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saturday, april 29, 2017

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Dhingra Commission report leak was selective, says Congress

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades meets PM Modi, signs four pacts

Time to privatise weak public sector banks, says RBI’s Viral Acharya

India all set to play in Champions Trophy in England, beginning June 1

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Co im bato r e


B en g a lu ru


H y d er a b a d


Ma du ra i


N oida


Vi sak ha pat na m


T hiru va na nt ha pu ra m


Ko c hi


V i j ayawada


Ma n g a luru

SC ofers to set the stage for peace talks in Kashmir


Tata-Docomo deal gets court nod

Centre puts its foot down, says it won’t talk to separatists or withdraw forces


Krishnadas Rajagopal

The Delhi High Court declared as “enforceable in India” the Arbitral Award of $1.18 billion to be paid by Tata Sons to its erstwhile Japanese telecom partner NTT Docomo Inc.



Congress needs to introspect, says Naidu CHANDIGARH

Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was here on Friday, has advised the Congress to introspect about the reason behind its recent performance. NORTH 쑺 PAGE 3 DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Dry days The third of the sevenpart series on water scarcity in south Indian States examines the plight of animals in forested areas, struggling to survive due to thirst, even as forest oicials are doing their best to help.


Even as the Supreme Court offered to set the stage for peace talks between influential voices in Kashmir and the Centre to facilitate the return of normality to the Valley, the government put its foot down, saying it will not break bread with secessionist forces and cannot brook the risk of withdrawing security forces from the sensitive border State. Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar on Friday, Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi said the government cannot negotiate with separatists. The Centre said it would “absolutely” not entertain any talks of azadi with these leaders. “If you suggest secession, chances for talks are finished. Nothing will happen. But if your suggestions are something within the framework of the Constitution, then we can help,” Chief Justice Khehar addressed petitioners, including the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association. Mr. Rohatgi read portions of submissions filed in court by petitioners, suggesting the route to peace in Kashmir would be for talks between India and Pakistan. He pointed to how the petitioners felt that even the accession of

Army camp attack: Hunt on for ultra Peerzada Ashiq Srinagar

Unending protests: Youth throw stones at security personnel in Srinagar on Friday. AP *

Jammu and Kashmir was “controversial.” “Our heart beats for the people of Kashmir. We strongly object to their argument that the entire State is subjected to state terrorism. Can they say that the election held recently was rigged?” Mr. Rohatgi asked. He said the Kashmiri leaders were free to engage in talks with the CM and the PM. “Anyway, dialogues must be initiated through political leaders and not in this court,” Mr. Rohatgi submitted. The Bench, also comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud

Section 144 was imposed in Kupwara on Friday to ward off protests over the death of Muhammad Yousuf Bhat (75), a civilian, in Thursday’s protests that followed the attack on an Army camp in Panzgam. Three Army personnel, including a Captain, and two militants were killed in the attack. The civilian was killed when security forces opened fire on villagers demanding that the bodies of the militants be handed over to them for last rites. The Army continued combing operations in villages and jungles nearby to locate the third militant who allegedly escaped from the site early on Thursday. “The operation is on to locate the terrorist. We searched a few areas on Thursday,” Srinagar-based spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia told The Hindu.


T i ru c hi r a pa ll i


Kol k ata


H u bb a ll i


M oha li


A ll a h a ba d


Ma l a ppu r a m


M u mb a i

Government takes steps to make air and rail travel easier

Flying to become Train tickets on demand by 2020 paperless soon Special Correspondent

Special Correspondent



The Government is working on a DigiYatra plan to allow paperless travel for air passengers, including digital boarding passes at airports, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said here on Friday. The Centre is looking to make either Aadhaar or passport mandatory to book air tickets so that passengers needn’t carry a printout of the ticket or document proof while entering the airport. “We are working on a very exciting initiative – DigiYatra – where an appropriate identification proof will be associated with your PNR number, whether its Aadhaar or passport, and you will be securely identified so that no documents Jayant Sinha are needed,” he said at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s annual session 2017 here.

Indian Railways will offer train ticket reservation to passengers on demand on all trains by 2020, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Friday. He said providing confirmed tickets on demand will be possible once the existing railway network capacity freed up for passengers by opening up dedicated freight corridor (DFC) by 2019 and increasing the capacity on existing routes. “Over the decades, the freight traffic has gone up by 1,344%, passenger traffic increased by 1,642% but the route per kilometre has increased only by 23%,” Mr. Prabhu said, at the Confederation of Indian Industry Annual Suresh Prabhu Session 2017-18 organised here. “The only way we can address this issue is by augmenting the capacity.”


Probe ordered Meanwhile, an inquiry has been ordered into the killing of the civilian.

Discussions held He said a Digital Working Group has held several rounds of discussions on digital travel experience for air passengers. “You could basically start from where you are beginning your travel to where you are going to end your travel,” he said, adding passengers will soon be able to book taxi, make epayments and get digital boarding pass through mobile phones. The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Hyderabad had started a pilot project in 2015 allowing passengers to enter Aadhaar number at kiosks set up at one of the entry gates. The Hyderabad airport plans to implement it soon at all the entry gates. Similarly, Mumbai and Bengaluru airports had also shown interest in introducing biometric screening at airport entry gates.

Track doubling “We have put in investments worth ₹8.5 lakh crore in high density network. We are happy to say that 16,500 km of doubling [of railway line] has been sanctioned in the last two-and-a-half years as opposed to about 20,000 km in the last 70-75 years. So when these projects will be completed, there will be capacity augmentation, and we can handle more passengers.” The Minister said that two-third of the tracks handle passenger traffic which account for one-third of the revenues whereas the freight, which accounts for two-third revenues, is given the least priority. “So, when the DFC comes up, major trunk routes will operate on DFC so that other tracks are freed for passenger traffic,” Mr. Prabhu said.





and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said that for peace to return to Kashmir, students should first stop throwing stones at security forces on the streets and return to colleges and schools. Education is empowerment and only education will deliver them from the widespread unemployment and anger spilling out on the streets, Justice Kaul observed orally. CONG. SLAMS CENTRE 쑺 PAGE 8

ED case against Trinamool leaders

Now, Karnan ‘bans’ travel of SC judges

MPs to be questioned in Narada case

Adjourns their case to Monday


Stormy capital

Staff Reporter Special Correspondent


New Delhi/ Kolkata

Calcutta High Court judge C.S. Karnan on Friday deferred the hearing of his case against seven Supreme Court judges, including Chief Justice of India J.S. Kehar, who had issued a contempt order against him. Justice Karnan also directed the Air Control Authority, New Delhi, “not to permit the said accused” to travel abroad till the case is disposed of, since their “offence” involves caste discrimination.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case in connection with the Narada “sting operation”, in which 12 Trinamool Congress leaders were purportedly seen taking bribes. The money laundering probe has been launched on the basis of an FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation, following directions from the Calcutta High Court to ascertain the truth behind the allegations. Among those named in the case are Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy, Lok Sabha MPs Saugata Roy, Sultan Ahmed, Aparupa Poddar, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and others.

Videos made public The videos, which were prepared over a period of two years according to the website owner, were made public ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections last year. According to ED sources, its probe will mainly focus on the “proceeds of crime”

A visual grab of the Narada sting operation. *

in the case and summons may be issued soon to the accused for interrogation. Alleging political vendetta, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee had alleged that the CBI was acting at the behest of the Central government to target its leaders.

MPs charge-sheeted Meanwhile, the CBI has named Trinamool MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Paul in its charge sheet in the Rose Valley chit fund case. The investigators submitted the charge sheet at a special CBI court in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

Summons to ‘accused’ Earlier this month, he had directed the judges to appear before him on Friday. “Today the above mentioned accused 1 to 8 are called absent hence their matter is re-posted to 01. 05. 2017 [Monday] to enable their reappearance. In the meantime, this court directs the Air Control Authority [referring to the Airports Authority of India] New Delhi, not to permit the said accused 1 to 8 from going abroad until the disposal of

Justice C.S. Karnan this crucial issue, since the nature of the offence, that is caste discrimination, is not only a heinous crime but also a very cruel Atrocious Act of heinous crime, and is punishable as per the Constitution,” Justice Karnan stated in the order. He included an eighth judge in his new order. Elaborating on the reason for not allowing the judges to travel abroad, Justice Karnan said if “the accused are permitted to travel abroad, there is the probability of the virus of caste discrimination spreading in the said country by such perpetrators.” CONTINUED ON 쑺 PAGE 8

Smart ‘pebbles’ to monitor air, water Low-cost, low-power sensors will be ready within the next three years New Delhi

Soon, the ₹18,000-crore Ganga river-cleaning project may be monitored by tiny low-cost, low-power sensors that assess water quality. Similar devices could monitor a range of variables, from bacterial levels in a river to heavy metal concentration in the atmosphere. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, said that about 40 proposals to make the sensors had come in, and two would be shortlisted within the next CM YK

People protect themselves from pollution in New Delhi. *


month. Intel, which will make the chips powering the devices, and the DST would split the ₹35 crore investment. “Pebbles are an

analogy; they could be any shape,” Mr. Sharma said. “The main criteria is that they be cheap and hardy.” The sensors will need to work for at least a year, getting power from solar, wind, flowing water, wave motion and mechanical vibrations. “We expect them to be ready within the next three years.” Mr. Sharma says the devices would complement important missions by serving critical real-time data for pre- and posttreatment analysis. Similar devices have been used to monitor the health of oil


Court asks man, his sons to vacate mother’s house

Purohit moves SC for bail

‘No inirmity, illegality in the order passed by the trial court’

Legal Correspondent

Press Trust of India New Delhi


Jacob Koshy

Running helter-skelter: A disabled man is caught in a dust storm in New Delhi on Friday while cows and a stray dog run for cover. A mild drizzle followed, providing residents of the national capital some relief from the scorching heat. SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA.

wells. “Because the purpose is that they be cheap we hope the resulting technology would be able to manufacture them in the thousands.” The sensors will be available to researchers working on projects that require environmental monitoring, and Intel would be able to test the longevity and sturdiness of their newly-developed chips. Officials said they hope the sensors will birth new technologies and find applications beyond monitoring the environment.

A man and his three sons, accused of cruelly treating his aged mother, have been asked to leave her house in south Delhi with a court here saying just because she visits her other sons from time to time does not take away her right to peaceful residence.

Claim rejected The court passed the order while dismissing the appeal of the four men, accused in the domestic violence case lodged by the mother, against a magisterial court’s last year order directing them to vacate the property in Aya Nagar. Additional Sessions Judge Vrinda Kumari rejected the claim of her son and grandsons that they had a right on the property as the woman used to live in the house of her other sons. “Merely because the aggrieved mother visits and resides with her other sons

because the < > Merely mother visits and resides with her other sons from time to time, it does not take away her right to peacefully reside at the said property Vrinda Kumari Additional Sessions Judge

from time to time, it does not take away her right to peacefully reside at the Aya Nagar property,” the judge said. “The court does not find any infirmity and illegality in the impugned order passed by the trial court. The appellants (son and grandsons) shall remove themselves from the shared household in Aya Nagar. The revision petition stands dismissed,” the judge said.

Deny allegations The son and the grandsons had denied the allegations levelled against them while

contending that the woman had wrongfully claimed ownership on the property. The woman had lodged a complaint under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (PWDV) Act against her son and three grandsons, who were directed by a magisterial court to vacate her house and compensate her. The mother had contended that her son had requested her in 2014 to let him stay at her residence along with his family on the pretext that his shanty in R K Puram here was being demolished by the government.

‘Pushed and punched’ She had contended that she had acquired the house in June 2009 and had shifted there. In the complaint, she had alleged that on September 15, 2014, she was pushed and punched by her drunk grandsons who also tried to choke her.

New Delhi

Malegaon blast case accused Shrikant Purohit on Friday approached the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court order denying him bail. Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar said the bail matter would come up in due course.

Bail to Sadhvi The Bombay High Court had on April 25 granted bail to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, accused of plotting the September 2008 Malegaon blast, but rejected the bail plea of Mr. Purohit, saying his charges were grave. The High Court had refused to accept Mr. Purohit’s contention that he had attended the meetings as part of a “covert military intelligence operation.” Mr. Purohit had argued that the NIA, which probed the case, was “selective” in exonerating some accused persons and that the agency made him a “scapegoat” in the case. A ND-ND









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Maoists kill 2 tribals; security Death toll in Hooghly jetty collapse reaches 13 forces destroy two camps 15 men dragged the victims out of their homes and shot them from close range

Seven more bodies recovered; eight still missing Staff Reporter

Gundubaru village, which resulted in an exchange of fire. Taking advantage of the hilly jungle terrain and darkness, the naxalities managed to escape. From the camp, security personnel seized 50 kg of explosive ammonium nitrate, 50 detonators, one magazine of INSAS rifle, medicines and other items of day to day use. The seizure of a large quantity of explosive chemical hinted that the ultras were planning some major blast.

