosting Club Valencia of Maldives in the second leg of the AFC Cup play-off, here at the Rabindra Sarobar on Tuesday. Mohun Bagan drew the first leg 1-1, visiting Male barely a week ago and now has the comfort of home support to progress to the group league. The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw with Scotsman Darryl Duffy fetching the lead for Bagan before Valencia’s Godfrey Omodu equalised.

Togo player’s life-saving act

Perched ahead of Subir-Nirav and Deep-Prakash


Rayan Rozario


The results: Serie A: Inter Milan 1 (Icardi 81) lost to Roma 3 (Nainggolan 12, 56, Perotti 85-pen); Sassuolo 0 lost to AC Milan 1 (Bacca 22pen); Crotone 1 (Stoian 10) lost to Cagliari 2 (Pedro 32, Borriello 69); Genoa 1 (Ntcham 90+4) drew with Bologna 1 (Viviani 57); Chievo 2 (Birsa 12, Castro 61) bt Pescara 0; Lazio 1 (Immobile 72-pen) bt Udinese 0; Palermo 1 (Nestorovski 31-pen) drew with Sampdoria 1 (90-Quagliarella). La Liga: Villarreal 2 (Trigueros 50, Bakambu 56) lost to Real Madrid 3 (Bale 64, Ronaldo 74pen, Morata 83); Sporting Gijon 1 (Moi Gomez 49-pen) drew with Celta Vigo 1 (Aspas 75); Athletic Bilbao 3 (Susaeta 11, Lekue 33, San Jose 69) bt Granada 1 (Carcela-Gonzalez 14). Bundesliga: Schalke 04 1 (Schopf 6) drew with Hoffenheim 1 (Rudy 79).

Defeats Paire in straight sets

La Liga: Sony Six, Sony Six HD & Sony ESPN & Sony ESPN HD, 12 a.m. & 2 a.m. (Wednesday) NBA: Sony Six & Sony Six HD, 6.30 a.m. (Wednesday)

Ajgar-Mustafa duo tops the charts Paro (Bhutan)

Kane growing into a Tottenham legend

goal back in the 64th before Ronaldo levelled with a penalty 10 minutes later. Morata then headed Marcelo's cross under Villarreal’s substitute goalkeeper Andres Fernandez.


The experienced pair of Ajgar Ali (Kolkata) and his codriver Mohammed Mustafa (Erode) drove cautiously and with a lot of care to finish on top of the table in the national class after the second leg of the JK Tyre-sponsored Himalayan Drive 5 here on Monday. It was a long day in office for the competitors in the first leg on Sunday. They had to cover a distance of 337 kms under some tough conditions with sub-zero temperatures. The poor visibility due to heavy fogging made life even more miserable as they drove

through the Eastern Himalayas to enter Bhutan and reach Paro.

Playing it safe It also included the clearance of formalities at the international border. Bur Ajgar and Mustafa, the first edition winners and current national TSD champions, did their homework well. They stuck to the route, played it safe at various points to emerge the leader. But Monday’s drive turned out to be a lot easier for the drivers. They covered about 90 kms (Paro to Dochula) under similar conditions. The assignment, however, was not so heavy as it ended near

the riverbed sooner than they had expected. But the transport section did take some toll on the drivers. Ajgar and Mustafa breathed easy right through the route to keep their position intact at the top. “We were more cautious about sticking the right route. Of course, we did keep an eye on the timing as well,” said Mustafa. He said it was easy at the plain terrains as the junctions are big but the riverbed section had multiple paths with only one path mentioned in the road book. “An error in your meter or a lapse in concentration can cost precious timings and can

DOLICEK (Czech Republic)

shuffle your position on the table at the end of the day,” he added. “It was tough but enjoyable. With Mustafa by my side, it was all the more relaxed,” said Ajgar. Subir Roy (co-driver Nirav Mehta) and Deep Dutta (codriver Prakash Muthuswamy) are placed in the second and third positions respectively. Amit Garg (co-driver Abhisek Khemka) are the leaders in the open category. Earlier, the Governor of Paro, Dasho Tenzing Thinley, flagged off the second leg from Hotel Olathang in Paro along with the local MP Kezang Chuki Dorjee.

Martin Berkovec, playing as the goalkeeper for Bohemieans 1905, thanked Slovacko’s Francis Kone for saving his life following a collision during their 1.Liga match on Saturday.

rushed in for aid. “I would like to thank Francis Kone for rescue and emergency at today’s game…I’m glad for the relief and thanks again!!!” Berkovec wrote on his Facebook page. Kone said it was the

fourth time he had acted like this to help a fellow player in need. “Once in Thailand and twice in Africa,” said the 26year-old Togolese. “I’m always checking the players, to make sure they have not swallowed their tongue,” he added.

According to a report in the Mirror, Berkovec collided with his own defender Daniel Krch in the 30th minute and collapsed. Togo international Kone noticed that something was not right with the 28-yearold and saw the goalkeeper had ‘swallowed his tongue’. In an act that required quick thinking, Kone pulled it out to prevent the player from choking before the medics

Saviour: Francis Kone prevents Martin Berkovec from swallowing his tongue. PHOTO CREDIT: FOTBAL.IDNES.CZ









Organ-on-a-chip mimics the heart Could prove invaluable in studying cardiac ailments and personalised drug development Press Trust of India Washington

Brain links stronger in creative people WASHINGTON

Highly creative people have more white matter connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, according to a new study. When scientists compared people who scored in the top 15% on creativity tests with those in the bottom 15%, the highscorers had significantly more connections.

Mars may have a complicated mantle Scientists have found that the unusual chemistry of lava flows around the volcanic province Elysium in Mars is consistent with primary magmatic processes. The research implies that the composition of volcanoes on Mars’ mantle may evolve over their eruptive history.

Scientists have created a three-dimensional (3D) organ-on-a-chip that can mimic the heart’s amazing biomechanical properties and could help in studying cardiac diseases, screening and development of drugs. “We created the I-Wire Heart-on-a-Chip so that we can understand why cardiac cells behave the way they do by asking the cells questions, instead of just watching them,” said Professor John Wikswo, from Vanderbilt University in the U.S.

Patching damage “We believe it could prove invaluable in studying cardiac diseases, drug screening and drug development, and, in the future, in personalised medicine by identifying the cells taken from patients that can be used to patch damaged hearts effectively,” said Mr. Wikswo. The device faithfully reproduces the response of

cardiac cells to two different drugs that affect heart function in humans, initial experiments have demonstrated. The unique aspect of the new device, which represents about two millionths of a human heart, is that it controls the mechanical force applied to cardiac cells. This allows the researchers to reproduce the mechanical conditions of the living heart, which is continually stretching and contracting, in addition to its electrical and biochemical environment. “Heart tissue, along with muscle, skeletal and vascular tissue, represents a special class of mechanically active biomaterials,” said Mr. Wikswo. “Mechanical activity is an intrinsic property of these tissues so you can’t fully understand how they function and how they fail without taking this factor into account,” he said. The I-Wire device consists of a thin thread of human

provide information about the chemical changes taking place in the fibre. A floating microelectrode also measures the cells’ electrical activity. According to the researchers, the I-Wire system can be used to characterise how cardiac cells respond to electrical stimulation and mechanical loads and can be implemented at low cost, small size and low fluid volumes, which make it suitable for screening drugs and toxins.

Breakthrough: I-Wire device with cardiac ibre shown magniied inset. VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY cardiac cells 0.014 inches thick stretched between two perpendicular wire anchors.

Tension on fibre The amount of tension on the fibre can be varied by moving the anchors in and out, and the tension is measured with a flexible probe that pushes against the side. The fibre is supported by

Dust in homes may adversely affect the health of pet cats by exposing them to chemicals found in electronics and furniture, warns a Swedish study. Such cats developed hyperthyroidism due to exposure to brominated flame retardants.

Agence France-Presse London

Game of Thrones actor Neil Fingleton, who was named Britain’s tallest man, has died of suspected heart failure at 36, according to the London-based Tall Persons Club. Standing at 232.5 centimetres (seven feet and six inches), he was best known for his role of Mag The Mighty in an episode of the hit American television show. Born in 1980 in Durham, northern England, Fingleton started his career as a professional basketball player for teams in the United States and Spain, after being awarded a scholarship at the University of North Carolina. But an injury forced him into early retirement in 2007. He then started an acting career, appearing in feature films including X-Men: First Class and Jupiter Ascending,

Based on the hieroglyphs, researchers believe the artefact was buried as a dedication to the wind god Washington


Fingleton was the tallest man in U.K.

Mayan jade pendant with unique inscription found Press Trust of India

Pets exposed to high levels of chemicals

wires and a frame in an optically clear well that is filled with liquid medium like that which surrounds cardiac cells in the body. The apparatus is mounted on the stage of a powerful optical microscope that records the fibre’s physical changes. The microscope also acts as a spectroscope that can

Growing cardiac cells Unlike other designs, I-Wire allows the researchers to grow cardiac cells under controlled, time-varying tension similar to what they experience in living hearts. The heart cells in the fibre align themselves in alternating dark and light bands, called sarcomeres, which are characteristic of human muscle tissue. The research was published in the journal Acta Biomaterialia.

Game of Thrones actor dies at 36

In a rare find, scientists have discovered a large piece of carved jade that once belonged to an ancient Maya king, inscribed with a historical text describing its first owner. The jewel — a jade pendant worn on a king’s chest during key religious ceremonies — was first unearthed in 2015 in Nim Li Punit in southern Belize. The T-shaped pendant is remarkable for being the second largest Mayan jade found in Belize to date, said Geoffrey Braswell, a professor at University of Cali-

The lat pendant found in Belize is a work of art.

fornia, San Diego in the U.S. “We would expect something like it in one of the big cities of the Maya world. Instead, here it was, far from the centre,” he said.