Staff Reporter BERHAMPUR

BJD forms trade union Press Trust of India Bhubaneswar

The ruling Biju Janata Dal on Friday formed its own trade union named “Biju Shramik Samukhya”. Senior leader and former MLA Rajendra Prasad Singh was appointed its first president.

Other office-bearers Senior MLA and former Minister Prafulla Samal and Subas Singh have been appointed working president and general secretary respectively, BJD vice-president and spokesman S. N. Patro said. BJD leaders Anup Sai, Lalit Nayak, Baidyanath Das, Ananta Narayan Jena, Panchanan Senapati, Gokul Meher, Amrut Das and Dilip Kumar Kar have been appointed vice-presidents of the trade union.

Maoists killed two tribals in Malkangiri district on Thursday midnight, while security forces destroyed their camps in Rayagada and Kandhamal districts following exchanges of fire on Friday. According to reports, Maoists shot dead Bisu Kirsani and Ram Padiami of Sudhakanda village, alleging that they were police informers. Around 15 armed Naxalites reached the village around midnight, dragged the victims out from their homes and shot them from close range. They also took away two mobile phones belonging to Kirsani from his son. Police sources claimed that both the victims were poor tribals and had no links with the police. Their murder was nothing but cold blooded killing to terrorise the tribals living in the remote areas, they said.

Camps unearthed Security forces unearthed two secret Maoist camps in Rayagada and Kandhamal

districts, which led to exchanges of fire. According to Rayagada Superintendent of Police K. Siva Subramani, basing on intelligence report about the presence of a group of Maoists inside the Samjhola reserve forest, an anti-Maoist operation was

Funds allotted for ire victims Press Trust of India Sambalpur (Odisha)

The Odisha government has sanctioned ₹21.30 lakh for vendors of Golebazar area here, whose shops were damaged in a fire on April 4.

213 vendors affected “The district administration of Sambalpur had written to

the Chief Minister requesting financial assistance for the vendors. A list of 213 affected vendors was also submitted. The fund has now been sanctioned,” said District Emergency Officer Sanjeev Pujari. He said ₹10,000 will be given to each vendor, who had incurred loss in the incident.

launched on Thursday evening. Personnel of the Special Operation Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force (DVF) were involved in the operation. Around 5 a.m. on Friday, security personnel stumbled upon a Maoist camp near

Gun recovered In Kandhamal district, an anti-Maoist operation by personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force and the DVF inside the Jajaspanga forest led to an exchange of fire with the ultras around 10 a.m. The exchange of fire continued for about 30 minutes but the naxalites managed to escape, said Kandhamal SP Pinak Mishra. According to him, one country-made gun and some materials were seized from the spot. Anti-Maoist operation has been intensified in the area to track down the Maoists who escaped.

Mother, daughter hacked to death over ‘witchcraft’ Staff Reporter BHUBANESWAR

A woman and her daughter were hacked to death while her husband and son have been admitted to a hospital after a villager attacked them with an axe in Odisha’s Keonjhar district on Thursday night. The accused alleged that the family was practising witchcraft. The incident took place in Sirigoda village. Shortly after midnight of Thursday,

when Kalabati and her daughter Seema were in deep sleep, Niku Sahoo attacked them with an axe. Father Bhuban Dalanayak and son Bijay, too, could not escape the wrath of the accused. “The accused had issued threats on several occasions in the past. When we were sleeping, he hacked us with an axe,” said Bijay. The police arrested Sahoo and seized the weapon.


With the recovery of seven more bodies from the Hooghly river, the death toll in the jetty collapse at Bhadreswar in Hooghly district has gone up to 13. “The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) recovered the bodies today [Friday] morning,” Superintendent of Police, Hooghly, Sukesh Jain told The Hindu. He said six bodies had been recovered till Thursday.

Eight persons are still missing. The incident took place on Wednesday when one of the pillars of the jetty broke during high tide. At that time, passengers were waiting at the jetty to cross the river and reach Shyamnagar in North 24 Parganas district.

Four arrested So far the police have arrested four persons and the SP said raids were going on to

find out if there were others involved in the incident. According to the police, NDRF personnel, who are carrying out search and rescue operations, have pressed 20 speed boats into service. “Most of the bodies recovered so far have been found within four-five km of the Telenipara area in Bhadreswar where the incident took place,” an official of the Telenipara police outpost said.

600 students back in Tripura schools

Educationist Dilip Kumar Barua dead

Drive to raise enrolment rate

Press Trust of India

Syed Sajjad Ali Agartala

As many as 596 drop-outs were readmitted to schools in Tripura during a four-day campaign carried out under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). According to the School Education Department, the students had dropped out after Class VIII/IX owing to family reasons.

Special coaching They were, however, readmitted to schools, where special coaching was arranged for them. The campaign was carried out from April 17 to 20 in all eight districts of the State. Officials said they had identified a total of 3,385 drop-outs aged between 14 and 18 before conducting the campaign. RMSA was launched by the Centre in 2009 with a vision to raise enrolment rate in the country to 90% at the secondary level and 75%

at the higher-secondary level. Tripura has an alarming school drop-out rate, which increases during times of tribal insurgency. Scores of schools, especially in the hills, become non-functional then. The education sector, however, has seen a revamp in the last 10 years with the provision of better security. A recent study revealed that a majority of school drop-outs in the State were girls. Tripura Human Rights Commission Chairperson Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta attributed this trend to lack of toilets in many public schools.

Counselling done Officials, however, said they were counselling drop-outs to encourage them to return to school. Many sports and recreation programmes for students as well as teacher training workshops are also held as part of the RMSA.


Noted educationist, economist, litterateur and quizmaster Dilip Kumar Barua died here on Friday after a brief illness, his family sources said. Mr Barua (73) was the principal of Cotton College here, Northeast’s premier institution, in 2000 and was the principal of Haflong Government College in 2001. An alumnus of the Delhi School of Economics, he had joined as faculty in the college’s economics department in 1966. Mr Barua had also served as joint director of Assam Administrative College from 1989 to 1992 and was also a member of the Assam Planning Board and the second State Finance Commission (2001-2006). He served as a consultant in State-level studies besides being a member in Independent Public Committee for evaluating the management and implementation of solid waste management in Guwahati.

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Notice to Ganga after getting human status

Music to de-stress patients

Cong needs to introspect, shun negative politics: Naidu

Staff reporter

Says Kejriwal's allegations against EVMS are 'cheap publicity'


Anant Singh gets bail, but will stay in jail

Explain why land was given for construction: High Court Press Trust of India



Independent MLA Anant Singh was on Friday granted bail by a local court in a case charging him with making derogatory and casteist remarks against the then Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi two years ago. Mr. Singh, however, cannot come out of jail for now as he is facing other cases as well.PTI

After being accorded human status recently, the Ganga river received its first legal notice from the Uttarakhand High Court on Friday asking it to explain why its land was given for construction of a trenching ground. The notice was issued by a Division Bench comprising Justice V.K. Bisht and Justice Alok Singh on a PIL filed by a Rishikesh resident Swaroop Singh Pundir.

New Haryana CIC takes oath CHANDIGARH

Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki on Friday administered oath to new Chief Information Commissioner Yash Pal Singal and State Information Commissioner Narender Yadav at the Raj Bhawan here. Mr.Singal is an IPS officer of the 1983 batch. He was awarded the Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 2001 and President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Services in 2010. He also served as the chief of the Haryana Police. PTI

Violation of law The Public Interest Litigation said a trenching ground is being constructed in village Khadri Khadag close to the banks of the holy river in gross violation of law. Mr. Pundir claimed that the gram panchayat concerned allotted the land to the local civic body without consulting the villagers several years ago. Next hearing Issuing notice to the Ganga, the Union government, Central Pollution Control Board,

State pollution control board and the Rishikesh municipality, the court directed the respondents to file a reply before May 8 when the matter is slated for next hearing. Officials made custodians of the Ganga when it was granted human status by the high court, including the chief secretary, the advocategeneral and the director of the Namami Gange project will respond to the legal notice on behalf of the river.

The Uttarakhand High Court had earlier this year accorded the status of “living human entities” to the Ganga and Yamuna rivers to help in their “preservation and conservation“.

Sacred but polluted Bestowing human status on the sacred but highly polluted rivers would, according to the court’s order, amount to harming a human being.

NGT surprised over plea transfer Press Trust of India New Delhi

The NGT on Friday expressed surprise after being informed that a 23-year-old PIL on pollution in the Yamuna has been transferred to it and on which it had passed an order two years ago. “Has the Supreme Court transferred the Yamuna matter to us?

But, we have already passed a detailed judgement on the river way back in 2015. This is the problem with you (lawyers) people. “Why didn’t you inform the Lordships about this? You people also like to play ping— pong here and there,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The Meerut district hospital has introduced music to de-stress its patients. According to hospital authorities, soft music is being used in the dialysis unit on an experiment basis. Medical Superintendent P.K. Bansal said: “We have introduced music in the dialysis unit. This is an experiment. Dialysis goes on for about four to five hours. During this period, the patient is alone. Music will ensure that patient does not feel alone.” Bhanu Pratap Singh Kalyani, a senior doctor at the hospital, said music works to counter depression and tension. “Music works to destress the human mind. It works like a sportive therapy which is an antidote to psychological problems,” Dr. Kalyani said. He claimed that while the idea of using music to de-stress patients was nothing new, but the implementation may be novel. The dialysis centre is being run by the State government in collaboration with Heritage Hospitals Limited, Varanasi.

Vikas Vasudeva Chandigarh

Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was here on Friday, has advised the Congress to introspect about the reason behind its recent performance. Talking to journalists, the Union Minister also asked the Congress to shun negative politics. He was here to review the progress of schemes related to the Union Ministry of Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation. “Congress needs to introspect as to why its popularity and acceptance is falling while that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is rising. Congress and other parties should understand the mood of the people. The mood of the nation is ‘let’s go with Modi’ because people see an able leader and stable government. Instead of doing negative and destructive politics they (Opposition) should indulge in constructive politics, which will help the country,” said

Making a point: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu addressing media persons in Chandigarh on Friday. Haryana CM Manohar Lal was also present. AKHILESH KUMAR *

Mr. Naidu. Hitting out at Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal over his allegations regarding tampering of electronic voting machines (EVM) in the recently-concluded Delhi municipal corporation elections, Mr. Naidu said, “His (Mr. Kejriwal) allegation is aimed at cheap publicity for himself and nothing beyond that.” He added that the country was witnessing a new environment of aspiration and development. “Our government incentivises perform-

ance, competition and reforms, which will take the country to newer heights,” said the Union Minister.

Flays rights activists Mr. Naidu also hit out at human rights activists, saying, “They [human rights activists] raise a hue and cry when extremists are killed. Why are they silent now? Where have they vanished?” he asked. Talking about Kashmir, he asked all political parties to come together and isolate separatists.

Indira canal repairs to cost ₹3,291 crore EDUCATIONAL Special Correspondent JAIPUR

The Rajasthan government has cleared a proposal to seek a loan from the New Development Bank (NDB) for the renovation and restoration of the Indira Gandhi canal. The main waterway and feeder network of the canal, which has been in operation for the past 55 years, have suffered damage and developed cracks.

Water-carrying capacity Renovation work will be taken up at a cost of ₹3,291 crore to improve the canal's water-carrying capacity, which has reduced from 18,500 cusec to 11,500 cusec. The State Cabinet cleared the loan proposal on Thursday in a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Public Works Department Minister Yunus Khan said the canal was long overdue for repairs and relining, and reclamation of 7,000 hectares of water-logged land. To benefit farmers The loan from NDB will be taken under the Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project in Desert Area. The repairs, to be completed in two years, will benefit farmers in Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh districts, where huge tracts of land have become uncultivable due to water logging. In another major decision, the Cabinet has decided to relax the two-child norm for government employees, making them eligible for assured career progression after completion of three years since their appointment instead of the earlier condition of five years. New provision Mr. Khan said the State Civil Service Rules would be amended to give relief to the government employees having more than two children. The new provision will apply to employees having more than two children after June 1, 2002. The Cabinet also decided to amend the Rajasthan Education Subordinate Service Rules, 1971, to relax the years of experience required for transfer of grade-three teachers from Panchayati Raj Department to the Secondary Education Department. With the required experience reduced from five years to three years, about 42,200 posts lying vacant will be filled.




DEATH V. PARAMESWARAN, 75, (LIC− Retd.), attained moksham on 20.04.2017 at Kottoorpuram, Chennai.








Look beyond electoral gains, Mirwaiz tells BJP


Rain likely in Punjab, Haryana over next 2 days

Staff Reporter Peerzada Ashiq

Hot weather conditions persisted in most parts of Punjab and Haryana even as the MeT department said that rain or thundershowers may occur in the region over the next two days. Patiala was the hottest place in the region on Friday at 39.5 degrees Celsius. Several places recorded the maximum temperature near the 40-degree mark, including Hisar, which had a high of 39.2 degrees Celsius and Ludhiana at 38.9 degrees Celsius. PTI



Seven people of a family, including two children and three women, were killed on Friday when a speeding container hit a car near Kalothara crossing here, the police said. The victims were returning from Gujarat to Bhind (MP) after attending a marriage. “Seven persons travelling in a SUV were killed near Kalothara crossing when it was hit by a container. The incident occurred 40 km from the district headquarters on Agra-Bombay Road (AB Road),” said the police. PTI

Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday asked the Bharatiya Janata Party to “look beyond the electoral dividends” and “behave as a genuine democracy” to bring genuine peace in Jammu and Kashmir. Speaking at the historic Jamia Masjid after seven weeks, the Mirwaiz described the current unrest in the Valley as “spontaneous.” “It is time the leadership of India recognises this fact and confronts the reality in an imaginative way,” the Mirwaiz said. The “spontaneous mass student protests and agitation,” according to the Mirwaiz, is an outcome of “shrinking of all space for freedom of expression.” “Students hitting the streets was imminent. The authorities have to change

Fresh call: Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq inside the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on Friday. NISSAR AHMAD *

the prohibitory mindset and allow students to reclaim their space for activism in colleges and universities,” the Mirwaiz said.

‘Want death dance to stop’ He said the people of Kashmir “do not want the death of Indian soldiers but they want the death dance to stop.”

“To end the bloodshed in Kashmir and establish real peace, India has to behave as a mature democracy. It has to seriously and sincerely engage with the people of Kashmir, taking into account their political will and aspirations and start a process of engagement with Pakistan, which is a party to the dispute,” the


A suspected drug dealer from Nagaland was arrested with over four kg of opium during a joint operation by a team of the Army and the police in Assam’s East Karbi Anglong district, the police said on Friday. Acting on a tip-off, the securiy forces launched a joint operation in Khatkati area of the district and arrested the 27-year-old drug dealer on Thursday night. A bag containing 4.02 kg of opium worth ₹3.6 lakh was seized from him, the police said. PTI


Mirwaiz said. The National Conference on Friday expressed disappointment over the Centre’s decision of not holding any talks with separatists in Kashmir. Referring to the Advocate General of India’s stand in the Supreme Court, NC spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu said, “This was another clear and humiliating snub to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who shamelessly continues to sell her apologetic meetings with the Prime Minister as alleged achievements.” He said the Advocate General had made the Centre’s stand very clear that “they will not talk to separatists, neither now nor in the future.” The NC spokesperson wanted to know why Ms. Mufti had not resigned, which she had threatened to if the Centre does not start talks with the Hurriyat.

Leaders of political parties, activists of social organisations and some retired officials of Ganjam district joined the BJP on Friday during the visit of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to Berhampur. A special function, ‘Mishran Parva’, was organised to announce their entry into the BJP. Key political leaders of Ganjam who joined the BJP included district youth BJD president Ranjan Polai and Manoranjan Dyan Smanatray, who was the Congress candidate from Chikiti in the last Assembly polls. Former Congress corporators of Berhampur Municipal Corporation Pradeep Satpathy and Kavisuryanagar block president of the Congress Badrinarayan Panda also joined the BJP. Mr. Pradhan was in the city for a darshan of goddess

Safron touch: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan (centre) at the ‘Mishran Parv’ on Friday. LINGARAJ PANDA *

Budhi Thakurani, the reigning deity of Berhampur, at the ongoing Thakurani Jatra festival.

Odisha CM”s visit due Odisha Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik is also due to visit Berhampur for a darshan of the deity. “During his 17 years of rule, Mr. Patnaik never wished to come over to Berhampur for the Thakurani Jatra, although Ganjam hap-

pens to be his home district. His recent decision seems to be fallout of the rise of the BJP among the common masses and the decision of Mr. Pradhan to attend the Thakurani Jatra,” said Ganjam district BJP president Kanhu Charan Pati. According to senior BJP leaders, national president Amit Shah is expected to start his ‘Mission Odisha’ from Ganjam, the home district of Mr. Patnaik.

Let of in IPL scam, man seeks exchange of ₹5.5 lakh

Dalit groom thrashed for riding mare

S. Sreesanth’s accomplice seeks direction for demonetised noted seized from him in 2013 to be exchanged

4 booked for attacking man in Udaipur


Legal Correspondent

released on February 1 , 2017.

New Delhi

Drug dealer arrested with opium in Assam

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan welcomes members

Hurriyat chairman says Centre needs to ‘behave as mature, genuine democracy’


Madhya Pradesh: 7 of family killed in accident

BJD, Congress leaders join BJP in Berhampur

A man, who was discharged along with former Indian cricketer S Sreesanth in the 2013 IPL spot fixing scandal, moved the Supreme Court on Friday seeking a direction to the RBI for allowing him to exchange ₹5.5 lakh demonetised notes, seized during investigation of the case. Sreesanth’s accomplice Abhishek Shukla was booked by the Delhi Police in the scandal as an alleged bookie and ₹5.5 lakh in demonetised currency was seized on September 25, 2013 from him. The money was

Asked to file seizure memo A Bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul asked the petitioner to file a seizure memo of Delhi Police which had specified number of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes. Advocate Manjeet Singh Ahluwalia, appearing for Mr Shukla, said that direction should be issued to the Centre and the RBI to allow the petitioner to deposit the specified bank notes at the Reserve Bank of India with the explanation for not depositing the amount earlier.


Abhishek Shukla was among those arrested in May 2013. *


In his plea, Mr Shukla also sought direction of the court for quashing and setting aside the ordinance of December 30, 2016, claiming it to be contrary to November 8, 2016, notification.

He said he had personally visited the RBI here, but the bank refused to exchange the old notes. “The ordinance dated December 30, 2016, is in complete violation of Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution,” it said. He also sought the setting aside of the RBI letter declining the request of the petitioner to issue new currency notes in lieu of the old currency notes, terming it as bad in law. Mr Shukla said the RBI, in its letter of March 7, had declined his request citing that it does not have any power to accept specified bank notes for deposit or


exchange, except from Indian citizens who were outside India between November 9 and December 30, 2016. He said when the RBI has given an opportunity to this category of people, “why not the petitioner may be given an opportunity as the entire amount of ₹5.5 lakh (which) was confiscated by Delhi Police and the said amount was lying in the malkhana without any default on the part of the petitioner. Even otherwise, it was the responsibility of the Delhi Police as the amount was lying in the malkhana.” (With PTI inputs)


Press Trust of India Jaipur

A Dalit man riding a mare during his wedding procession was forcibly made to dismount, attacked with beer bottles and dragged along the road allegedly by a group of upper caste men in Rajasthan’s Udaipur district.

One detained The assailants were apparently infuriated to see the Dalit riding the mare, a practice still considered an exclusive privilege of the upper castes. The groom lodged a police complaint following which one of the accused


was detained. A hunt for the others is on, the police said on Friday. The police registered a case against four people under sections of the SC/ST Act late on Thursday night. The incident happened in Jhalo ka Dhana village in Udaipur where Kailash Meghwal (25) was taking out his marriage procession. According to Ghasa police station SHO Ramesh Kavia, the complainant claimed that around five to six people, armed with beer bottles, rods and other sharp-edged weapons, attacked the people in procession.







PUBLIC NOTICES NOTICE PRISTINE Vibe School, Kotkapura. It is to inform that we are on verge of getting NOC from the state government which will validate us to apply for affiliation to the CISCE. Till then we are not associating the ICSE / board brand anywhere with the school. Any certificate, advertisement or document found mentioning ICSE stands in valid / fake / forged. President










IITs to have wellness centres

AIDS control programme running blind without enough testing kits

Press Trust of India

‘Test and Treat’ policy launched, but capacity for testing far short of demand Vidya Krishnan

Gayatri Prajapati’s bail stayed by Allahabad HC LUCKNOW

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Friday stayed the bail given to former Uttar Pradesh Minister Gayatri Prajapati in a rape case by a local court. He was arrested in a case of an alleged sexual assault of a minor girl. ANI

Sena activists burn Pak flag in Punjab PHAGWARA

Activists of the Shiv Sena allegedly burnt a Pakistani flag on the National Highway 1 on Friday to protest against terror attacks on security forces in J&K. Led by Sena’s State vice-president Inderjit Karwal, the protesters began the march from Hanumangarhi temple and came to NH 1. PTI

New Delhi

In a policy shift, the Health Ministry started a ‘test and treat’ policy for HIV patients on Friday. This would entitle every person who tests positive for HIV to free treatment. While launching the test & treat policy, Health Minister J.P. Nadda announced that India will soon develop a National Strategic Plan for HIV for next seven years and these seven years will be crucial for ending AIDS. The draft strategy document, accessed by The Hindu, reveals that the government’s testing capacity, as of 2016-17, was only for 14,341 patients, but it currently has more than a million patients on anti-retroviral therapy (ART). Without regular testing, it is not possible to determine what level of treatment (first line, second line or third line)

a patient needs. “The government does not know if patients are responding to treatment or have turned drug-resistant,” said Paul Lhungdim, President, the Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+). “There is rationing of the viral load testing kits due to a shortage. The government is working blind.”

Late failure detection There are two HIV tests: the ELISA detects infection, and viral load test, the HIV’s RNA in an infected person. Viral suppression (reducing viral load to an undetectable level) is the treatment goal. Without the viral load test, by the Ministry’s own admission, “immunological failure is detected very late, leading to continuation on failing regimen, accumulation of mutations, and compromised future treatment options.” This

was submitted by Dr. Naresh Goel, Deputy Director General, National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), at a Joint WHO/UNAIDS meeting with diagnostics manufacturers. The government is unable to do viral load testing at the required scale due to a shortage of kits. The cause of this shortage: apparently, there are no takers for the government’s tender for manufacture and distribution of kits. “The government has taken a decision to test and treat every person who is HIV positive. Patients will have to be tested once a year,” Mr. Goel said. “But this policy change cannot be implemented just yet because we have not been able to engage an agency. We are not getting bidders, and giving a contract could take anywhere from two weeks to two months.” With the policy change, about two lakh new


HIV-positive people could be detected every year, who would then need annual tests. India is party to a UNAIDS programme under which it must implement the ‘90-9090’ strategy: diagnose 90% of HIV-infected people in India; put 90% of cases on ART; and achieve viral suppression among 90% of the ART recipients. For early detection of treatment failure, and to achieve the 90-90-90 target by 2020, NACO wants a million viral load tests a year. In the Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS (2017-2024), NACO says “India has over a million people on ART, and only 2% are on second line treatment. Viral load failure over 10 months is 10%. Clients whose viral load is not being suppressed need to be moved to an improved regimen... Lack of equipment affects the last 90”.

Concerned over the increasing number of ‘campus suicides’, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will now have wellness centres to help students deal with mental stress and a ‘non-academic’ induction programme for freshers. A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the IIT Council, the apex coordination body for 23 IITs across the country. During the meeting, chaired by Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, the plan to increase representation of women in the IITs by introducing a supernumerary quota was also approved. “For freshers joining IITs, there will be an induction programme which will help them adjust to the atmosphere at the institute besides other things,” he said here.

Baahubali-2 arrives spectacularly at the box oice Fans give ilm a rousing welcome in many States; tickets sell for ₹1,500 in Mumbai; social media overlows with reviews In Tirupati, the film was screened in 13 theatres while a total of 80 cinema halls hosted it across Chittoor district.

Special Correspondent Hyderabad

The much-awaited Baahubali-The Conclusion, hit the screens finally on Friday. And the answer to why Kattappa killed Baahubali was revealed at last. Since Tuesday, when advance bookings opened, any phone call from anyone to anyone in Hyderabad began with the line: “Can you get me tickets for Baahubali ...?” Producer and CEO of Arka MediaWorks Shobu Yarlagadda, who spent ₹400 crore making the two parts, said nothing in his life had given him so much satisfaction. The who’s who of Hyderabad watched the movie at premieres starting late on Thursday and went gaga over it. An ecstatic actor-producer Manchu Lakshmi tweeted that she always believed it would be a hit. Director S.S. Rajamouli’s much awaited magnum opus got a roaring reception in most cinemas across Visakhapatnam. While ‘House Full’ boards outside halls disappointed many who came to CM YK

Stunning sequel: Fans celebrate the ilm’s release in Hyderabad.

buy tickets, they were sold in black for as high as ₹1,500 for any Friday show. This was one film that seemed to have brought out the critic in everyone. Facebook was bursting with reviews, with many coming with spoiler alerts. Prabhas fans were going overboard in their display of love for their hero in parts of Andhra Pra-



desh. Outside the theatres screening the film, fans whooped and whistled. At some places, youth offered a traditional ‘haarathi’ to a giant flexi poster of Prabhas and sprinkled flower petals. People who watched the first show at 6 a.m. gave their feedback to those waiting outside, further fuelling the frenzy.