Mapping dolphin proteins may beneit human health


The pendant measures 7.4 inches in width, 4.1 inches in height and 0.3 inches in thickness. Sawing it into this thin, flat form with string, fat and jade

dust would have been a technical feat for the Mayans, researchers said. The pendant is the only one known to be inscribed with a historical text. Carved into the pendant’s back are 30 hieroglyphs about its first owner. The pendant was “not torn out of history by looters,” said Mr. Braswell. “To find it on a legal expedition, in context, gives us information about the site and the jewel that we couldn’t have otherwise had or maybe even imagined,” he said. Nim Li Punit is a small site in the Toledo District of Belize. It sits on a ridge in the

Maya Mountains, near the contemporary village of Indian Creek. On the southeastern edge of the ancient Maya zone — more than 400 kilometres south of Chichen Itza in Mexico, where similar but smaller breast pieces have been found — Nim Li Punit is estimated to have been inhabited between AD 150 and 850. Researchers along with a crew of local people, were excavating a palace built around the year 400 when they found a collapsed, but intact, tomb. Inside the tomb, which dates to about AD 800, were

25 pottery vessels, a large stone that had been flaked into the shape of a deity and the precious jade pendant. Except for a couple of teeth, there were no human remains. The pendant is in the shape of a T. Its front is also carved with a T. This is the Mayan glyph “ik” which stands for “wind and breath.” It was buried,in a curious, T-shaped platform. One of the pots discovered with it, a vessel with a beaked face, probably depicts a Maya god of wind. Mr. Braswell believes that it was buried as a dedication to the wind god.


Classic and contemporary

Scientists make detailed index of all proteins in genome Indo-Asian News Service New York

Mapping all the proteins found in the dolphin genome could pave the way for finding a new way to treat some common diseases that affect humans, say researchers. “Dolphins and humans are very, very similar creatures,” Ben Neely of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) said in a statement. “As mammals, we share a number of proteins and our bodies function in many similar ways, even though we are terrestrial and dolphins live in the water all their lives,” said Mr. Neely, who along with his colleagues created a detailed, searchable index of all the proteins found in the bottlenose dolphin genome. A genome is the complete set of genetic material present in an organism. Al-

though a detailed map of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) genome was first compiled in 2008, recent technological breakthroughs enabled the creation of a new, more exhaustive map of all of the proteins produced by the dolphins’ DNA. Studies have recently revealed a protein, known as vanin-1, may help the marine mammals protect their kidneys. Humans produce vanin-1, but in much smaller amounts.

Researchers would like to gather more information on whether or not elevating levels of vanin-1 may offer protection to kidneys. “There’s this gap in the knowledge about genes and the proteins they make. We are missing a huge piece of the puzzle in how these animals do what they do,” Mike Janech from the Medical University of South Carolina, said. Vanin-1 is just one example of how genomic information about this mammalian cousin might prove useful. There may be hundreds of other similar applications. “Once you can identify all of the proteins and know their amounts as expressed by the genome, you can figure out what’s going on in the bottlenose dolphin’s biological systems in this really detailed manner,” Mr. Neely explained.

A fanciful idea that started out as a joke among young members of one of Malaysia’s most prominent families has snowballed into a fully fledged ski team and dreams of Olympic success. Despite being a tropical, snowless country, Malaysia has created its own alpine ski team — albeit with only two members — which is currently competing at the 8th Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan. Unlike the antics of Venezuela’s Adrian Solano, who wobbled amateurishly around the slopes at last week’s Nordic World Ski Championships in Finland, both Malaysians are accomplished skiers, driven by the ambition of promoting winter sports in a country

Living it up: Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, centre, Varun Dhawan, left, and Alia Bhatt break into a dance after walking the ramp for designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla in Mumbai on Sunday. The fashion show was in aid of a cancer charity. PTI


Othman Mirzan, right, and Jefrey Webb.

“From that, the idea kind of grew. It started out as ‘Let’s see if this is viable’ and then when we figured out it was viable we had to see what it takes. “There’s a lot of rings you

Press Trust of India London

A portrait by Spanish painter Salvador Dali of his sister Ana Maria is expected to fetch up to £1.2 million when it goes under the hammer for the first time in the U.K. Dali was 21 when he painted Figura de Perfil — figure in profile — and chose to include it in his first solo exhibition in Spain in 1925. This was for just a few years before the relationship between the siblings soured. In the painting, Dali’s sister is seen gazing through a window at the seaside. Ana Maria, three years his junior, kept the picture for years, despite the permafrost of their later relationship, before giving it to friends whose family have kept it ever since. The sale is exceptionally rare, as almost all his work from the period is in public collections.


where football and badminton dominate. Partly inspired by the Jamaican bobsledders who defied conventional wisdom by competing at the 1988 Winter Olympics, more and more warm-weather countries have been entering teams in snow and ice events in recent years.

Started as a joke Othman Mirzan, the grandson of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, thought his country should do the same after flippantly suggesting his family had already begun their own team. “It started as a joke. My siblings and I all skied together and the running joke was always that we were the Malaysian ski team because we’re the only Malaysians people see skiing,” he said.

Dali’s art may be sold for £1.2 million

Press Trust of India

Othman Mirzan and Jefrey Webb, who are competing at the 8th Asian Winter Games, have set their sights on the Winter Olympics Agence France-PressE

and in television on Doctor Who. In 2014, he joined the cast of Game of Thrones. Tributes poured in on social media. Game of Thrones actor Ian Whyte took to Twitter writing: “Very sad to hear of the tragic passing of Neil Fingleton. He followed his dreams. Rest in peace”.

Spacecraft to ly near the Sun next year

Meet tropical, snowless Malaysia’s irst family of skiing Sapporo (Japan)

Neil Fingleton


have you have to jump through. I was 17 at the time and no one takes a 17-yearold seriously when they are trying to start a national association, but the Malaysian Olympic Committee were

very enthusiastic.” Mr. Mirzan, 22, said his famous grandfather, Malaysia’s prime minister from 19812003 and still highly influential in the country, was an enthusiastic supporter of the team, although he hasn’t seen them race live. “He doesn’t like the cold so he doesn’t come to the races but I know that he’s very proud of what we’ve done,” Mr. Mirzan said. “At the end of the day his mantra for his years in office was ‘Malaysia can’ — so being able to represent Malaysia in a field that has never been represented before, for me, that is pushing the envelope and what he was and is all about.” After setting up a national ski federation, Mr. Mirzan moved to the United States, enrolling at the University of

Colorado, but remained the sole member of the Malaysian team. Unbeknown to him, a former coach of top U.S. skier Lindsay Vonn had implanted a similar idea in the head of another young Malaysian, Jeffrey Webb, who was born in Kuala Lumpur but moved to the U.S. when he was five years old. Mr. Webb, just 18 and still in high school, never took the idea too seriously until his father read in a ski magazine that Mr. Mirzan had started a Malaysian ski federation.

Perfect timing “We go back to Malaysia for three months every year and when we were there we contacted the Malaysian minister of sport,” Mr. Webb’s father Steve explained.

“We were thinking it might take about two years to get through to someone as important as a minister, but he was very interesting in developing new sports and to our surprise he actually contacted us straight away and said come in and talk. Mr. Mirzan and Mr. Webb soon met up in Minnesota and started hatching their plans to put Malaysia on the alpine skiing map, but not as a novelty act — they both wanted to be competitive. Mr. Mirzan broke the ice when he entered this year’s world championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Then both were selected for the Asian Winter Games, with Mr. Webb finishing 15th and Mr. Mirzan 24th in the men’s giant slalom. Now they have their sights set on the Winter Olympics.

NASA plans to send its first robotic spacecraft to the Sun next year. The spacecraft is slated to get within six million kilometres of the blazing star to probe its atmosphere. Humans have sent spacecraft to the Moon, Mars and even distant interstellar space. Now, NASA plans to launch the Solar Probe Plus mission to the Sun which is about 149 million kilometres from the Earth. “This is going to be our first mission to fly to the Sun,” said Eric Christian, a NASA research scientist at Goddard Space Flight Centre. “We can’t get to the very surface of the Sun,” but the mission will get close enough to answer three important questions, Mr. Christian said. First, the mission will hopefully unveil why the surface of the Sun, called the photosphere, is not as hot as its atmosphere, called the corona. According to NASA, the surface temperature of the Sun is about 5,500 degrees Celsius. However, the atmosphere above it is a sizzling two million degrees Celsius. “You would think the farther away you get from a heat source, you would get colder. Why the atmosphere is hotter than the surface is a big puzzle,” Mr. Christian said. The scientists also want to know how solar wind gets its speed, Live Science reported. “The Sun blows a stream of charged particles in all directions at a million miles an hour. But we do not understand how that gets accelerated,” he said. ND-ND

tuesday 앫 february 28, 2017


Nursery admissions

‘Come clean on food safety’

‘Truth will come out’

Flying irst class

The High Court has refused to lift the interim stay on a govt. notiication regarding neighbourhood criteria Page 2

High Court asks Kake-da-Hotel to submit information on its food safety standards; orders another inspection Page 3

Kabir Bedi, a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, gives his take on the Oscar goof-up Page 5

Just ten months after launching the Phantom 4, DJI has added some new tricks to its drone Page 6



DU student complains to DCW over rape threats Gurmehar Kaur’s campaign against ABVP triggers online war; DCW’s Home Guards providing her round-the-clock protection INTERVIEW | RAJENDRA PRASAD

Maria Akram New Delhi

Road to be named after ireman NEW DELHI

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Monday announced that a road would be named in honour of the ireman who died battling a blaze in Vikaspuri on February 24. Hari Om Gahlot died along with another ireman, Hari Singh Meena, after an LPG cylinder blew up at the restaurant where the ire was reported. SDMC Mayor Shyam Sharma said that the stretch from Najafgarh Road till Kakrola village, which is where Hari Om was from, would be named ‘Shaheed Hari Om Gahlot Marg’. STAFF REPORTER

Three iremen hurt in cylinder blast NEW DELHI

Three iremen were injured when a cylinder exploded while they were dousing a ire at a cardboard manufacturing unit in outer Delhi’s Najafgarh area on Monday morning. Firemen Rajkumar, Anil and Arvind Dagar, sustained burns and are undergoing treatment at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, a Delhi Fire Service oicial said. They are said to be out of danger. The cause of the blaze is not known, the police said. PTI

Centre for Northeast Studies at Miranda House NEW DELHI

Delhi University’s Miranda House has set up a centre for Northeast Studies to focus on scientific research on aspects of biodiversity and sustainable development in the region. The centre, established in association with the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development, was inaugurated by Manipur Governor Najma Heptullah. PTI

New anti-pollution plan almost ready NEW DELHI

A new anti-pollution plan to clean the Capital’s air, drawn up by a team comprising Delhi Pollution Control Committee, Central Pollution Control Board and independent experts is likely to be submitted to the Supreme Court soon. In its draft stage, the plan has been chalked out keeping a 2012 blueprint of the Dikshit government as its base. PTI

My heart bleeds when Ramjas College bleeds

The daughter of a Kargil martyr and a Delhi University (DU) student, Gurmehar Kaur, on Monday filed a complaint with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) after she received rape and death threats on social media. Ms. Kaur said she received the threats after she took a stand against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) over the Ramjas college violence. The 20-year-old had started an online campaign, ‘I am not afraid of ABVP’, against the RSS-affiliated student wing. The university student posted a picture of herself holding a placard that read: “I am a student from Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me. #StudentAgainstABVP”.

Viral campaign Her classmates and peers started sharing the post, prompting students from various universities across the country to change their profile pictures with similar placards. The campaign went viral and received support from students. But she was also mercilessly trolled on social media with some Ministers, actors and sportsmen mocking and criticising her. Speaking to the media, Ms. Kaur said: “I’m really disappointed with the statements about my campaign, especially from the ‘famous’ people who are questioning my nationalism. Two things I want to clarify are that they don’t understand my idea of patriotism and this student campaign is not a political movement. It is about students and our campuses being safe from violent threats and it doesn’t matter what organisation it comes from. Nobody can threaten rape to any one. No matter where he comes from and what his background is.” DCW asks police to act DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal said the panel had received a complaint from Ms. Kaur and she spoke to the Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik asking for action against the online trolls. “She has received rape and death threats on Twitter. I

Principal talks about how he had turned the college around Jaideep Deo Bhanj New Delhi

For 32 years, Rajendra Prasad has served as the principal of Ramjas College. A student of St. Stephen’s College, Prof. Prasad spent a considerable amount of time on campus even before that as his father was a professor, he has been associated with Delhi University (DU) all his life. Last week, Ramjas College was in the news for the violence that erupted due to political opposition to an academic seminar. Prof. Prasad talks about how he turned the college around, which was infamous for its violence in the 1980s, and what went wrong at the seminar.

Taking a stand: The 20-year-old has started an online campaign, ‘I am not afraid of ABVP’, against the RSS-ailiated student wing. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

You will retire on February 28 after serving as principal since 1985. Looking back, what do you feel was your greatest contribution? I think I had a great innings. I leave with a sense of satisfaction. My legacy is quite broad — be it freedom of thought, liberalism or freedom of expression, I brought in a policy of encouraging anybody who wanted to do something. This gave students and teachers confidence and brought out the best in them. You took over during a tough phase when Ramjas College was known for its violence. How did you manage a turnaround? What I inherited was a rowdy, “goonda” college. It took me a lot of time to transform it into a good institution where women are respected, there is no violence and academic and cultural activity is encouraged. I started spending my entire day on

really disappointed with the statements about < > I'm my campaign especially from the 'famous' people who are questioning my nationalism. Two things I want to clarify is that they don't understand my idea of patriotism, and this student campaign is not a political movement... Nobody can threaten rape to any one. No matter where he comes from and what his background is Gurmehar Kaur Delhi University student

have personally spoken to Mr. Patnaik to take action against these trolls. It is disturbing that online trolling, especially rape threats given to women, is rampant. I expect the police will set an example by arresting these trolls.” The DU student also handed over a list of the Twitter handles from which she received rape threats. Ms. Maliwal wrote to Mr. Patnaik: “She [Kaur] has been subjected to extreme abuse and rape threats online. Her complaint is self explanatory and contains relevant screenshots of rape threats and abuse as evidence. Considering

the gravity of the situation and the threats received, it is recommended that the girl and her family be provided police protection and an FIR be immediately registered against the abusers,” Ms. Maliwal said in the letter.

Protection for Kaur In the evening, Ms. Maliwal said that Home Guards have been deployed for protection of Ms. Kaur. “Presently, the DCW Home Guards is providing protection to Kaur. We will be with her 24*7. Hope Delhi Police urgently gives her protection [sic]” she tweeted.

Veteran: Rajendra Prasad will retire on February 28 after serving as principal for 32 years. SANDEEP SAXENA

engaging with < > By the students, I shed my authoritarian image. Slowly, I brought them all on the same page by being approachable Rajendra Prasad Principal of Ramjas College

campus, ignored my family and surrounded myself with students, teachers and karamcharis, giving them a patient hearing. By engaging with them, I shed my authoritarian image. Slowly, I brought them all on the same page by being approachable. At the time of the attack on Professor Dilip Simeon in the early 80s, there was the rise of a movement against “gundagardi” in DU. On your last day in office, we will also see a march against “gundagardi” on the campus. How is the climate different? I see no comparison between the two incidents. The attack on Dilip Simeone and what followed was not political. No political dimension was attached to it. Students from all walks of life got together to rally against an attack on a teacher. What is happening today, or what may happen tomorrow, is completely different. A seminar was

organised, which was later cancelled. The matter was over, but then people gave it a political touch. And when you say “azadi” and “tiranga”, it creates problems. It is unfortunate that a political angle was given to this. What went wrong at the seminar organised on ‘Culture of Protest’? The issues of the seminar was not discussed. The issue was to confront the idea, not the people. What happened was the other way around. Whatever happened on campus was outside the purview of the seminar. I had full faith in my English Department when it came to organising the seminar. I cancelled it only when the police told me about the dimension of the problem. Many parents are wondering if their children are safe on the campus. What would you say to reassure them? If it had not become a political problem and if goons had not entered my college, it would have been safe even on the first day. I have appealed to all stakeholders to preserve the educational environment of our great institution. My heart bleeds when Ramjas College bleeds. I have put in 32 years of my blood, sweat and tears to bring it to its present stature.

‘FightBackDU’ march today Sehwag mocks Kaur; Hooda Police siding with ABVP, says AAP Delhi Police have set up heavy security arrangement calls her a political pawn Staff Reporter New Delhi

With the ABVP holding a Tiranga march on Monday, the Delhi University (DU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU) campuses are set to witness more marches and counter-marches on Tuesday as the Left-affiliated AISA, Congress-backed NSUI and JNU teachers plan to register their anguish against the Ramjas College violence. On Tuesday, around 1 p.m., students will carry out a march from Khalsa college on North Campus to the Faculty of Arts. The march will be under the banner of ‘DU

against Gundagardi’ and is being promoted through an online movement called ‘FightBackDU’. To avoid a repeat of what happened outside Ramjas College on February 22, the Delhi Police said that heavy security arrangements have been put in place in the area and over 500 personnel, in addition to paramilitary forces, will be on duty. Meanwhile, the NSUI will hold a one-day hunger strike at the Faculty of Arts followed by a ‘Mashaal’ rally around 7p.m.

Many Twitter users slam batsman, others cheer him on

Staff Reporter New Delhi


Home Minister says he has asked police to act with caution Varanasi

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said he has ordered the Delhi Police to act with caution over the Ramjas College issue and ensure the situation is under control. Replying to queries by reCM YK

porters over the recent clash in the college and the ensuing trouble, Mr. Singh said he was keeping a vigil over the issue. The college witnessed widespread violence last week after the ABVP objected to a seminar because of an invitation to JNU students Umar Khalid and

< >

Staff Reporter

‘Keeping eye on Ramjas situation’ Press Trust of india

Women leaders to meet top cop today

Shehla Rashid, who were involved in a controversy related to alleged anti-national slogans last year. The Delhi Police had come under attack from Left-affiliated student groups for its alleged “high handedness” after which three cops were suspended.

Although Gurmehar Kaur received much support from fellow students for her social media campaign against the ABVP, the 20-year-old was also trolled by former cricketer Virender Sehwag and Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda, who called her a “political pawn”. Before this campaign, Ms. Kaur had initiated a campaign asking for peace between India and Pakistan. She had then posted a video on her Facebook page where she was seen holding placards, including one that read: ‘Pakistan did not kill my father but war did’.

‘I am heartbroken’ Mocking Ms. Kaur, Mr. Sehwag on Sunday shared an image of him holding a placard that read: “I did not score two triple centuries. My bat did”. Ms. Kaur told the media she was heartbroken by the reaction. “I am heartbroken, these are the people you cheer for in matches and

I am heartbroken, these are the people you cheer for in matches and they troll you at the expense of your father’s death... Pawn? I can think. I don't support violence perpetuated on students

Gurmehar Kaur Delhi University student

Tweet and photo posted by former cricketer Virender Sehwag on Sunday.

they troll you at the expense of your father’s death”.

‘A political pawn’ While many Twitter users criticised Mr. Sehwag for comparing a cricket match to a war, others including Randeep Hooda cheered on Mr. Sehwag. “What’s sad is that the poor girl is being used as political pawn... It absolutely

wrong..have a feeling it's not limited to that in interpretation,” tweeted Mr. Hooda.

‘Call me Gurmehar’ In her reply to Mr. Hooda, Ms. Kaur tweeted: “Really sweet of you to encourage the hate I've been receiving. Makes me feel happy that I adored your work :) Pawn? I can think. I don't support violence perpetuated on students. Is that so wrong. Don't call me a Martyrs (sic) daughter if that bothers you. I never claimed anything otherwise. You can call me Gurmehar [sic].”