Sweeping Bengaluru The film was the talk of the town in Bengaluru, with about 95% of screens showing it. The city, in fact, had a show ahead of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, on Thursday night at 10 p.m. in about 20 venues. Distributor N.R. Sudheer said it was shown on 400-plus screens across Karnataka on Friday. The response of viewers was overwhelming. “It is no less than a Hollywood blockbuster in terms of production qualities,” said a film critic. With Baahubali ... being a rage, it is difficult for Kannada filmmakers to release films for the next two weeks, industry sources said. Kerala was close behind. “The film was screened in six cinemas in Kozhikode alone and there were 49 shows in all,” said George Paul, Branch Manager (Kozhikode) of Century Films. “The feedback we are getting from across the State –

where we released the film in over 300 screens — is extremely positive. We feel the film’s second part will even do bigger business than the first.” Though the film’s release was delayed in Chennai on Friday, it opened to packed houses. The cancellation of the early morning shows left many moviegoers dejected. Tamil Nadu Theatres Owners Association sources said, financial issues between distributors and producers led to the delay in the release.

Model found guilty of plotting to kill Bhandarkar Preeti Jain, two others granted bail Sonam Saigal Mumbai

The city civil and sessions court on Friday convicted model Preeti Jain and two others for conspiring to kill filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar in 2005. They were subsequently given bail by the same court on a cash surety of ₹15,000 each. Judge Shridhar M. Bhosale convicted Preeti under Section 115 (abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life) and Section 120 B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the IPC for imprisonment of three years and fine of ₹10,000. The other accused, Naresh Pardeshi and Shivram Das, were charged with the same IPC Sections, along with Sections of the Arms Act for licence for acquisition and possession of firearms and ammunition and a fine of ₹13,000 each.

Preeti Jain In 2004, Preeti had registered an FIR against Mr. Bhandarkar, alleging rape charges against him on the pretext of giving her the role of a main lead in his movies. She had alleged that he promised to marry her. Mr. Bhardarkar got anticipatory bail and eventually the Supreme Court quashed the charges. It is the case of the prosecution that she engaged the service of Naresh Pardeshi to kill Mr. Bhandarkar for ₹75,000 but when the killing was not executed she asked for a refund.

No-ly list may not entail blanket ban Penal action will be graded Press Trust of India New Delhi

As it prepares to put in place a no-fly list of unruly passengers, the government plans to categorise such misconduct into various levels along with consequent regulatory actions, in the wake of a Shiv Sena MP assaulting an Air India staffer. A common list of passengers who behave in an unruly manner on a flight is

likely to be prepared even as the government is yet to decide on whether such a person will be barred from a particular airline or from all domestic carriers. “We are investigating this right now,” Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said on Friday, to a question on whether there will be a blanket ban. “The no-fly list will include both safety and security concerns,” Mr. Sinha said.

Bollywood amazed In Bollywood, the price of a ticket was as high a ₹1,500. “The advance booking is crazy; there are corporate bookings of 100-200 seats. There is a repeat value for the film. It’s all set to create history with the film industry earning ₹230-240 crore over the weekend,” Mumbai-based exhibitor Akshay Rathi said. (With inputs from Vijayawada, Kozhikode, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai) A ND-ND







India’s choices as America ‘asks’ The government will have to take a call, and quick, on how to engage with the U.S. on Afghanistan

Facing up to IT

No full stops Bhutan’s exit from the ‘BBIN’ agreement should not hold up the road-sharing pact


hutan’s announcement that it is unable to proceed with the Motor Vehicles Agreement with Bangladesh, India and Nepal is a road block, and not a dead end, for the regional sub-grouping India had planned for ease of access among the four countries. The sub-grouping, BBIN as it is referred to, was an alternative mooted by the government after Pakistan rejected the MVA at the SAARC summit in Kathmandu in 2014. It seeks to allow trucks and other commercial vehicles to ply on one another’s highways to facilitate trade. Of the other SAARC members, Sri Lanka and the Maldives are not connected by land, and Afghanistan could only be connected if Pakistan was on board. Down to just three countries now after Thimphu’s decision, India, Nepal and Bangladesh will have to decide whether to wait for Bhutan to reconsider or to press ahead with a truncated ‘BIN’ arrangement. The irst option will not be easy. The main concern expressed by Bhutanese citizen groups and politicians is over increased vehicular and air pollution in a country that prides itself on ecological consciousness. The upper house of parliament has refused to ratify the MVA that was originally signed by all four BBIN countries in 2015, and the oicial announcement indicates that Thimphu will not push the agreement ahead of elections in 2018. Despite the setback, New Delhi must persevere with its eforts. To begin with, Bhutan’s objections are environmental, not political, and its government may well change its mind as time goes by. Dry runs have been conducted along the routes, and oicials estimate the road links could end up circumventing circuitous shipping routes by up to 1,000 km. Second, Bhutan’s concerns may be assuaged if India considers the inclusion of waterways and riverine channels as a less environmentally damaging substitute. Perhaps, Bhutan’s objections may even spur an overhaul of emission standards for trucks currently plying in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Above all, the BBIN pact denotes a “cando” attitude on India’s part, as it shows a willingness to broaden its connectivity canvas with all countries willing to go ahead at present, leaving the door open for those that may opt to join in the future. A similar initiative for the Asian Highway project under the BCIM (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar) corridor got a boost this week as the countries moved to upgrade the dialogue to the governmental level. Although India has refused to attend China’s Belt and Road summit on May 14-15, objecting to projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the BCIM will remain a way of joining the network when India’s concerns are met. Connectivity is the new global currency for growth and prosperity as it secures both trade and energy lines for countries en route, and India must make the most of its geographic advantages. CM YK

suhasini haidar uring his inaugural address in January 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy famously asked his fellow Americans: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” In 2017, it is a question that U.S. President Donald Trump is posing to the world, as he begins to set his imprint on American foreign policy. In the past few weeks, the one campaign promise Mr. Trump’s actions have held fast to is “America First” and to make every other country “pay its dues”. As a result, he has backed away from his earlier tough position on declaring China a “currency manipulator” after his meeting with President Xi Jinping, but the quid pro quo is clear: China must rein in North Korea, particularly its plans for a nuclear test.


Asked to pay up Mr. Trump’s decision to dispatch Vice President Mike Pence, Defence Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to meet allies in Europe and Asia was received with a sense of relief after worries that he would retrench America’s presence globally. But the message of reassurance came with a rider, as Mr. Trump met NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg this month and then with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, and stressed the need for NATO allies to “pay what they owe”, 2% of their GDP, for security. Similar messages were pressed home to Japan, South Korea and

settles in Nangarhar, and the U.S. reverts control of the areas pounded by the largest non-nuclear weapon in the American arsenal, a closer analysis of what was achieved will be necessary. If anything, bombing IS-K targets at that time took the focus away from the Taliban, which then carried out their single most deadly attack on the Afghan Army in the past decade and a half at the Mazar-e-Sharif military base.

Australia. Despite bombing a Syrian airbase, as reprisal for what it said was a chemical attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, America’s engagement in the region hasn’t increased either. Mr. Trump’s meetings with Egyptian, Jordanian and Turkish leaders all contained a common demand: that each of their countries step up its ight to counter the Islamic State (IS) in the region. Security Council representatives visiting the White House this week were reminded that the U.S. pays for 22% of the UN’s budget and almost 30% for UN peacekeeping. Mr. Trump termed this “unfair”. It is in this context that last week’s visit to the region by U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster must be studied. To begin with, the timing of the visit seemed linked to the bombing of what the U.S. Army claimed were hideouts of IS-Khorasan (IS-K) terrorists in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, using what they crudely referred to as the “mother of all bombs” (MOAB), the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. Those hoping the bombing meant the U.S. was now showing an interest in its commitment to security in Afghanistan hoped too early, as the bombing has not been followed by any clariication of U.S. strategy. Instead, once the dust

Cost-beneit analyses Setting aside the MOAB debate, however, Gen. McMaster’s visit to Kabul, Islamabad and New Delhi its into the pattern of the Trump administration’s foreign policy mantra: Ask not what the U.S. can do for Afghanistan, he is understood to have told his interlocutors, ask what you can do for the U.S. in Afghanistan. Even in his apparently rough dealings with the Pakistani generals, Gen. McMaster pushed for action against groups operating in Afghanistan, avoiding the language of the Obama administration, that included the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad in their public comments on Pakistan. It would be safe to assume that given the pattern of the past few weeks, the question “ask not…” will also be put in far clearer terms by Mr.

Fast-forward on pacts Apart from Afghanistan, it is also clear that defence ties will drive the India-U.S. relationship for the foreseeable future. The U.S. wants India to move quickly on the other

‘foundational agreements’, the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation as India completes formalities for the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement this week. On hardware too, there will be the “ask”, as the U.S. looks for Indian defence purchases, and “America First” clashes with “Make in India” about where that hardware will be built. India’s concerns on tightening H-1B visas will be met with the American demand that Indian multinational corporations and tech companies operating in the U.S. hire more Americans and give more concessions on trade and intellectual property rights. It is unclear whether India’s demands for American heavy-lifting on the Nuclear Suppliers Group membership issue this June or on climate change inancing will be taken very seriously given Mr. Trump’s other preoccupations. In the face of this altered pattern of engagement that India must navigate with the new America, then, Mr. Modi has limited options ahead of his meeting with Mr. Trump: to coast along and ride out the impending storm of demands, or to reject the transactionalism inherent in these “asks from America” and steer his own course. In Afghanistan in particular, India must bolster its bilateral delivery on defence assistance, rather than be coopted in the U.S.’s plans which frequently change according to its own cost-beneit analysis. In so doing, India may also recover some of the equilibrium in its ties with other world powers that have seemed more distant in recent years. [email protected]

Generic medicines in a digital age We need a legal mechanism to ensure that all generics are of the same standard as the innovator product

dinesh s. thakur & prashant reddy t.


he Prime Minister’s recent announcement on making it mandatory for doctors to prescribe only the generic name, and not brand name of a drug, has led to a lutter. If enacted, the move will make it illegal for Indian doctors to write out a prescription for the trademark of the drug, forcing them to mention the chemical name instead. If implemented properly, the hope is that pharmacists will ill the prescription with the cheapest generic drug in the market rather than being forced to dispense a more expensive brand as prescribed. Whether pharmacists will play by the book is anybody’s guess.

Are all generic drugs equal? A more pressing question at this stage is whether all generic medicines in India are of equal quality. The U.S. and the European Union have ensured that generic drugs are therapeutically equal to the innovator drug by making bioequivalence (BE) testing compulsory. This means that generic formulations

are tested on healthy volunteers to ensure that they have the same physiological characteristics as their innovator counterparts. These BE studies are much cheaper and carry little risk when compared to clinical trials conducted by the company that gets approval for the innovator product. Once bioequivalence is established, a generic drug is legally certiied to be of the same quality to replace the innovator product and can therefore be interchanged for the innovator product. Even the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) purchase only bioequivalent drugs for their programmes. Until earlier this month, India mandated BE studies for only those formulations seeking approval within four years of the innovator product getting approval. As a result, most generic drug manufacturers sought marketing approval from the ifth year onwards, efectively evading the requirement of conducting BE studies. On April 3, the Ministry of Health inally amended the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules to make BE testing of all highly soluble drugs compulsory. It is a much welcome move. What of the quality of generics approved prior to April 3? Did the manufacturers of these generic drugs voluntarily conduct BE studies? We do not know. If there is no proof of bioequivalence, should

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Internal security woes Kashmir is burning, yet the Prime Minister maintains a stoic silence. Is this silence on crucial issues linked to recent electoral gains by the BJP? I am sure that faced with a similar situation, Nehru would have rushed to Kashmir and tried to pacify the agitators. I fail to understand why things are being allowed to drift. Apart from the Prime Minister, the Home Minister has also stayed put in Delhi. It is clear that the Army which has been based in Kashmir for years has only alienated itself from the masses (“Ultras hit J&K Army camp, kill 3”, April 28). S.S. Rajagopalan, Chennai

■ Our defence forces appear to be always in ‘defensive mode’, facing grave danger from Kashmir-based terrorists, stone pelters, and now Maoists. We need to emulate the daring example of Israel’s strike force units and take on all these elements. There needs to be a coordinated strategy to

K.V. Satyamurty, Mumbai

The Kashmir issue has reached the zenith of violence where, shockingly, even women have joined hands with the protesters. The issue has been allowed to drift for too long. There has to be some kind of a meet with representatives of the youth. The security threat to Kashmir should be dealt with with an iron hand. The Prime Minister has to take a leaf out of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s book. J.B. Rohit, Kollam, Kerala

Drug quality in India

doctors be forced to make this choice? The ethical answer is a simple no. If the government wants to make the prescription of generics compulsory, it needs to put in place a legal mechanism to guarantee that all generics, especially those introduced prior to April 3, are bioequivalent to the innovator product. It would be unconscionable to restrict doctors to prescribe drugs which they know do not work as promised. At the very least, the government should require companies to selfcertify their drugs to indicate whether they are in fact bioequivalent. A simple logo on the drug’s packaging to indicate whether a drug has been tested for proof of bioequivalence, along with the trial ID number listed on the Clinical Trials Registry India, should be made mandatory. Even presuming successful BE

According to the government’s most recent survey of the quality of drugs in India, 10% of all drugs from ‘government sources’ tested NSQ, or not of standard quality. A NSQ drug will compromise patient health. These numbers are shocking. An earlier report of the Comptroller and Auditor General had revealed that the Armed Forces Medical Stores Depot, which serves armed forces personnel, had reported the percentage of locally procured drugs that were substandard at as high as 32% in one year! The challenge for the government is to balance its policy objectives of taking the power of the doctor away to prescribe brand name drugs with the reality that generic drugs in India are of questionable quality. The solution does not lie in more laws, but in providing more information to the consumer. Drug regulators in India have a vast trove of information on substandard drugs which they need to release into a searchable database. This is easier said than done because India has 36 drug regulators — one for each State/Union Territory and the

Central regulator. Each of them conducts periodic testing of samples drawn from pharmacies. This testing generates three data sets which need to be publicly available. The irst is the laboratory test report, the second is the investigation report by drug inspectors of drugs which have failed testing, and the third is the criminal complaint iled in court against the manufacturer along with the inal judgment of the court. If this information is made available over the Internet, the government will truly empower hospital procurement oicers, pharmacists and patients with information required to avoid products of manufacturers with a poor quality record.

For an IT bridge The government must seriously consider using IT tools to network all 36 drug regulators into one integrated national database. This can then be accessed by every citizen over a smartphone. The essence of the ‘Digital India’ initiative is to empower the citizen. What better way to do this than to provide them with information that will protect them from substandard drugs? Dinesh S. Thakur is a public health activist and chairman of Medassure Global Compliance Corporation. Prashant Reddy T. is a research associate at the School of Law, Singapore Management University

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

sweep them out as they only appear to be getting bolder by the day. India is far larger than Israel but is still struggling to save its soldiers. In contrast, Israel has made a mark for itself with its aggressive strikes and pre-emptive actions. It is shocking that the Maoists had advanced weaponry and equipment. India must transform itself into an aggressive nation when it comes to dealing with anti-national forces.

studies, a drug can fail for a variety of reasons. It may lack stability and break down due to heat or humidity. These substandard drugs are a dangerous problem, especially in government-run hospitals.



globalising world enabled the spectacular rise of India’s information technology industry over the last couple of decades. The IT sector not only pulled up the GDP but also came to symbolise young India’s aspirations. With the world now bending towards protectionism, it faces a challenge to its talent-centric, software export model. In recent weeks, a slew of countries, which are estimated to account for three-fourths of the industry’s revenues, have placed stricter rules on their companies getting talent from overseas. Whether the challenge of protectionism fades out or deepens over a longer time horizon will depend on the global economic outlook. The visa rule changes for Indian tech personnel weren’t wholly unexpected, especially after Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. on the back of, among other things, promises to put the brakes on outsourcing. Only, now governments are acting upon such rhetoric in some countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore and Australia. President Trump signed the ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive order last week, seeking to raise the bar for the award of H-1B visas, an important route for Indian companies, so that they are given to the “most-skilled or highest-paid” beneiciaries. Earlier this month, the U.K. scrapped a category of short-term visas that have been used extensively by Indian companies to get their IT professionals on-site. The Australian equivalent of this is the recent junking of what are called the ‘457 visa’ rules. Singapore has reportedly kept approvals for work permits on hold for a while now. It is still too early to gauge the exact impact on IT companies, in part because much depends on their ability to rework their operational models to do less onsite. As it is, it is a challenging time for the industry – with slowing business growth, a strengthening rupee, not to speak of the diicult transition from a traditional model that was based on making money by building custom solutions and undertaking maintenance to one that is cloud-based. Industry lobby Nasscom, which in February quite unprecedentedly put of its annual revenue forecast by a quarter amid uncertainties on the policy front in the U.S., has in recent days sought to counter the impression that it is Indian IT companies that are getting the lion’s share of H-1B visas for Indian nationals. Those who believe the challenge will blow over take heart from the fact that there is no legislation hurting outsourcing on the immediate horizon and the belief that the developed world cannot really do without India’s IT skills. The government, which has reportedly sought a World Trade Organisation-backed framework to facilitate trade in services in the light of rule-tightening by the developed countries, is naturally concerned. The industry, which employs over 3.5 million people and earns over $100 billion in export revenues, is now navigating a world with walls.


Stringent visa rules around the world pose the stifest challenge for Indian IT companies

Trump to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he visits the White House, as he is expected to later this summer. For India, then, the challenge is twofold: to decide not just what, if anything, it is prepared to do to help the U.S. in security and peacekeeping eforts in Afghanistan, but also what it would like to see in clear terms in return. The former has been debated in hushed tones since September 2015, when Mr. Obama is understood to have asked India for a commitment on defence participation in Afghanistan. While “boots on the ground” leads to instant recoil in India, and even the Afghan government has repeatedly said it does not require any more foreign presence, there are other ways India is going to be asked to contribute: from providing defence equipment, to training soldiers in Afghanistan (as opposed to in India, where at present capacity, only about 300 Afghan soldiers are being trained), as well as technical teams on the ground to repair and maintain military hardware. From the American perspective, given the growing attrition of Afghan Army forces and uptick in violence in 2016, the need for more assistance from India is clear. As a western diplomat said recently, “Mr. Modi must know that his meeting with Mr. Trump is a ‘Yes or No’ moment. If it is Yes, he will have to deliver quickly. If it is No, that too will have deep consequences.” Hedging in the manner Delhi was earlier able to do over joint patrols in the Indo-Paciic may no longer be an option.

Court on Lokpal The fact that implementation of the Lokpal Bill has not seen the light of day only shows the disinterest exhibited by our political parties fearing skeletons in their cupboards (“No barrier to naming Lokpal: SC”, April 28). After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s triumph in the Lok Sabha election, in part due to his promise of transparent governance, and, later, in his eforts to root out corruption and black money through demonetisation, it was expected that the issue of appointment of the Lokpal chairperson would be resolved. However, the BJP’s taking shelter under the pretext of there being no recognised Leader of the Opposition (LoP), and its preference to maintain status quo show that the party is not walking the talk. It is a clear let-down for the middle class that voted for the BJP in the hope that it is a party with a diference. Now that the Supreme Court has given the go-

ahead, even in the absence of an LoP, the government needs to act quickly; else its claim as a crusader against corruption will only weaken. V. Subramanian, Chennai

DGP’s tenure In 1964, the Supreme Court, while quashing Punjab Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon’s decision to suspend a highly placed government doctor, observed that before doing so, they were conscious of the high position held by the Chief Minister of a State but were compelled to interfere because the power was utilised for a collateral purpose, which is alien to power itself. Such cannot be said in the case of reinstating the Kerala DGP. The two-year tenure period is not inviolable as to not admit of any exigencies. Public opinion over the handling of the Kollam ireworks tragedy and the rape of a Dalit woman may, in the bona ide opinion of the Chief Minister, be a good

ground to interfere with the DGP’s tenure. Can the Supreme Court interfere merely on the ground that he has a two-year tenure and, therefore, according to the Prakash Singh case, that the Chief Minister’s decision is bad? It is true that wellplaced police oicials need protection. On that score, can you deny elbow space for elected representatives to govern the State in the people’s interest? N.G.R. Prasad,

Vinod Khanna was a suave actor and handsome hero who blended good acting skills with wonderful ‘dialogue delivery’. His transformation from villain to hero was stunning. His performance in the ilm “Imtihan”, as a professor afected by false charges of harassment by a student, can be considered as one of the inest performances by an actor in India to date. ■

R. Sekar, Visakhapatnam


Bollywood has lost yet another gem. Vinod Vinod Khanna’s splendid Khanna’s good looks and performances will always be acting versatility are what remembered. Most of the made him the heartthrob of roles he portrayed millions of movie-goers. displayed his acting Among his memorable hits, prowess. Who can forget his one can count “Muqaddar Ka Sikandar”, “Amar Akbar acting in “Mera Gaon Mera Anthony”, “Qurbani” and Desh”, “Sachcha Jhoota”, “Dayavan” as among the “Kuchhe Dhaage”, top. Though he had all the “Imtihan”, “Qurbani” and traits of a superstar he never “Chandni”? Even in ilms became one, which is starring megastar Amitabh Bachchan, where Vinod was regrettable. N.J. Ravi Chander, the co-star, he made his Bengaluru presence felt. ■

Suave actor

Ravi Patil, Coimbatore

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Water warrior: “Five years ago, when V. Govindankutty irst saw a trickle of water in the Naubad karez he didn’t realise that he had stumbled on an ancient engineering marvel.” The assistant professor of geography at the mouth of the karez. Only a handful of such underground aqueducts are found in India; this is the irst of them to be restored. (Below) The octagonal 15th century Baram bawdi in Hamilapur has water again after cleaning and de-silting. K.V.S GIRI *

How Bidar beat back the drought As Karnataka reels from drought, an academic is helping restore indigenous systems that were Bidar’s water lifeline 600 years ago. Lalitha Sridhar reports The vast flatlands outlying Bidar face the brunt of the sun as it bears down on a thinly populated terrain marked by few trees and sparse foliage. But then a salubrious drop in temperature accompanies the rough descent down the sixmetre-wide mouth of a medieval aqueduct to the north-west of the city. Here, about 25 feet below ground, is cool and softly flowing water, clear as crystal till bare feet touch the floor of the trough and raise a dense cloud of red sediment. Medicinal ‘chamkora’ fern cluster around the white kaolin (calcium) deposits where the waterline meets the unleavened laterite. The play of water and light streaks the rock face in subtly rich mineral colours: black basalt, pinkish bauxite, umber iron, ochre clay. Harmless water bugs (Aquarius remigis) that help keep the water potable flutter in disarray. Fifteen metres into the tunnel, a 63-feet-high shaft opens to the sky and lets a swathe of light cast vague shadows on the inky darkness further ahead, where the water is deep enough to drown a man.

Harnessing old wisdom Apertures in the towering walls indicate crevices from which, nearly 600 years ago, wicker lamps may have offered light to labouring workers. Five years ago, when V. Govindankutty, assistant professor of geography at Palakkad’s little-known Government College of Chittur, first saw a trickle of water here, he did not realise that he had stumbled on an ancient engineering marvel — a series of an estimated 57 linearly placed vents connecting a cavernous and often winding 2.58-km-long subterranean tunnel, hewed to transport water from a perennial mother well at the start of a fault line (a linear geological fissure). The water that now flows in the Naubad karez (aqueduct) is the result of months of challenging research and meticulous restoration, not only of the aqueduct and its vents but also of bawdis and kalyanis (open wells and tanks that dot the landscape here), a part of Bidar’s highly evolved and networked indigenous water systems. Recently, the Karnataka government sought to declare drought in 26 of its 30 districts, 16 of which are to the north of the State and have received deficit rainfall, including Bidar, the northernmost. As a Cabinet sub-committee on drought assesses the situation, the restorers in the city of Bidar, also the district headquarters, expect water will last in the karez for another two-three months at current levels of usage, and it is early days yet for a project with life-saving implications. About 117 acres of farmland are irrigated by it and nearby neighbourhoods now turn to the karez for their water supply. The Naubad karez is the first of the very few known karez systems in India to be documented scientifically and restored. Now running on plenty Semi-arid Bidar receives 60-100 cm of rainfall annually. Its terrain is uniquely composed of ‘duricrust’ honeycombstructured laterite (hard but porous and capable of absorbing rain water when CM YK

forested with the right vegetation), below which lies the impermeable basalt of the Deccan trap that does not allow what is collected to percolate away. Since that first excursion, Govindankutty has marked 814 bawdis and kalyanis along the three karez systems he has mapped around Bidar — the most accessible Naubad karez; the sixkm-long Shukla Tirth, which begins at the old Gornalli kere (a lake-like waterbody) to provide water by terracotta pipes for the Agrahara village; and the poorly understood 1.33-km-long Jamna Mori, likely a water distribution system from the Bidar fort’s Fateh Darwaza to the moat of the royal enclosure, now buried under rampant urbanisation. Following restoration efforts, after a brief spurt of heavy rains in September 2015, the Naubad karez was operational again for the first time in centuries — a monitoring team recorded water pouring out of its mouth at 120 litres per minute. Though it was dry again by the end of February 2016, the now-inspired restorers used the months that followed to continue with de-silting. Nature handed them an unexpected turning point. Following the overall deficit rainfall since 2012, in the summer of 2016, for the first time in living memory, most of Bidar’s bawdis and kalyanis ran dry. “When this happened, people took the karez and bawdis seriously and it was easier to generate awareness about them. In a way, the crisis became an opportunity,” says Vinay Malge, 35, a civil contractor who co-founded Bidar YUVAA (Youth United for Vigilance, Awareness and Action) with friends in 2011. Bidar YUVAA activists like Malge, Sabish Dande, Dileep Kumar and others carried forward Govindankutty’s work on the ground, egging on local authorities to undertake the de-silting and cleaning of wells as part of MGNREGA projects; litigating against the encroachment of watershed land; protesting the proliferation of indiscriminately deeper

passion with which he < > The (Govindankutty) has thrown himself into the painstaking and risky survey of the entire terrain is exemplary. K.K. Muhammed Retired regional director, Archaeological Survey of India

tube wells that have caused the water table to drop drastically, adversely impacting the karez’s mathematical reliance on gradients; planting over one lakh indigenous trees so that rainwater wouldn’t run off before it could be absorbed; and creating awareness to prevent the dumping of garbage, and open defecation, along the karez. Then, in September 2016, it rained copiously, and the Naubad karez, several irrigation reservoirs and many restored kalyanis have not run dry since.