New Delhi

Women members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday condemned the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the BJP for the violence that broke out in Ramjas college last week. The leaders also criticised the Delhi Police for ‘siding with the ABVP’ and not taking action against the ‘goons’. Addressing a press conference held at the AAP’s office, senior leader Atishi Marlena said: “The ABVP’s gundagardi across Delhi University has made it clear that those who believe in a certain ideology have now been given absolute authority from the Prime Minister to assault and silence any contrasting voices”.

Concerns over safety A delegation of the AAP’s women leaders will meet Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik on Tuesday urging him to take action against the ABVP. Expressing concern over the safety of women in the

city, Ms. Marlena said that the manner in which the young Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur received rape threats on social media is absolutely shocking and horrific. “Threatening women who oppose you with sexual violence is not how our democracy functions. Why is the Delhi Police not taking any action against these attempts to threaten Gurmehar? Is this not a cognisable offense?” Ms. Marlena asked.

‘Vitiated atmosphere’ Sharing her experiences of her college days, AAP MLA Sarita Singh said that she graduated from Delhi University five years ago: “The student community had ideological differences, but were always united on issues affecting women. The way the ABVP assaulted young female students and now Gurmehar has been threatened with rape shows the deeply anti-women politics of the BJP. In two years, they have vitiated the atmosphere completely”. ND-ND








Fresh bout of ‘patriotism’ at DU ABVP leads ‘Tiranga’ rally to free university of ‘anti-national’ elements, appeals to students for support

Nursery admissions: AAP appeal rejected Interim stay on Jan 7 notiication upheld

Staff Reporter New Delhi

NGT chairman speaks at IIC NEW DELHI

The government has to show the willingness to implement green norms, said NGT Chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar while speaking on ‘Greening Our Cities’ as part of a bi-monthly series organised at the India Habitat Centre on Monday. AYAN SHARMA

PWD proposes ramp at ISBT NEW DELHI

The Public Works Department (PWD) has decided to appoint a consultant to design a ramp at the Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) in Kashmere Gate to combat traffic jams. “The up-ramp will reduce traffic congestion near Kashmere Gate and Nigam Bodh Ghat,” said an official. STAFF REPORTER

Competition for woman Metro riders NEW DELHI

Ahead of International Women’s Day next month, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is organising an article and slogan writing competition for its women commuters. The competition will begin on Tuesday and go on till March 4, the DMRC said. PTI

Members of the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU), led by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), took out a ‘tiranga march’ from Ramjas College to the Vivekanand Statue at Arts Faculty here on Monday. The students marched with a 108-foot ‘Tiranga’ and chanted ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ while vowing to keep the campus free from ‘anti-national’ elements.

Umar Khalid slammed They also launched a tirade against JNU research scholar Umar Khalid, who was booked for sedition last year. The ABVP appealed to DU students to continue to support DUSU against ‘secessionist communists’ and save the character of the university. DUSU president Amit Tanwar said that it was the students of Ramjas College who had kept anti-national elements away from the campus. He appealed to other students to also keep their colleges free from such programmes. They said the aim of the anti-national communists was to “divide India, to cre-

Akanksha Jain NEW DELHI

Joining hands: Members of DUSU and ABVP during the rally at North Campus on Monday.

ate discontent against United India and to compromise the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India”.

Student ‘molested’ during Ramjas clashes Press Trust of India

Another protest Rashtrawadi Shikshak Sangh, an RSS-affiliated teachers’ body, also staged a protest at Arts Faculty on Monday, demanding a “check on abuse of the freedom of speech and expression by the Left groups”.


New Delhi

A DU student and member of RSS-backed ABVP has approached the police alleging that she was molested by two activists of the Left-backed AISA during Ramjas College clashes last

week. The ABVP member claimed she was assaulted outside Shri Ram College of Commerce. The clashes between the two groups took place after an invite to JNU students Umar Khalid and

Shehla Rashid to address a seminar on ‘ Culture of Protests’ was withdrawn by the college following ABVP opposition. Aman Nawaz, Secretary, DU AISA, termed the complaint a “false propaganda”.

The Delhi High Court has refused to set aside the interim stay on the AAP government’s January 7 notification, which directed 298 private unaided schools built on DDA land to admit 75% students in nursery from the neighbourhood. A Bench headed by Chief Justice G. Rohini, which dismissed the Delhi government’s appeal against the interim stay granted by Justice Manmohan, said, “Since the issue relates to admission of children to entry-level classes, if the notification is allowed to be acted upon, it would lead to an irreversible situation. In case the notification is ultimately quashed, the consequences would be very complex and serious,” the Bench said. It also directed the single judge to decide expeditiously petitions filed by the schools, which had challenged the notification saying it discriminated between them and other schools not on government land, besides affecting the heterogeneity of their students. The AAP government had appealed against Justice Manmohan’s February 14 or-

Despite awareness, sanitation, 891 unauthorised colonies await sanction Only four colonies legalised since 2012; political parties pass the buck over delay toilet access lacking in city Adequate sewer lines must for improving hygiene: study Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

While awareness levels increased with intervention, the practical problems around improving sanitation and access to clean water and toilets remained, as per a study released here on Monday. From 2012 till 2015, the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) carried out awareness campaigns on water, sanitation and hygiene in Delhi, Kolkata and Jaipur with the help of community organisations. A study of the campaigns by the Institute for Human Development found that awareness about water, sanitation and hygiene had increased.

Public toilets bring relief In Delhi, one of the successes seen was the construction and upkeep of public toilets with the support of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board. The study pointed out that the use of toilets alone would not lead to an improvement in overall sanitation in neighbourhoods, without adequate arrangement for water and sewer lines. As per the study, 75% of the 1,321 households surveyed said municipal sanitation services were “occa-

Facing neglect: As per the study, 75% of the households surveyed said municipal sanitation services were “occasionally” provided. FILE PHOTO: SANDEEP SAXENA

sionally” provided, while 24% said they were “regular”.

Menstrual hygiene On increasing awareness of personal hygiene, the study found that more women recognised that sanitary napkins should be used instead of cloth to maintain menstrual hygiene. While presenting the findings, the principal investigator, Preet Rustogi, said women had started “identifying priorit-

ies, raising their articulate voices where needed, seeking the help of CFAR members or local leaders and actively working to ensure that their rights are met”. Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal, who gave the keynote address, said the lack of clean public toilets was a challenge that she had also experienced. She added that the DCW was serious about addressing the sanitation challenges.

Impetus to youth “Our focus is to encourage women and youth candidates. Deserving women candidates are also being pitched from unreserved seats,” said Ajit Jha, the party’s general secretary. Out the total 55 candidates announced so far, 38 have been associated with the Jan Lokpal Andolan. Among the candidates announced on Monday were Gurvinder Gupta from Mubarakpur Dabas, who is the principal of a local school for underprivileged children; Dilip Bhat from CM YK

Ushering in change “Swaraj India was formed to make a departure from the traditional rules of politics to bring in much-needed change, which has been confirmed by the party’s actions, campaigns and programme, unlike other parties, where women are generally fielded as dummies to fill reserved seats,” read a statement issued by the party. “Swaraj India has fielded women who are leaders in their own right, rather than restrict themselves to being a leader’s wife. These candidates are the women who have independently worked in their area,” the statement added.

Staff Reporter

‘Tall claims by BJP’ Initiating the discussion, Congress councillor Virender Kasana said that with 40% of Delhi’s population living in unauthorised colonies, there was a need to look at the promises of the

Blatant violation: Congress alleged that the layout plans of the four unauthorised colonies in south Delhi had been cleared without a survey. FILE PHOTO: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

BJP, which has ruled the municipalities for 10 years. “The BJP had claimed that they would legalise these colonies and carry out development works. People voted for them because of that. But, for the past 10 years, the BJP has just been repeating the same promises,” said Mr. Kasana. Referring to the official reply that no survey of unauthorised colonies was carried out by the SDMC, Congress councillor Praveen Rana asked, “How did the layout plans of four unauthorised colonies get cleared without a survey?” While the Congress maintained that when it’s party was in power in the Centre and Delhi, the BJP-ruled corporations failed to clear the layout plans of these colon-

ies. The BJP, on its part, said that the Delhi government had not defined the boundaries of these colonies, preventing the corporations from approving the layout plans. BJP councillor and former Mayor Sarita Choudhary said the Congress had failed to address the concerns of the unauthorised colonies for 15 years while Sheila Dikshit was the Chief Minister.

Cong-AAP nexus alleged “Where was the Congress when Delhi’s farmlands were being cut to make way for these colonies? They were in power when Delhi saw people from all over coming and settling. Why didn’t they make arrange-

ments for housing?” she asked. The Leader of the House, Subhash Arya, said the Congress at the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi had come to an understanding in 2013. “They realised that if they regularised the colonies, the colonies would have to pay ₹1 lakh per acre as development charges. This would make them unpopular and cost them votes. So, they intentionally delayed the matter,” said Mr. Arya. With elections to municipal corporations expected in April, political parties are gearing up to campaign, especially in the large parts of Delhi that are unauthorised, as several councillors alluded while addressing the House.


dren from different cities, asking for this abuse to be stopped. Mr. Jha assured us that he would take steps to ensure animals don’t suffer in circuses,” she said. In its letter, the CZA said it had been monitoring circuses since 2003, and that it had de-recognised all but one due to the cruel treatment meted out to animals and violation of rules under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Bindu Shajan Perappadan New Delhi

The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has said it ‘fully supports’ the proposal to stop use of elephants in circus shows. The government body has written to the Animal Welfare Division of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF & CC) in this regard. The communication assumes greater significance in the context of a movement started by schoolchildren, who met Secretary (MoEF & CC) Ajay Narayan Jha earlier this week. The students shared with him 1,000 postcards signed by children from across India, requesting him to put a stop to animal performances in circuses.