A man and his mission To date, Govindankutty has mapped 28 vents of the Naubad karez, which also serve as wells that harvest rainwater, although the numbers remain changeable as work on the karez’s restoration continues. In the beginning, he had little to go by besides the presence of fig and jamun trees and certain shrubs as indicators of water nearby. Often alone, the 43-year-old academic has climbed down four-storey-deep vents tied to a rope, taken several bruising falls down bramble and boulders, and had close encounters with a variety of fauna. Cobras, vipers, dragonflies, baya weavers, babblers, langurs and fruit-eating bats are a part of the biodiversity the karez supports, he says. He was, on one occasion, chased by a pack of dogs, and keeps his torch and camouflage cap handy at all times by way of defence. As he made fortnightly trips from Palakkad to Bidar, taking off on weekends and holidays with modest personal funds, Govindankutty worked with Google Earth images, handheld GPS and GPS-aided mobile apps, survey devices like the dumpy level and prismatic compass, to record coordinates and create the Karez Geographic Information System, which he intends to make public once his research is completed. “The passion with which he has thrown himself into the painstaking and risky survey of the entire terrain is exemplary,” says K.K. Muhammed, retired regional director of the Archaeological Survey of India and now project director with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in Hyderabad. The Naubad karez or surang bhawi (‘tunnel wells’) is a complex system, Govindankutty discovered, which works inversely underground to leverage gravity — that is, the plateau’s nat-

ural gradient ascends from the mouth to the mother well but the tunnel underneath has been cut to descend from the mother well to the mouth. “Initially, even I was surprised,” Govindankutty says. “How did they do it?” The professor, who will soon submit his PhD thesis on ‘Historic landscape conservation’ to the Kerala University, recalls inching forward on his stomach over some sections of the tunnel, relying only on his understanding of Bidar’s geology. “I knew the roof wouldn’t collapse, only the walls might slide,” he laughs, his energy for tromping terrain he now understands encyclopaedically quite boundless. Today, as they continue to work their way underground from the mouth to the mother well, his efforts and that of local volunteers, now assisted by government funds, have rendered 16 vents accessible (vent 14 is additionally a junction with a branch ‘gallery’ that originates from the Naubad tank near here).

The Bahmani bequest A marvel of engineering, the qanat (Arabic for ‘conduit’) or karez (Persian for ‘smaller channels’) system of collecting, transporting, storing and distributing water in arid areas, with very little lost to evaporation, originated in ancient Iran. The first karezs in India were built in Bidar, likely with help of Persian engineers — the Bahmani Sultanate was the first medieval Muslim kingdom to have links with Persia. Bidar was discovered because of water. Ahmad Shah Bahmani ‘Wali’ was on his way from Berar to Gulbarga when he chanced upon a bamboo grove (bamboo is bidru in Kannada; the art of Bidri metal work that originated here is also said to give the region its name). His platoon of parched soldiers asked a shepherd named Bomkandeshwar where they could find water. The lad pointed to a spring. Soldiers removed stones to discover what later became the mouth of the Shukla Tirth karez. The shepherd had the village and lake that’s still here named after him in perpetuity. The Naubad karez is likely to have been constructed after his reign was fully established in AD 1427. It was meant to serve a naubad (for new abaadi or population), a settlement that was never completed, leaving the abandoned karez to fill with debris.

Apart from Naubad, there is also a 14km karez (the longest in India) in Aurangabad that still serves parts of its municipal water network despite neglect. Huge pipelines bring water into the bafflingly cross-connected 12.5-km-long multi-level karez in Bijapur, which may defeat restorers if they ever get there. Reference to a karez system is found in hydrological studies by the Geological Survey of India in Hukkeri near Belagavi. There also exists a six-km-long karez, locally called the kundi bhandara (open well reservoir) in Madhya Pradesh’s Burhanpur, also dysfunctional, but the town once preferred to convey water down this aqueduct’s origin in an alluvial fan (a cone-shaped deposit of sediments) in the Satpura ranges than rely on the Tapti river by which it stands.

Support and challenges Meanwhile, Govindankutty persuaded C. Kunjambu attan, a highly regarded 76-year-old water diviner from Kerala, to travel by flight for the first time in his life and share his native wisdom at a March 2015 seminar on ‘The Glory That Was Bidar’, inaugurated by the late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who took a personal interest in the subject and conversed privately with restorers for half an hour. “There is water here,” the old man from Kasaragod said simply, after reading the landscape and its botany, and placing his hands on the earth. The academic has found supporters in Bidar’s dynamic district collectors: Dr. P.C. Jaffer, Anurag Tewari, and Harsh Gupta, who first tasked him with looking for what they thought were escape tunnels, and from Dr. H.R. Mahadev, who took charge recently. He could also rely upon AKTC’s Muhammed. An example of the challenges they face may be seen in the 1.5-km-long Kamthana embankment to the southwest of the city — a perfect oval in Google Maps — which falls on the old route between Bidar and Gulbarga. The breached embankment is seen with its moat in ruins, the adjoining forested areas barren, and the tank to which its water channels lead in shambles. Other problems persist. A ring road proposed by the Bidar Urban Development Authority’s Master Plan, which connects to the SH15 Naubad-Hyderabad highway and bypasses Bidar town, bifurcates the second of two agricultural zones that used to be fed by the karez, endangering the system. Similarly, new roads connecting the ring road via the Siddheswar and Papanash temples to Bidar town pass through the surrounding grasslands, already under threat with the loss of indigenous tree species like neem, tamarind and jujube. Gliricidia, a water-consumptive ornamental species planted along the edges of the plateau for social forestry, also needs to be replaced with them. Rapid urban development is causing the unique laterite plateau to erode. The area around the Nanak Jira, sacred to Sikhs, is heavily concretised, with the well here now cemented on all sides and the course of small springs leading to it altered beyond recognition. A rail-

behaviour is the most < > People’s diicult challenge. We clean and de-silt, water returns and everyone beneits. But the minute we go forward, garbage is dumped again. Vinay Malge Co-founder, Bidar YUVAA

way line cuts through the catchment area of the Naubad embankment, which lies directly above geologic fractures or water movement channels called lineaments.

Well done, more to do The water warriors continue undeterred. Malge says, “People’s behaviour is the most difficult challenge. We clean and de-silt, water returns and everyone benefits. But the minute we go forward, garbage is dumped again. All we can hope is that the sanctity of these waterbodies will be respected.” They have plenty more to do. Last year, there wasn’t a drop of water in the 117-acre Vilaspur tank to the north-west of Bidar. De-silted completely, it is now a beautiful expanse of water welcoming migratory birds. The Jahaz ki Bawdi, a 114-feet-deep well in the old city that had 86 feet of silt in it, is also full of water after massive cleaning. Official help is also at hand. The Department of Tourism is funding some of their restoration work, with an initial outlay of ₹3 crore, followed by an additional ₹5 crore. The Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation has identified the conservation of the Naubad karez system as one of 17 projects shortlisted for a pilot study. The Karnataka government’s Kere Sanjeevini (‘life-giving lakes’) scheme and Koti Vriksha Andolana (‘campaign for one crore trees’) are inspired by Bidar. The antique land waits patiently. Cart tracks have left furrows on the plateau all the way to Bhalki, 24 km away, separated by disused step wells every kilometre or so, where parched wayfarers and draught animals must have quenched their thirst centuries ago. At an ancient and largely roofless farmhouse in the Naubad embankment, the walls are blocks of laterite so thick that the small homestead appears fortified. A family still lives in here, by a disused brick kiln and cowshed. They share their freshly plucked pulpy berushi mangoes with warm hospitality. The Naubad karez flowing beneath their land is a blessing — four vents lie within their property and they are happy to allow restorers access to them. High above, the celebrated Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team, which takes off early every morning from the Bidar Air Force Station, flies daring practice sorties in the cloudless sky. Over 600 families of defence personnel rely on water pumped from one of Bidar’s many nameless bawdis near the old temple at Papanash. Somewhere between these aerial and subterranean realities is a third that is both fragile and threatened: though Karnataka is declaring drought, for now, Bidar and its surrounds have water. A ND-ND








SC ofers to set stage for J&K peace talks The court asked the stakeholders in Kashmir to “take two steps back” as a resolution can be initiated only if there are no stones and pellets fired on the streets of Kashmir. The HC Bar Association countered that security forces enter schools and universities and beat up the students. “If they beat up the students, students will be on the streets. Stonethrowing is a reaction. The Centre has stopped talking to the people of Kashmir. The people want uninterrupted, unconditional and sincere dialogue,” the Bar’s counsel submitted. As a pre-condition for setting the stage for talks between stakeholders and influential public voices in Kashmir and the Centre, the court asked the Bar Association to take the “first step forward” by persuading stakeholders in Kashmir to file undertakings in the court that they would abstain from violence. Once these undertakings are filed, tentatively on May 9, the court would ask the government to pull back se-

< >

If you keep throwing stones and close schools, how will talks work out?

J.S. Khehar Chief Justice of India

curity forces for at least 15 days as peace is negotiated.

Addressing core issues “Both sides need to take two steps back and address core issues. You cannot clap without both hands,” Justice Kaul observed. “If you keep throwing stones and close schools, how will talks work out? You first talk. But if you are suggesting secession, nothing will happen. Talks should be within the framework of the Constitution,” Chief Justice Khehar said. At one point when the J&K HC Bar Association said it had little influence over the separatists and influential voices of Kashmir to persuade them to see the point of view of the court, Justice Chandrachud said that having come to the court in the role of an interlocutor, it cannot now back out.

Search continues for 3rd Kupwara attacker There were reports of minor protests in the area. Parts of Srinagar and Pulwama also witnessed sporadic clashes. Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara, G.M. Dar said a case has been registered in the civilian killing. “An investigation has also begun into the killing.”

Srinagar schools closed The authorities have decided to suspend classes at the M.P. Higher Secondary School and S.P. Higher Secondary School on Saturday. These schools witnessed protests against the police “excesses” against thrashing of the students in Government degree College Pulwama on April 15. Security forces foiled a

weapon-snatching bid in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Friday. One militant was arrested. A police official said two militants barged into a J&K Bank branch in Anantnag town around 1.30 p.m. and pointed a pistol at the security forces. “The militants were aiming to loot the bank and snatch a weapon. However, one was overpowered by the security personnel. One militant fired shots at a CRPF jawan, who sustained injuries in the arm.” The arrested militant was identified as Muneeb Ahmad Malla, a resident of Reshipora Behibagh Kulgam. Another militant managed to escape.

Now, Karnan ‘bans’ travel of SC judges In February, the Supreme Court issued a contempt of court notice against Justice Karnan for allegedly degrading the judicial institution. A seven-judge Bench led by Chief Justice Khehar heard Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi, who said that Justice Karnan should

face contempt proceedings for his “scurrilous” letters against sitting and retired High Court and Supreme Court judges. Justice Karnan had written to the Prime Minister and allegedly accused several retired and sitting judges of corruption.

A litmus test of Kashmir situation Violent protests in the Valley loom over Amarnath Yatra, for which one lakh people have signed up Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

Amarnath Yatra, set to begin on June 29, will be a litmus test of how far the situation in Kashmir has worsened, say concerned analysts dealing with the issue across various security agencies. With about 200 active militants and several times more agitated civilians, security agencies are already gearing up for a violent summer in the Valley. Almost a lakh of people have registered for the Amarnath Yatra this year. While helicopter services are quite popular among yatris, thousands of them still trek to the holy site.