Animal abuse highlighted Meenu, the leader of the student delegation, said: “I talked about my experience of visiting a circus in Noida last year. I saw the animals being abused with whips, sticks and sharp instruments to force them to perform

NGT seeks list of DMRC borewells New Delhi

Requests State forest departments to cancel ownership certiicates of circuses with elephants

Swaraj India, which is set to make its debut in the upcoming municipal elections, released its second list of candidates on Monday. Last week, the party had released its first list of 25 candidates. Of the 30 candidates on the second list, 12 are women, while another 12 are youth representatives.

Notification ‘arbitrary’ Terming the January 7 notification as “arbitrary and discriminatory”, Justice Manmohan had blamed the chaos around nursery admissions on the lack of good public schools in the Capital. The AAP government, meanwhile, contended that the neighbourhood criterion would ensure schools did not adopt an arbitrary admission process.

Only four of the 895 unauthorised colonies in south Delhi that were eligible for legalisation have had their layout plans sanctioned by the municipality in the past five years, leading to political parties blaming each other for the delay. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation, under whose jurisdiction 1,005 of the 1,639 unauthorised colonies are located, was given a list of 895 of these colonies by the Urban Development Department on September 4, 2012. According to the reply of a short-notice query by the Leader of Opposition, Farhad Suri, at a meeting of the House on Monday, the SDMC had passed the layout plans of four colonies, giving the residents all the benefits of a legally-settled neighbourhood. As per the reply, these colonies were Shakti Vihar in Meethapur, Rajouri Garden Extension at Tatarpur, Jain Colony in CBlock of Uttam Nagar and Dr. Ambedkar Colony at Satbari.

12 of the 30 candidates are women Rajinder Nagar constituency, who is a resident of Kathputli Colony and has been fighting for the cause of the colony residents; and 21-year-old Kajal Sharma from Rani Bagh. Ms. Sharma is the youngest candidate from the party who will be contesting the polls.

der, as per which he granted interim stay in favour of the schools. The notification was held to be in violation of the child and parents’ right to choose the school, besides being considered an interference into the administration of educational institutions.

Damini Nath

CZA calls for stopping animal cruelty in circuses

Staff Reporter



Swaraj India releases second list of candidates NEW DELHI

Unhappy: Schools had challenged the notiication saying it was discriminatory.

Call for action: Schoolchildren have requested the MoEF to ban animal performances in circuses. FILE PHOTO: CH. VIJAYA BHASKA

tricks. Backstage, I saw dogs in small rusted cages, some birds without feathers and wounded horses. My friends

have had similar experiences. We do not consider this as entertainment. We also delivered 1,000 handwritten postcards from chil-

Message to AWBI The CZA has now recommended stopping use of elephants in circuses as its ambit is only wild animals. Further, it has requested the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), which regulates the use of all other animals in performance, to take similar action. The CZA has also requested the State forest departments to cancel ownership certificates of circuses with elephants and rehabilitate the animals. The decision has paved the way for what can prob-

ably be the country’s most systematic rehabilitation of captive elephants. Also, it is in line with the international trend as part of which the famous Ringling Brothers circus recently retired all elephants.

Move gathers praise The agency has also asked the Ministry to involve the AWBI and Project Elephant. “This is the most progressive move so far by any government body to ensure effective protection of a Schedule 1 species that continues to suffer in the hands of human ‘owners’. We are delighted with the CZA’s decision to write to the MoEF&CC about stopping the elephant performances in circuses. There have been numerous official inspection reports and notices that documented illegalities and cruelty in circuses. It is about time consideration is given to put an end to this extreme form of animal abuse,” said Arpan Sharma, director of FIAPO, an animal rights organisation.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to furnish a list of borewells it has installed and the quantity of water extracted by it. The NGT was hearing a plea filed by Delhi resident Kush Kalra who had alleged that the DMRC was extracting groundwater instead of using waste water to wash its trains, resulting in the depletion of the watertable.

Issue of water meters A Bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim also directed the Delhi Metro to inform the panel whether they had installed water meters in their depots for the extraction of groundwater. The green panel also asked the DMRC to submit the details before March 20 and said in the event of failure to file the information, it would impose a cost of ₹2 lakh on it. Referring to a RTI reply, the plea had said the Delhi Metro’s water requirement was met through borewells and DJB connection. The reply also said that in order to draw water from borewells, three-five HP pumps were used.

DELHI TODAY Talk: Discussion on “The Sino-Indian War of 1962. New Perspectives”; speakers: Dr. Amit Das Gupta, Bundeswehr University, Munich; Dr. Jabin Jacob, Institute of Chinese Studies; and Shivshankar Menon, at Conference Room I, India International Centre (IIC), 6:30 p.m. Talk: “Asia: Hope for the Future or Prisoner of the Past?” by Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research; moderator: Cmde. Uday Bhaskar, Director, Society for Policy Studies, at Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 7 p.m. Photography: “Enigma - Street stories of Delhi”, a photography show by Ahmed Firoz, at Delhi ‘o’ Delhi Foyer, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Art: 16th All India Water Colour, 14th All India Traditional Art & 9th Portrait Show, at All India Fine Arts & Craft Society (AIFACS), 1, Rai Marg, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: A painting exhibition by Dip Narayan Paul, Subrata Saha and Ranjan Paul, at Convention Centre Foyer, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Exhibition: “Whispering Wood” , a group exhibition of wooden sculptures, at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: “Metal - O - Art 2”, a painting exhibition by Maya Karanjkar, at Open Palm Court Gallery, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Screening: Of Tamil ilm “Kuttrame Thandanai”, with English subtitles, at The Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 7 p.m. Screening: Of French ilm “Etre Et Avoir”, with English subtitles, at M.L. Bhartia Auditorium, Alliance Francaise De Delhi, 72, Lodhi Estate, 10 a.m. (Mail your listings for this column at [email protected]) ND-ND








Kidnapped 7-yr-old rescued Boy kidnapped for ransom recovered within 24 hours; two men arrested Staff Reporter New Delhi

Hoax call threatens bomb blast at PM’s rally NEW DELHI

A 21-year-old student was arrested for allegedly making a hoax call to the Delhi Police control room threatening to trigger a bomb blast at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally at Uttar Pradesh's Mau on Monday. The police said the accused, identified as Deepak, is a resident of Azadpur in north-west Delhi and belongs to Azamgarh in UP. The police said Deepak was held from his residence on Monday. STAFF REPORTER

‘Builder Baba’ arrested for fraud NEW DELHI

A 36-year-old man, known as ‘Builder Baba’, who had been declared a proclaimed offender in a case pertaining to cheating of ₹11.5 crore, has been arrested, the police said on Monday. Sachin Dutta alias Sachidanand Giri had been declared a proclaimed offender in a case registered with the Delhi Police’s Economic Offence Wing. He was arrested from his house in Lucknow, said A. K. Singla, DCP (Northeast). PTI

A seven-year-old boy who was kidnapped for ransom from his north-west Delhi residence here was rescued within 24 hours, the police said on Monday. According to the police, two men identified as Mohammad Kapil and Hasan Raza were arrested for their involvement in the incident. A juvenile accomplice was also apprehended.

Men on scooty “On the evening of February 25, the missing boy's mother reported that unknown persons on a scooty had kidnapped her seven-year-old son from outside her house in Shree Nagar near Raja Park when she was out at work. A case was registered at the Subhash Place police station and initial investigation was taken up,” said a senior police officer.


A 35-year-old security guard was bludgeoned to death, allegedly by his neighbour, following a scuffle between them in north Delhi’s Sarai Rohilla, the police said on Monday. The accused Rohit has been arrested, they said. Rohit allegedly smashed Pawan’s head with a heavy stone and killed him on the spot, the police said. The accused then fled. Pawan’s body was discovered by another guard, who came for duty around 10.30 p.m. PTI

that the two wheeler-borne abductors had lured him away by offering to ferry him to his uncle. The eyewitness also confirmed that the boy went with his abductors without any resistance leading the police to realise that it was highly likely that the kidnappers were well known to the boy and his family.

Search conducted “The ransom call was made to the victim's mother’s phone at around 7 a.m the next day from a PCO booth at the New Delhi railway station. In addition to conducting an enquiry near the residence of the victim and the neighbourhood areas, parking lots were also searched for the scooty whose registration number was partly known to us,” the officer said. During the course of investigation, the police said, the mother of the victim in-

Assault or harassment? 2 FIRs, 1 case Cop claims attack by couple; duo says he misbehaved Ashok Kumar

School guard bludgeoned to death

According to the police, the child's mother received a call from an unknown phone number at 7 a.m. the next day with an unknown person telling her that her child was in their custody and would be released only in return for ₹5 lakh. The caller further told her that he would call her back at 3 p.m. to let her know the place and mode of payment. “To quickly and safely rescue the child, a massive operation was planned and teams were deployed at all the railway stations and major bus terminals in Delhi with the photo of the boy being circulated and police teams conducting intensive inquiries and searches,” the officer further said. A breakthrough quickly followed in the form of an input from a girl living in the abducted child's neighbourhood who was also his classmate. The girl told the police


A traffic policeman has filed an assault complaint against a couple even as the latter has lodged a cross case against the cop for allegedly misbehaving with them. According to the FIR filed by Head Constable Rajbir, the couple allegedly beat up him and his colleague, constable Rajesh, and tore their uniform after the duo intercepted the couple for using cellphone while driving, near Sikanderpur metro station on Sunday evening. The head constable alleged that

when he signalled down the vehicle, the man behind the wheel refused to cooperate.

‘Abusive’ couple According to the FIR, the woman in the car started abusing the policemen and the couple pushed Rajbir, who fell on the bonnet and injured his hand. Rajbir was taken to Neelkanth Hospital. A case has been registered against the couple on charges of causing hurt and deterring a public servant from discharge of his duty, at DLF Phase-I police station.

The woman, a resident of Sector 51, in her complaint has said that the policemen misbehaved with them and also broke their car’s glass.

Cops’ misconduct The woman claimed that she was driving and talking over the phone when she was signalled down. She pleaded with them to let her go as her children were unwell. At this the policemen started misbehaving with the couple. The woman also claimed her children were hurt in the incident.

Come clean on food safety: HC to hotel Observation after a video purportedly shows hotel staf kneading dough with feet runs the famous eatery on the outer circle of Connaught Place.

Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked Kake Da Hotel to come clean on its food safety and standards after a video surfaced that purportedly shows a staff kneading the dough with feet. The video later led to a raid by the Food Safety Department.

The hotel in CP

‘Street vendors better’ “You are one of the oldest restaurants in the city. Why can’t you maintain proper standards? In some coun-

tries, street vendors have better standards than our restaurants,” Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva told Mehak Cuisines Pvt. Ltd., which



Rectified deficiencies “So show to the world that one of the oldest restaurants has the best standards in hygiene,” said the court. The restaurant asserted that it has rectified all deficiencies which were earlier pointed out by the Food Safety Officer (FSO). The court was hearing a petition by Mehak Cuisines, which had moved the court after the FSO slapped a no-

tice on it on February 21.

Another inspection After the lawyers appearing for the restaurant said all deficiencies have been removed and further steps are being taken, the court asked the FSO to inspect the eatery again on Tuesday and file a fresh status report with photographs. With regard to the controversial video, the hotel said the person shown in the video was not kneading dough, but was cleaning clothes.

formed the police that she doesn't live with her husband and that they had an estranged relationship.

Fire at TOI building doused after 24 hours Fire started again on Monday, brought under control by 5 p.m. Staff Reporter New Delhi

Old lover It also came to light that the sister of the victim's mother had a love affair with someone. The investigators then began to strongly suspect the involvement of the old lover Mohammad Kapil, a resident of Shakurpur who was later traced and questioned, leading to his admitting his involvement and the recovery of the abducted child. “Kapil hatched this whole conspiracy to teach the victim's family, mainly his maternal grandfather, a lesson because they had pressured his lover, the maternal aunt of the victim, to end her relationship with him. He also roped in his friend Raza and a juvenile for the abduction,” the officer added.

Student killed in car crash Purusharth Aradhak Greater Noida

An MBBS student of Sharda University was killed and another critically injured after losing control of their car and crashing near Sector 150 on Noida-Greater Noida Expressway on Sunday night, the police said. They added that the accident happened around 11 p.m. An MBBS student identifeid as Shubham Nag (23) died while another student Aaryan Dhillon (25) was critically injured. Dhillon injured his rib cage and is recuperating at a private hospital in Greater Noida.

Worn out road According to Manish Kumar Sharma, Knowledge Park police station incharge said the victims may have been speeding on the expressway before losing control of the vehicle at a curve near Sector 150. A patch of the expressway is worn out, due to which their vehicle skidded and overturned several times. Nag, who was driving, and Dhillon were on their way to the Sharda University campus when the incident took place. The two had completed their fouryear MBBS course and were doing their internship.

After almost 24 hours of battling the flames, firefighters were finally able to completely douse the fire that started at the Times of India building on ITO’s Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg on Sunday evening. The fire, which started from the first floor of the national daily’s office, spread through the entire building around 4:45p.m. on Sunday. Though fire personnel said that it was a low intensity fire, lack of proper entrance points and high use of plywood made it difficult to contain the blaze in the building. The fire was brought under control by 5p.m. on Monday.

Fresh sparks “The operation lasted exactly a day. By Sunday night we had controlled the fire and were cooling the building when sparks started again around 12p.m. on Monday. The cooling process is still on,” a senior fire official, who was heading the operation, told The Hindu. The official said that a lot

Delayed: Oicials said lack of proper entrance points at the building made it diicult to contain the blaze. FILE PHOTO

of time was wasted in trying to figure out a passage to enter the building. “The area that was affected by the fire was vast and we could not find a way to enter the building. Another challenge was getting the fire tenders near the building. On Monday we had advised all the parking lot owners to avoid parking on the service lane so that tenders could enter easily,” another firefighter said.

Cracks in building Around 40 fire tenders were pressed into action for the

Man gets life term for killing mother-in-law Property dispute reason behind crime

operation. Along with fire personnel, and the police, civil defence volunteers were also present at the spot to clear passage for fire tenders. Officials said that by the end of the rescue operation, the building had developed several cracks, because of which it has been deemed unsafe for people. “In the evening we had cordoned off the road in front of the building. We were not allowing people to cross because we were afraid that the building might crumble,” the official said.

8 arrested for stealing phones Staff Reporter

Nirnimesh Kumar New Delhi

A Delhi court has awarded life imprisonment to a man for strangulating his mother-in-law as she was opposed to his proposal to sell a 40-square-yard plot of land to meet his monetary needs at Narela in north Delhi in 2016.

Pressure over land The land was registered in the name of the wife of the accused, Avedhesh. He was the second husband of Radha, who married him after her first husband died. Radha’s first husband had purchased the land in her name. Avedhesh had been pressuring Radha to sell the land as he had been unemployed for some time, and Radha’s mother was opposed to it. Avedhesh then strangulated his mother-in-law while she was sleeping outside her daughter’s house.He was later arrested.

The local police had registered a case on a complaint by Radha. She was also examined as a prosecution witness, and stood by her police statement in the trial.

Wife’s testimony “Testimony by Radha, the motive that accused was pressuring her to transfer the plot and the deceased was a hindrance in that, he strangulated her as deposed by Radha and corroborated by the post mortem report. Thereafter, the accused absconded as deposed... and later apprehended. Keeping in view all these facts as proved by the prosecution, I hold the accused guilty and convict him for the offence punishable under Section 302 (murder) IPC,” Additional Sessions Judge V.K. Bansal said in his judgment. The judge also rejected the prosecution’s argument for death sentence saying it was not a rarest of rare case.

New Delhi

Eight persons, who are suspected to be members of an interstate gang involved in reselling stolen mobile phones after erasing IMEI numbers, were arrested here on Monday leading to the recovery of over 700 stolen high-end phones. Romil Baaniya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-east), said investigators had recovered 735 mobile phones worth ₹1.30 crore from the gang. The accused include members from different walks of life, including pick pockets and engineers. Three stolen cars and equipment and accessories used in erasing the IMEI numbers were recovered from them, the police added. The arrested were identified as Shakil Ahmed alias Saeed, Aslam, Rinku, Gaurav Mittal, Rajendra Agrawal, Khalid, Irfan and Qayyum.

















‘The truth will come out’

Putting India irst The versatile singer-composer talks about his varied musical taste and strong political beliefs ATIF KHAN

Some point finger at his political comments while others applaud him for his energetic music. In any case, singer-composer Vishal Dadlani manages to grab attention. From singing songs to making music, the 43-year-old continues to pedal on two musical traditions – one of the indie rock and other of popular Bollywood music where he had a series of hits last year. Before a concert in Gurugram, he opened up about his love for indie music, his political stand and much more. Excerpts: How do you see the present state of indie music in India? ■ The independent music scene in India is at its peak with a lot of changes in last five years with many new talent having emerged. The crowd which is showing up at various music festivals is, in itself, a testimony to its popularity. And I think it is reaching a critical mass due to creative acts and good and original song writing. I

am sure that it will reach to more people in near future as distribution pattern is changing. Does it, in any way, face competition from film music? Are your criteria for picking talent for Bollywood and independent music different? ■ No, not at all. I think they both are two different worlds which cannot compete as they both require different sort of sensibilities, I guess. As far as picking up new talent for Bollywood or indie, I keep my options open as I follow my instinct and whichever music or voice I like and if it is fitting the context, I choose it. I just hear them and if that works for me, I select them and there is no separate process of selection. I listen to every kind of music and my only criterion is the artist should be what I term a ‘complete artist’ who can write his own songs, can make legitimate music, produce it as well and who is a good performer. We still do not have a global star coming out of India... ■ If I compare to other

Pulsating music: Vishal Dadlani in performance

countries, like those in the West, there are numerous platforms for them but in India, there is a lack of infrastructure. More platforms like NEXA music lounge, where we have been given platform through music videos and live performances are needed, as there are a lot of talented musicians in India who need it. The whole world looking at India right now and music scene is changing, and with Priyanka Chopra’s success globally, I hope an international music star will emerge from India within 10 years . What kind of music did you grow up listening? How different is it building an emotional connect with newer forms like electronic music? ■ I was very fortunate that I grew up listening to every kind of music at my home, ranging from pop to classical, as we had stacks of records which were not defined by genres and Santana, Led Zeppelin and R.D. Burman were placed together in them. There was no distinction between Western or classical, and I was told that they were good music.

For building connect, whether you use music equipment like a guitar, dholak, tanpura or produce music electronically through synthesiser and sampler, at the end of the day music should come from the heart and that is what connects people. There are several kind of electronic dance music, techno music, psychedelic, trance with which people connect very deeply. So irrespective of medium, good music remains good music. Hook lines are replacing lyrics in songs these days... ■ It is not the case all the time but yes, the hook phenomenon has been

hope an < > Iinternational music star will emerge from India within 10 years


overpowering the music industry these days. But if the music is good, it will not depend on the ‘hook’ part for its success. You have been vocal on several issues on Twitter as well as other social media. As a celebrity, what are the perils for an artist to comment on political issues? ■ As a citizen, it is very important to be aware and be involved in politics and we should be vocal on certain topics to demand accountability from our politicians. It does not matter which political party you support or what are your political views. As a citizen, your duty does not complete with voting. You have to constantly remind them that we are watching them. It is very dangerous to say anything in this context right now but it was never like this before. It is extremely unfortunate that an artist is scrutinised for speaking. But if more people become vocal, things will change and I am sure that the freedom of speech is one thing that cannot be suppressed in India. You praised Aditya Thackeray for his party's performance in the recent BMC polls. Is it a signal of changing political allegiance? ■ I do not have any political allegiance. My only allegiance is towards India. I was with Aam Aadmi Party and I still support it as I love my country and I believe that they are the best option at this point of time. But anyone who does good work for the nation, will have my support, as I am open to working with BJP, Shiv Sena or any other party which is doing work for the nation and, in fact, I recently performed at a celebration which Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis organised and we were very cordial there. I do not have any grievances towards any specific political party per se but my point is the party in office should do work for the betterment of India.