Previous setbacks The two routes — PahalgamChandanwari track and Sonamarg-Baltal track — would allow 7,500 yatris per day. Besides a few hundred would be taking helicopters. “Amarnath Yatra would for me will be the measure how bad the situation is,” said one of the most seasoned Kashmir observers in the government. The yatra has suffered two

Dangerous times: The two routes — Pahalgam-Chandanwari track and Sonamarg-Baltal track — will allow 7,500 pilgrims per day. A few hundred will take helicopters. NISSAR AHMAD *

significant setbacks since the militancy started in late 1980s. Between 1991 and 1995, the pilgrimage was put off by the government because of militant threats. In 2000, terrorists struck at the base camp of the yatra in Pahalgam, killing 32 people. Officials said they are preparing for the yatra, and

would be significantly beefing up security along the entire route of the yatra. “We won’t leave anything to chance this time,” an army officer said. “It is one sure way of sending a message,” another official says. He pointed out that there is much more religious undertone to the

Former J&K interlocutor calls for urgent dialogue Wajahat Habibullah says Mehbooba’s timeline too late

protests ever since the PDPBJP combine came to power in the State.

New militant recruits Security agencies estimate that anywhere between 150 and 200 armed terrorists are now active in the Kashmir Valley. “Their numbers are one of

Centre under ire over rising violence Cong. cites death of civilians, soldiers Special Correspondent New Delhi

talking to those who don’t have a problem.” After her meeting earlier this week with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Ms Mufti had said the situation in the State could improve in two to three months and the dialogue process should be started thereafter.

Nistula Hebbar NEW DELHI

Former chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah has called for opening a dialogue between various stakeholders in Kashmir now rather than the “talks after two to three months” window suggested by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr Habibullah, who was a member of a committee of concerned citizens who visited Kashmir in the aftermath of the violence following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani last year, said talks were a matter of urgency at this time.

Including Hurriyat “If the things are normal

Vajpayee initiative Mr Habibullah, who, as a serving bureaucrat in Jammu and Kashmir in the1990s was the chief negotiator on behalf of the Indian government during the siege of the Hazrat Bal shrine in Srinagar, said that talking to the Hurriyat was an initiative of the Vajpayee government and that the current NDA government should keep that in mind.

Wajahat Habibullah

then what will the talks be for? You have to initiate talks to bring things to normal... you must open dialogue with various stakeholders including the Hurriyat and several sections of Kashmiri society in help resolve the problem,” he said, adding, “You have to open a dialogue with those who have a problem; there is no point in

the lowest, but most of them are very active and recent recruits,” one officer pointed out. According to an official estimate tabled in Parliament, 2016 saw the highest number of youths joining militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in the past six years — 88 of them. Recently inputs have also pointed towards the major terror groups — Lashkar-eToiba, Hizubl Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammed — joining hands to operate together. A recent video showed about 30 terrorists from these groups together. Posting militant videos to social media is a trend started by Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, whose death in an encounter on July 8 last year triggered the present phase of clashes that has left dozens dead. “We should be prepared for more attacks on security installations and for open public support to terrorists,” an army officer said, while discussing Thursday’s attack on an army camp in Kupwara in which an elderly civilian was killed in protests following the attack.

The Congress on Friday castigated the Modi government for increasing casualties in violence and terror attacks across the country, stressing that the law-andorder situation under the UPA administration was far better. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi expressed surprise that a government that spoke so much about nationalism was unable to halt the cycle of violent deaths. “This government speaks so much about nationalism,” he said, “and is unable to provide national security.” Comparing the casualty figures for the last 35 months of the Congress-led UPA rule and the same period under the present BJP-led government, Mr. Singhvi continued: “In


Student on the rampage

Jammu and Kashmir, 91 civilians and 198 soldiers lost their lives [since NDA came to power]. In the 35 months preceding this, that is during 2011-’14, 50 civilian and 103 jawans were killed — around half the current figures.”

Naxal violence Maoist violence in the 35 months since Narendra Modi came to power, he said, had claimed the lives of 442 civilians and 278 jawans, whereas in the 35 months that preceded it, the numbers were 367 and 268 respectively. Citing figures, he said violence had been on the rise in the northeast too. “On every parameter — be it Jammu and Kashmir, Maoist violence, Pakistan attack, China factor or the northeast — there has been an increase in attacks.”

Train tickets on demand by 2020

Flying to become paperless soon “We are trying to take forward the best practices of our airports and airlines and we are trying to understand how best to establish a uniform set of protocols which can be applied across the system that can provide us an opportunity to deliver a seamless digital experience,” the Minister said.

Navi Mumbai airport The Navi Mumbai airport will start operations in a phased manner beginning 2020, Mr. Sinha said. The plan is to make one terminal and one runway operational in the first CM YK

phase. “We are looking at it [Navi Mumbai airport] in phases. Our hope is that sometime in 2020, we will be able to get the first phase up and running,” Mr. Sinha said.

Reasons for hold up He said several issues, including “tricky terrain”, environmental clearance, resettlement and connectivity are holding up the commencement of operations at the airport. The GVK-led Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) had recently won the bid to operate the new airport.


Amid protests over the alleged “desecration” of a temple in Kashmir’s Anantnag district, the State government today said an investigation of the shrine’s complex has found all its properties “intact”. A team of district officials examined the Bhargashakha Bhagwati temple in the Mattan area after posts and pictures alleging its “desecration” were uploaded on social media by “mischievous elements”, an official spokesman said. PTI

Inquiry absolves principal of Pulwama college SRINAGAR

The principal of the Pulwama Degree College has been absolved by an official inquiry panel of any wrongdoing in trying to stop security personnel from entering his college. The inquiry, conducted by Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir Baseer Khan, was completed within a week’s time and a report was submitted to Jammu and Kashmir Education Minister Alftaf Bukhari, who had ordered the probe into the alleged highhandedness of security forces against the students. PTI

Rajnath briefs PM on J&K package NEW DELHI

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on steps taken in the aftermath of the naxal attack on security forces in Sukma as well as the status of the ₹80,000-crore development package for Jammu and Kashmir. The package was announced by Mr. Modi in November, 2015. So far, ₹19,000 crore has been released to the State government by the Centre. “The successful implementation of the mega package is key to assuage the feeling of alienation in Jammu and Kashmir,” officials said.

Four persons rescued by swimmers ANANTAPUR

₹30,000 crore. Globally, the public service obligation is met by the government. We are not sure how much the main Budget can finance it here,” Mr. Prabhu said. He said the Railways was focussing on bolstering its freight and non-fare revenue. “The non-fare revenue rose 72% this year. Our target is to increase the nonfare revenue to around ₹35,000 crore in the next 10 years,” he added.

J&K government says temple property intact

13 drown as boat capsizes in A.P. village Staff Reporter

Mr. Prabhu said the biggest challenge for the Railways is to meet the public sector obligation along with matching the performance of the corporate sector. He said the National Institute of Public, Finance and Policy will prepare a white paper on the actual cost incurred by the Railways in meeting public sector obligations. “The revenue loss for meeting public service obligation is as high as


Angry students of Allahabad Central University set ablaze a bus during a protest over fee hike, alleged corruption and eviction of unauthorised occupants from the hostels in Allahabad on Friday. PTI *

Thirteen persons drowned, one went missing and four were rescued as a boat capsized in the Y.T. Cheruvu village tank at the Gooty mandal of Anantapur district on Friday evening. Police said 18 persons were travelling in a country boat (teppa) in the Yerra Thimmaraju Cheruvu village tank. Most of the victims belonged to a family that had come to the village to attend a programme that was to be held on Saturday. “They decided to go on a pleasure trip in the village tank. Inexperience of the boatman and the large number of

Cong. slams Dhingra report leak

Parashuram to enter textbooks

Abhishek Manu Singhvi points the inger at Centre, calls it an act of vendetta

Press Trust of India

Special Correspondent


New Delhi

The Rajasthan government will soon introduce a “biography” of the Hindu deity Parashuram in school libraries and include a chapter on him in textbooks. Addressing a gathering at a ceremony in Ajmer to mark the life of Lord Parashuram, State Education Minister Vasudev Devnani on Friday said the chapter would be included in the school syllabus from next year. The Minister had earlier hit the headlines after suggesting that cows exhale oxygen.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Friday accused the Central government of leaking the Dhingra Commission report, saying it was “blinded by power and steeped in vendetta.” News reports based on the Justice S.N. Dhingra report accuse former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-inlaw Robert Vadra of wrongdoing in land deals in Haryana. Mr. Singhvi pointed out that as Mr. Vadra had not re-

ceived any summons from the Dhingra Commission to depose before it, he could not be accused of anything till his personal testimony had been taken. In the case of Mr. Hooda, he said, that though the latter had received letters from the Commission, none of them was an 8(b) notice, as is legally mandated. In fact, when Mr. Hooda pointed out all this to the Commission, it had responded by saying it would not be sending an 8(b) notice. He said there were two court injunctions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, dated November 23, 2016

and April 26, 2017, blocking publication of the contents of the Dhingra report. “These are selective opportunistic leaks,” he stressed.

Baseless charges: Khattar Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday dismissed as baseless the charges that his office was involved in leaking the panel’s report, pertaining to alleged land scams in Haryana. “A copy of the report was submitted to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover...The court will take cognisance of this matter,” Mr. Khattar told journalists in Chandigarh,

adding: “There has been no leak but if at all it is established, it will be a matter for probe.” According to a news report published in The Economics Times, the Dhingra Commission is said to have concluded that Mr. Vadra had made unlawful profits of ₹50.5 crore from a land deal in Haryana in 2008. The Commission was set up by the Khattar government in May 2015 to look into the grant of licences for change in land use in four villages of Gurgaon, including the licence granted to the Vadra-owned Skylight Hospitality.

passengers on the boat seemed to be the primary cause of the accident,” Guntakal TDP MLA Jitender Goud said. He was present with police officers to supervise rescue efforts.

Rescue teams The police rushed to the spot and pressed trained swimmers into service. Revenue staff and ambulances were arranged to assist the rescue team. Bodies of three women, six girls and four boys were fished out. Four persons, including a fiveyear-old, were rescued. They were shifted to a hospital where their condition was said to be critical.

4 Cong. MLAs join BJP in Manipur Iboyaima Laithangbam IMPHAL

With four Opposition Congress MLAs — Yengkhom Surchandra, Ngamthang Haokip, O. Lukhoi and S. Bira — joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has consolidated his position. The latest development increases the strength of the BJP in the Manipur Assembly to 27. Coalition partners have been exerting pressure on the CM and one minister even submitted his resignation. In the 60-member House, the ruling Congress had 28 seats. A ND-ND








Security cost row hits UDAN’s light Ministries of Home, Finance and Civil Aviation squabble over cost of security at 43 additional airports

Govindachamy escapes noose again

Special Correspondent

function, the money should come from the Consolidated Fund of the Government of India, the Finance Ministry is said to have suggested that the burden be borne by air travellers by increasing the “passenger fee”. The Home Ministry however, disagreed with this suggestion, contending that it would lead to in air fare hike.

New Delhi

SC to hear ex-scientist’s plea in August NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court today said it would hear in August the plea of 76-year-old former scientist Nambi Narayanan discharged in the ISRO espionage case.

Naxalite’s body recovered from Sukma RAIPUR

The body of a Naxalite has been recovered from the site where 25 CRPF personnel were killed earlier this week in an ambush by rebels in the Burkapal area of Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district.

Court refuses to cancel Jagan’s bail

The government’s low-cost regional air connectivity scheme has led to inter-ministerial tussle over the cost of the security infrastructure for the project. The Ministry of Civil Aviation already owes ₹800 crore to the Home Ministry for deploying Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and other central police forces at 59 airports. The addition of 43 airports under the UDAN scheme is going to add considerably to the cost. The Finance Ministry has suggested that the cost be borne by passengers.

PMO’s call A meeting on Friday between the three ministries to discuss unified security architecture for the aviation sector and consolidation of security at airports under

Set for takeof: UDAN aims at boosting regional connectivity. The picture shows a light at Mysuru airport. M.A.SRIRAM *

the CISF, failed to reach a consensus. The matter may now go to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The issue had earlier been flagged to the National Security Advisor (NSA) but no conclusion could be reached. Minister of State for Civil

Aviation Jayant Sinha, MoS for Home Kiren Rijiju, their counterpart in the Finance Ministry Arjun Ram Meghwal, and top officials of the three ministries attended the meeting. While the Civil Aviation Ministry argued that since security is a sovereign

Growing numbers Mr. Sinha said, “We are closely working with these ministries to be able to strengthen the presence of CISF at all airports, including UDAN airports. We have 7075 functional airports and expect that in two-three years the number would go up to 200 airports. Once we have 200 airports, we have to think very carefully about the security architecture. This is what I discussed with

my colleagues in the Finance and Home Ministries because we would like to make security a sovereign function and ensure the funding of security is not done on an airport-to-airport basis but is done comprehensively across the aviation network.” The UDAN scheme aims at stimulating regional connectivity with flights covering distances up to 800 km through a market-based mechanism. Forty-three cities will be linked on India’s flight connectivity grid.Out of the 98 functional airports in the country, 59 are under CISF cover. Among them, 26 airports, including New Delhi and Mumbai, are in the hyper-sensitive category. Among these, 18 are under CISF cover, while the rest are guarded by the State police or paramilitary forces.