Actor Kabir Bedi, a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, gives his take on the Oscar goof-up Anuj Kumar

“It was a strange mix up,” says Kabir Bedi on the Oscar blunder where La La Land was wrongly declared as the winner of the Best Motion Picture Award over Moonlight. “This shows that such things can happen at the highest level. This is an event which is planned for one full year. And with all that planning if the climax of the event has a gaffe, it means somebody goofed up big time somewhere.” There are all kinds of theories going around to find the real reason behind the faux pas. “I have no idea. The truth will come out. I am a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture (Arts and Sciences). I know it is a small community and truth always comes out. You are not even allowed to lobby for a particular film or actor. One person was, in fact, disqualified this year for calling people. So I am not trying to second guess what the truth it, but it will eventually come out.” In Delhi for a Sightsavers India event, Bedi says he was very surprised that La La Land got the best picture. His heart was beating for Hidden Figures and Moonlight . “Moonlight tells a very sensitive, human story and that’s the kind of film that the Oscar jury tends to like. But the very fact that La La Land got so many awards says to me that they should give Bollywood films much more respect than they do. Nobody does song and dance musicals better than Bollywood. Not that Bollywood and South Indian film industry don’t make realistic cinema but the way we have integrated song and dance into the narrative, it has become an art form in itself.”

Signs of the Trump era? Many feel this year’s Academy Awards reflect the beginning of the Trump era. “People have made political statements in support of diversity of American culture. The Trump era is going to have an impact on everything in America. But

A balanced view: Kabir Bedi

the fact is he is doing what his constituency has elected him to do. He is not doing anything surprising. He is finding legal ways to do things that he promised. Trump has upset many rules of the game. If somebody had said to me that a man would speak badly about Mexicans, African Americans, women and would attack the media and get elected as the President of United States, I would have said he is mad. Democratically, it seems impossible and yet 29 % of Hispanics, 57% of adult white males and 42 % of educated women voted for him. Something has changed at the ground level and Trump reflects that. Whether he is our kind of democrat or not, the fact is he has been elected democratically,” argues Bedi, known for his role in James Bond film Octopussy . Bedi points out artists have always always made political points. “I remember Marlon Brando refusing the Oscar for The Godfather and sending an American Indian actress on his behalf in protest of the treatment meted out to the native American Indian community


by the white majority in the film industry. As artists, people will stand up for diversity, for freedom of religion. However, you can expect things to be more and more political during the Trump era.” Will this amount to political pressure on the Academy? “One thing that is true of the Academy process is that it is free of political pressure. When the studios decide that they want to back a particular film, they spend a lot of money on organising screenings and creating events around that film. Those things can subconsciously affect you because as human being you are not immune to advertising. However, if a member lobbies for a film, he is named and shamed.” The awards to La La Land could also be seen as Academy’s support to escapist cinema, something Trump supporters might like. “The film was in the works long before the Trump era dawned. This amounts to reading too much ahead. The Academy will keep doing what it does best and Trump will keep doing what he does best,” sums up Bedi

High hopes

Creating a new age sound The multi-faceted Thomson Andrews talks about his band and his foray into Bollywood KAJAL GUPTA


Imbibing diferent inluences: Thomson Andrews SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Showcasing influences of two rich South Indian cultures, Thomson Andrews has made a mark in the music industry in various roles in different languages. Thomson started his career with A.R. Rahman and recently dubbed for Pritam in Raees and sung additional vocals for Rangoon . Certified by Trinity College of Music, London as a performing vocalist and trained briefly in Hindustani Classical singing by Pandit Krishna Bhat, the artist who released his debut single with his band SPUNQX describes his journey as a “blessed and learning experience”. Talking about the band, Thomson says, it happened when few of his professional musician friends and he got together to jam a few funk songs as they have common interest in music. “We have all

worked together in several Bollywood band set ups and occasionally toured together, too. We composed a few original tracks of which ‘Drink Up’ was our debut song which we dubbed in Mumbai, mixed and mastered in Berlin by Shane Gunn and shot the video showcasing Mumbai in our single. It is beautifully directed by Los Angeles-based cinematographer Stephen Shadrach. We decided the name SPUNQX as our music is funky, soulful with a spunky element of new age sounds and elements.” Thomson debut in films began with working on projects and singing for Rahman, a thought which initially overwhelmed him. “When this turned into reality, I was actually pretty calm and wasn’t nervous at all. Right from the very first time, till present, I have been blessed to have sung for the maestro on several of

his notable film projects, award shows, and even his International Album ‘Super Heavy’ as an additional vocalist. It has truly been a humbling and learning experience for me.” The recent movies Raees and Rangoon too gave an opportunity to Thomson. “Raees happened when Pritam da wanted a few of us singers to get into a studio and dub vocal parts for the background score of Raees . It was fun as usual and Dada always loves experimenting with interesting melodies and vocal arrangements.” In Rangoon, he sang additional vocals on a song sung by Rekha Bhardwaj. “I love Vishalji’s compositions and his films, hence this was yet another interesting project to be associated with. The film and music are brilliant.” Having sung in MTV Coke Studio and MTV Unplugged, Thomson finds the experience different from that of

singing in a studio. “Studio sessions are often challenging, however, the comfort of a studio and being able to correct takes and re-sing in a studio is far more feasible and possible than MTV Coke Studio and Unplugged musical projects. These have a television format wherein the songs are rehearsed and shot live and at times either pre-dubbed or post produced beyond the shoot audio, hence, giving it a room for more musical enhancements on a later stage before its final aired version. However, syncing any corrections with what and how a musical piece was shot on sets has a challenge of its own...hence both are equally fun for me.”

Pop-Funk Game for performing in different languages and genres, Thomson looks forward to several assignments this year. “My debut international Pop-Funk single, ‘I Got

Your Money’, shot and picturised in Los Angeles, is due in March. I’ve lent vocals to upcoming Bollywood projects like Jagga Jasoos . I am also working with Chennai composers on few of their songs in South Indian films post my new Tamil song ‘Un Parvaayil’ from the film Nisabdham which has received a great response from audiences and media . My Gujarati debut playback song ‘Mataji Ni Railgaadi’ from the film Bhanvar is due to release soon, too. I’ve dubbed for a few upcoming Disney international films due to release soon. I’m off to London next month to work on my debut Hindi single to be conceptualized and shot in the UK soon with some very prominent film directors from the UK.” That’s a long list. “Yes. I’m pretty nervous and excited about a lot that 2017 has in store for me,” remarks Thomson.

Tarun Tahiliani and his one time pupil Amit Aggarwal will be jointly presenting the “Fresh New Look” campaign in the finale of the Amazon India Fashion Week 2017 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on March 18. Elaborating on it Tahiliani, said, “This year, we are excited to be presenting the finale with my wonderful colleague, protégé and someone I have learnt a lot from, Amit Aggarwal. ‘Rule Every Moment’ is as fantastic an emotion or spirit, as I have ever heard.” For Amit, “Rule Every Moment” defines a go-getter woman who has freedom of expression.







Undeciphered Fates

Remembering Ghalib

Theatre Festival

Whispering Wood

Tomek and Avery

The show of book installations, voice and video by Saba Hasan reflect artist’s experiences, emotions, ideas which are expressed as intimate totems and scattered memories. Exploring the idea of truth with books as a material for the artist is much like clay or paint. Venue: Art and Aesthetic, F- 213/ A, 1st Floor, Old M B Road, Lado Sarai, , New Delhi Time: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

On the occasion of “Remembering Ghalib”, the annual programme by Delhi Government, there will be a tamsili mushaira dedicated to the poet. The participating poets include Manzar Bhopali, Aalok Srivastav, Moin Shadab, Khursheed Haider, Ranjit Chauhan, Laxmi Shankar Bajpai and Gulzar Dehlvi amoing others. Venue: India Islamic Cultural Centre, Lodhi Estate Time: 6:30 p.m.

As part of the Old World Collegiate Theatre Festival, the plays “The Audition” directed by Madhvi Mehra & Apurvah Sahay Aarzoo (Upstage, Gargi College) and Ananda Dhar James and Dasoju Sai Sanket directed “Learning To Drive” by Verbum, Sri Venkateswara College will be staged. Venue: Amphitheatre, IHC, Lodhi Road, Time: 7 p.m.

The group sculpture show brings a group of contemporary senior Delhi sculptors have come together and each artist has something unique to present through this show. Curated by Shubhika Lal, the works brings to life the lifeless log to narrate the cycle of birth and death and regeneration. Venue: Visual Arts Gallery, IHC, Lodhi Road Time: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tomasz Pajak who began studying violin at 6 and has featured in the album “Floor No.4” and Avery Waite, a Juilliard School and Oberlin Conservatory graduate, who is an active performer and composer based in India, will be performing at Piano Man Jazz Club. Venue: B 6- Commercial Complex, Safdarjung Enclave, opposite Deer Park, New Delhi Time: 9 p.m.









TECH-A-BYTE :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Flying irst class Just ten months after launching the Phantom 4, DJI has added some new tricks to its market-leading drone. But does the Pro model justify its price hike?

Souped up The Phantom 4 Pro adds more value to the already competent Phantom 4

India, third biggest source of spam About 20% of all spam emails in the fourth quarter of last year, distributed ransomware Trojans. Kaspersky Lab says the volume of spam emails in 2016 increased to 58.31% of overall email traffic, up from 3.03% in 2015. The US remained the biggest source of spam (12.08%), with second place taken by Vietnam (10.32%), and India in third (10.15%). Germany continued to be the country hit most by malicious mailshots (14.13%). Then came Japan (7.59%) and China (7.32%). According to the Global Threat Intelligence Trends report of Check Point Software Technologies, out of all recognised malware incidents globally, the percentage of ransomware attacks increased from 5.5% to 10.5% between July and December 2016. The top malware was Conficker, a worm that infects a computer and submits it to a botnet that contacts its command and control server to receive instructions. More than half the banking malware comprised HummingBad, that attacks Android devices. It installs fraudulent applications that leads to compromising of personal credentials.

S ec sheet PRICE ₹1,29,000 URL om WEIGHT 1,388g (with batterry and propellers) TOP SPEED 45mph (in Sport mode) FLIGHT TIME 30 minutes The Phantom 4 Pro gets an upgraded camera, with a mechanical shutter and enhanced dynamic range

Reliance Jio Infocomm and Uber have tied up to enable the benefits of one for the customers of the other. As part of this alliance, Uber is gradually rolling out the JioMoney payment option for its users across the country. Similarly, JioMoney users will soon be able to request and pay for Uber rides from within the JioMoney app. JioMoney and Uber will offer exclusive incentives to every user paying for Uber rides through JioMoney. Both companies feel that the partnership will not only give a boost to cashless payments for commuters, but also give more mobility options to users of Jio.

BATTERY 5870 mAh LiPo 4S RANGE 7km APP DJI GO 4 app requires iOss 9.0 / Android 4.4.0 or later KEY FEATURES Five-direction n obstacle-sensing, four-direction obstacle-avo oidance, intelligent light modes

Takeof: is easier now, with he new app handling th up pdates and diagnosis. The otors can be lock ked d into ro place with a twist


Pay for Uber using JioMoney

CAMERA Shoots 4K at 60fps, 20MP stills

DJI had a bumper year in 2016. It launched the Mavic Pro, the Inspire 2 and the Phantom 4. The Phantom 4 set a new benchmark for drone design and technology, which is why the November launch of the Phantom 4 Pro came as a shock to many. On paper, the Pro reads like a Phantom 4 on steroids — there’s an upgraded camera, added obstacle sensors and new Intelligent Flight modes — but are these features enough to steer you away from the formidable Phantom 4, the cheaper Mavic Pro, or even sway your allegiance from another brand?

Get up, get on up Getting airborne with the Phantom 4 Pro is noticeably easier than with previous DJI drones. A full controller and battery charge takes three to four hours, and you’ll need a smartphone or tablet running

Swarm style

the free DJI GO 4 app to control the in-flight features, adjust camera settings, view telemetry data (your battery life, altitude, etc) and observe the camera’s live feed. In the past, manually achieving smooth, controlled aerial movements, the kind you’d see on IMAX epics or BBC nature docs, has been tricky, but the Pro moves through the air like it’s fixed to rails, producing no obvious .................................................... ....................................................

The Pro now has eyes in the back of its head, thanks to dual rear-vision cameras

turbulence on-screen. Even in windier test conditions and accelerating to the drone’s 72.4kmph top speed, our image remained poker straight. The gimbal-mounted shooter has been redesigned to house a one-inch, 20MP sensor with a mechanical shutter, which bids farewell to the rolling shutter distortion that blighted older models. A tricked-out video processing system enables the camera to snap 4K video at 60fps, and at a whopping 100Mbps bitrate. The result is some of the finest high-res slow-mo footage we’ve ever shot with an ‘off the shelf ’ drone. And if your aerial footage has ever suffered from unwanted noise in low light, 12 stops of dynamic range means the camera produces better quality footage in darker conditions. Elsewhere, the new 5870mAh High Capacity Intelligent Flight battery boasts 30 minutes of flight time, an improvement on most commercially-available


All-seeing eye While it may look much the same as the Phantom 4, the Pro now has eyes in the back of its head, thanks to dual rear-vision cameras (in addition to the dual front and downward-facing cameras of the 4), plus right and left infrared sensors that 3D map the surrounding environment in real time. Testing the obstacle-sensing system on a ₹1,29,000 gadget was always going to require courage. We started by flying (with some trepidation) towards a stone wall. Sure enough, the on-screen obstacle alerts and frantic heart monitor-style beeps kicked in, with the drone coming to a self-assured stop about a metre from the wall. The rear sensors proved just as effective with the drone in reverse, and even a skeletal five-bar gate couldn’t outfox the all-seeing tech. While the confidence boost is welcome, it’s important to note that the obstacle-sensing features don’t work in every

setting etting (in Sport Mode, for instance), so understanding the connotations of each flying mode is advisable. It’s still possible to crash.

Lady Gaga’s half-time performance at this year’s Super Bowl was accompanied by 300 Intel Shooting Star drones flying in synchronisation

Choose your mode The Phantom 4 introduced new Intelligent Flight modes loaded with automated trickery to help pilots achieve pro results. There are even more options to choose from here. In ActiveTrack mode, the pilot draws a box around a moving object on-screen and the camera locks onto it. Another feature from the 4, TapFly sends the drone to whichever point is tapped on the smart device screen. Gesture mode is a non-essential yet fun feature. Gesture at the camera and it will take a still without any controller input. Draw mode became an instant favourite. Simply take the drone to your desired altitude, draw a flight path onscreen with your finger, select the cruising speed and hit Go. The Phantom flies precisely along that path, avoiding obstacles as it goes, maintain-

ing altitude. All positive then? Not quite. When delving into modes and settings, the DJI GO app can feel confusing and overcrowded, particularly on our 4.7inch iPhone 7 screen. The Phantom 4 Pro+ model offers a controller with a built-in 5.5inch, 1080p CrystalSky screen. It’s a nice touch if you can afford to shell out more, but it’s not a deal breaker. The Phantom 4 was best in show before this pedigree drone turned up. So, do the upgrades justify stepping up to the Pro or investing in one as your first drone? If you already own a Phantom 4, no — it’s still a formidable bit of kit with plenty of life left in it. But if you have the budget, and you’re in the market for a futureproof drone centred around a formidable camera and powerful processing technology, the Pro should be at the top of your list.



For Honor: loud, brutal and loads of fun Go medieval with a well-developed game that allows players to become historical soldiers, knights, samurai, and even Vikings Microsoft launches Skype Lite for India Microsoft has introduced Skype Lite, a variant of its popular video and voice calling app, that has been optimised for low bandwidth and shaky internet connectivity. Weighing just 13MB, it consumes less battery, and runs smoothly on even old Android devices. There is also an option of reduced data usage mode for video calls. This has been built specially for India, with a choice of local languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. In June this year, Microsoft plans to bring in Aadhaar linkage, wherein users can use the 12-digit identification number to establish their personal credentials.

Google Messenger now has a new name In November 2014, Google came out with a standalone messaging app for Android devices, called Google Messenger. (It’s different from the chat app Hangouts.) The Messenger, which began coming embedded in devices running on Android Lollipop, soon became quite popular for its elegant looks and material design. Now the app has undergone a name change. It’s now called Android Messenger on the Google Play store. Though it’s now only merely a name change, the grapevine has it that there could be more in store. CM YK


PUBLISHER: Ubisoft, ₹3,499 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One DEVELOPER: Ubisoft Montreal, Annecy, Toronto, Quebec, Red Storm Entertainment


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Several game developers have tried to capture the ferocity and technicality of melee combat with varying results. Oftentimes, this has meant devolving the experience into a simple button masher with dodge mechanics. Enter Ubisoft who have decided to venture into the arena, weapons raised high — with For Honor, a game that’s unlike any other.

What’s it about? You follow three warring races fighting over resources after a natural disaster, which is a fantastic all-round excuse for war, bringing them face-toface on the same land. You can be sure that they didn’t hold hands and sing Kumbaiya. Especially since the three races are the fearsome vikings, knights and samurai, known here as the Warborn, Legion and Chosen, respectively. At its heart, the game is designed for a multi-player experience, but For Honor has an action-packed single-player campaign too. It’s where you play as each one of these races as they skirmish with each other with an overarching story. The single-player mode is a fantastic way to get that much-needed practice of the battle system. Find the heroes

All about the battle: A screenshot from For Honor

you like playing with and then go online and get medieval.

How does it play? Played from a third-person view, the game is part brawler and part tactical action game. The fighting system is the real star of the show here. A brutal and technical beast, it’s easy to grasp but very tough to master, especially when you ...................................................... ......................................................

The single-player mode is a fantastic way to get that much-needed practice of the battle system


delve deeper. You can play as several heroes split into classes ranging from warriors, to assassins and berserkers. The single-player option lets you switch between heroes as an introduction, while the multi-player option has their own heroes for each race, which you can pick and level up. The battle system consists of a directional guard and parry system, where you need to figure out where the enemy is attacking from. Then follow up with an attack. Your opponent will be doing the same. While this sounds a bit like rinse and repeat, it’s not. There are variations to the attack, light and heavy, along

with guard breaks and combos. At face value, think of the system like any tool, pencil or paintbrush. In the right hands, it’s poetry in motion, as your hero glides around the battlefield, slicing and dicing others. In the multi-player duel modes, the one-on-one battles are exhilarating, with things ramping up in the two-versustwo duels and four-versus-four dominion. And you have to use everything to your advantage. While disconnections and long wait times are expected in the initial days of a multiplayer title, what was a bit of a letdown was the grind needed

for unlocks. For Honor is very stingy with money and experiences. It’s especially annoying if you’ve invested a lot into one hero and want to explore another; it’s the long slog all over again to earn enough. Graphics-wise, this is one of the best-looking games out there. Every hero has been rendered in glorious detail — from furs to the detail on their armour. Each piece of armour is designed with the aesthetics of each race. That also includes the animations for fighting styles and the gorgeous environments. The cherry on top of this cake is the sound design, which is loud and brutal.

Should you get it? If you want to fight with oldschool weapons and want a deep system to dive into, For Honor is for you. Be warned though, as this writer has learned the hard way, there are some very good people out there, so prepare to taste blood while you learn the system and spend time with your hero. Andre Rodrigues is a product designer frequently found playing games with his daughter ND-ND

28-02-2017 - THE HINDU - SHASHI THAKUR - Link 2.pdf ...

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