The Principal Court for CBI cases here on Friday dismissed the petition filed by the investigating agency seeking cancellation of the bail given to YSR Congress president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, in the alleged quid pro quo case.

Turkey seeks defence ties with India Kallol Bhattacherjee NEW DELHI

Looking beyond traditional military ties with Pakistan and the NATO member countries, Turkey is eager to build a defence partnership with India. A senior Turkish official said that apart from defence, Ankara wants to explore nuclear and space opportunities with India and intends to join hands with it for a more just world order. “India is one of the biggest importers of defence material in the world and has an excellent defence industry. That is why we are keen to build partnership with India’s defence industry,” said H. Ilnur Cevik, Senior Adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Turkey and Pakistan have been traditional friends since the 1950s when both joined the Western Bloc. But Mr. Cevik maintained that Turkey has decided to create space for cooperation with India. In an exclusive chat with The Hindu, Mr. Cevik said that despite support to Pakistan’s concerns on Kashmir, Turkey believes that the Kashmir issue has no military solution. “Pakistan is a very good friend of Turkey but that does not mean India cannot be a close friend of Turkey ,” Mr. Cevik said.“We want India to be a partner of Turkey in defence, in nuclear issues, on contracting issues in Africa – in all areas – we want India to be our partner.”

Kerala plea in Soumya case dismissed

Cyprus calls for action against backers of ‘violence factories’

Engineering entrance test put on hold

Legal Correspondent NEW DELHI

A six-judge Bench of the Supreme Court dismissed a curative petition filed by the Kerala government on the commutation of the death penalty of Govindachamy, the sole accused in the 2011 rape and murder of Soumya. Govindachamy, who was sentenced to death for the murder of 23-year-old Soumya, escaped the noose when the Supreme Court found no clinching evidence to prove he had intended to kill her. However, the court found enough evidence to prove that he had raped her in the “most brutal and grotesque” manner and upheld the lower courts’ decision to put him behind bars for life.

No case made out The curative petition was dismissed by a Bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, Justices J. Chelameswar, Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi, P.C. Pant and U.U. Lalit via circulation. The Bench found that no case was

made out in the State's curative petition warranting the rare possibility of the Supreme Court re-considering its original judgment. In its curative petition, the State said the court was so “hurt” and “swayed” by former SC judge Justice Markandeya Katju’s critical comments in his Facebook blog that it ended up prejudicing the State’s efforts for a review in a death penalty case. In a way, the State became the unwitting victim of the battle of wits between the Supreme Court and Justice Katju. “The State feels greatly prejudiced by the course of events which culminated in the issuance of notice for contempt to Hon’ble Justice Katju. The review (of the State) was heard and decided by a Bench of this court which had felt hurt by the criticism of many, including Hon’ble Justice Katju, that the judgment in the criminal appeal was erroneous,” the curative petition, filed by advocate Nishe Shonker for the State, had contended.

Special Correspondent

Signs four pacts with India, including on air services and merchant shipping Press Trust of India New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday strongly pitched for decisive action against states supporting, sheltering and sustaining “violence factories” in their regions. The two leaders held detailed discussions on bilateral as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern. These included ways to boost trade ties and U.N. Security Council reforms. Both sides also signed four pacts, including one for air services and another on cooperation in merchant shipping. At a joint media event with the Cypriot leader, Mr. Modi said India has always stood with Cyprus on crucial issues and firmly supports its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.

With open arms: Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday SANDEEP SAXENA *

Mr. Anastasiades said he is sincerely appreciative of his “dearest friend” Modi and the Indian government for India’s unequivocal support on the Cyprus issue.

Terrorism threat Mr. Modi said that while In-

dia has been battling crossborder terrorism for decades, Cyprus, due to its geography, understood the threat posed by terrorism. “We agreed that there is an urgent need for all countries to decisively act against those states which generate,

support, shelter and sustain these factories of violence in our regions,” the prime minister said in a veiled reference to Pakistan. Emphasising the need for creating a comprehensive legal framework to fight terror, Mr. Modi advocated early closure of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, proposed by India at the UN. The two sides also agreed on the need for early reforms in the UNSC as Mr. Modi expressed India’s appreciation for Cyprus’ support to India’s bid for inclusion in the world body as a permanent member. The Cypriot leader said his country wanted India to be a part of the NSG. Describing the Cypriot President as “friend and supporter of India”, Mr. Modi said he discussed ways to better the ties in “inter- governmental organisations and regimes.”

Clashes in Gujarat NITI Aayog chief hits village leave one dead back at industry Special Correspondent AHMEDABAD

One person was killed in clashes between members of two communities in Mathak village of Morbi district of Gujarat. Following the incident, the police booked three persons for murder and filled two separate FIRs against a mob for resorting to violence. The incident occurred on Wednesday night when 30year-old Tausif Hussein Vadgama was killed after an altercation between members of two communities turned violent. According to sources, one Yograjsinh had clicked a pic-

ture of a woman that led to argument between Tausif and Yograjsinh, who stabbed Tausif to death. In the scuffle, two other persons also received injuries. After the murder of Tausif, a mob gathered and several shops were set on fire. Police vehicles were also targeted by miscreants. “Now the situation is under control. We have booked three persons for murder,” a police official from Morbi said. This is the second incident of violence when a person belonging to the minority community has been killed.

Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

Industry should take responsibility for the failure to create adequate jobs in India in recent years, NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya said on Friday in a brusque response to a query about the Centre’s strategy for job creation. “Why does China export $175 billion of apparel and we export only $17 billion? I think there is some responsibility on the part of the industry,” Mr. Panagariya said at the CII’s annual session. When a senior industry representative termed the

lack of jobs ‘the biggest failure’ of the present government, Mr. Panagariya said: “I am sorry you are asking the wrong question. What is industry doing on this? Government makes policies. Why is it that no industrialist thinks of the 500 million workers in our abundant workforce at a relatively low wage level. Why is it I don’t see a single industrialist thinking of starting a factory of 2,50,000 workers doing apparel?” “I understand you will naturally go for profits. But if jobs is a big issue, why doesn’t the industry act?” he said.

New Delhi

The Centre as decided to put on hold a move to have a single entrance examination for all engineering courses across the country for now, in view of opposition from some states. The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) had decided earlier this year that a national-level common entrance examination for engineering colleges be conducted from 2018 onwards. However, some state governments are not on board yet regarding this idea, making the Ministry of Human Resource Development decide to defer the move till the points of disagreement with states are ironed out. State governments like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are opposed to the move, as per reports. “The common entrance test has been put on hold in view of differences with some states. While some states have their own entrance tests, some take the Class-12 marks as the criterion for admission,” a senior AICTE official told The Hindu. “Till these differences are ironed out and the Centre and states brought on the same page, we have decided to put on hold a common entrance test.” The HRD Ministry had initiated the move for a common test on the lines of the National Eligibilitycum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical and dental colleges. The Central Board of Secondory Examination conducts the Joint Entrance Exam-Mains for engineering courses. Some States conduct their own tests, while some colleges grant admissions based on marks.

Money laundering may be made criminal ofence Move aimed at facilitating quick action Devesh K. Pandey New Delhi

The Central government is considering a proposal to make money laundering a separate criminal offence to be investigated by the Enforcement Directorate, irrespective of a probe by other agencies. This will facilitate quick action against those indulging in money laundering. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money has also been of the view that money laundering investigations by the Enforcement Directorate should be allowed without any dependence on registration of cases by other police agencies under the legal provisions listed in the schedule of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

An offence elsewhere Under the current arrangement in India, the fate of money laundering cases depends on that of the probe and prosecutions in predicate offences pursued by primary agencies. Many in government agencies are of the view that certain restrictions on money laundering investigations on several occasions cause impediments in taking the cases to their logical conclusion. Money laundering in it-

self has been defined as a criminal offence in several countries. Besides, there are separate legislations for dealing with funds generated through activities like drug trafficking or terror financing. The United States has very stringent laws to check money laundering.

Situation in U.K. In the United Kingdom, police have to prove predicate offence through circumstantial evidence, linking it to the funds generated and laundered. Wherever money laundering is treated as a standalone crime, U.K. agencies are not required to wait for the outcome of investigations into the predicate offence. Also, they are not supposed to prove that the funds are proceeds of a particular offence. Based on enough circumstantial evidence, they have to just establish that the proceeds had a criminal origin. According to experts, the government will have to bring about several amendments to the PMLA, including the current definition of the “proceeds of crime” that is right now dependent upon the predicate offences as listed in the Act’s schedule.

Give women their space, says SC Court upholds conviction of man who stalked a girl and drove her to suicide stalking of a girl, forced her to commit suicide in 2008. The convict had moved the Supreme Court in appeal against the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s order sentencing him to seven years’ imprisonment for abetment of suicide. The Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s judgment, saying his conduct included psychological harassment of his victim.”’

Krishnadas Rajagopal New Delhi

Noting that a woman has her own space just as a man does, the Supreme Court on Friday said sexual harassment of women had become a “pernicious, horrid and disgusting” practice in India. Highlighting how incessant troubling of a woman creates an “incurable dent” on her rights, the court asked why a woman can’t be allowed to live in peace, lead a life that is empowered with dignity and freedom, have her own mind and love according to her choice. The judgment, authored by Justice Misra, said “male chauvinism has no room in a civilised society”.

Continuing harassment “We are at pains to state that in a civilised society eveteasing is causing harassment to women in educational institutions, public places, parks, railways staCM YK

All for rights: The Supreme Court said male chauvinism has no room in a civilised society. Picture shows a protest in Delhi.

tions and other public places, which only go to show that the requisite sense of respect for women has not been socially cultivated,” a three-judge Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and M.M. Shantanagoudar observed in a judgment. “A man should not put his

ego or, for that matter, masculinity on a pedestal and abandon the concept of civility. Egoism must succumb to law,” the court observed in the judgment.

Suicide in 2008 The court was upholding the conviction of a man whose harassment and

‘Gender-sensitivity’ “The right to live with dignity as per Article 21 of the Constitution cannot be violated by indulging in the obnoxious act of eve-teasing. A woman enjoys as much equality under Article 14 of the Constitution as a man does. Eve-teasing affects the fundamental concept of gender sensitivity and justice and the rights of a woman under Article 14 of the Constitution,” Justice Dipak Misra held. A ND-ND








Major Korea conlict possible: U.S. Trump says he wants a diplomatic solution but it’s very diicult Reuters

Macron will be a strong President, says Merkel BERLIN

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that Emmanuel Macron would be a strong President for France. “I haven’t the slightest doubt that Macron, should he win, which is what I hope for, would be a strong President,” Ms. Merkel told the RND newspaper group. Reuters

As election looms, British economy slows LONDON

Britain’s economic growth slowed in the irst quarter to the weakest pace in a year, oicial data showed on Friday — a blow for a nation facing heightened tensions over Brexit ahead of June’s general election. Gross domestic product expanded by 0.3% in the three months to the end of March, compared with 0.7% in the inal quarter of 2016. AFP

Arkansas carries out 4th execution in 8 days WASHINGTON

Arkansas executed another inmate on Thursday, the last in a series of lethal injections that the state has squeezed into a compressed timeline. Kenneth Williams, 38, became the fourth inmate put to death in Arkansas in a span of eight days. He died after receiving a lethal injection, Arkansas Attorney-General Leslie Rutledge said. AFP

Chinese lawyer sentenced after secret trial BEIJING

China sentenced its prominent human rights lawyer Li Heping, best known for defending blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, to a three-year suspended sentence on Friday following a secret trial. AFP


U.S. President Donald Trump said a “major, major conflict” with North Korea was possible over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, while China said the situation on the Korean peninsula could escalate or slip out of control. Mr. Trump on Thursday said he wanted to resolve the crisis peacefully, possibly through the use of new economic sanctions, although a military option was not off the table. “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea,” Mr. Trump said in an interview to Reuters at the Oval Office. “We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” he said, describing North Korea as his biggest global challenge.

Tillerson’s warning Later, on Friday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that failure to curb North Korea’s nuclear and missile abilities could lead to ‘catastrophic consequences’. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the UN Security Council that “the key to solving the nuclear issue on the peninsula does not lie in the hands of the Chinese side.” Mr. Tillerson urged the 15member body to act before North Korea does and called on states to sever diplomatic and financial ties with Pyongyang. He said that because China accounted for 90% of North Korean trade, its role was particularly important. “Failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences,” said Mr. Tillerson. The U.S. was not pushing for regime change and preferred a ne-

Slain blogger’s father seeks foreign probe ‘I don’t trust Male police investigation’

Urges her to get prior approval

gotiated solution, but Pyongyang, for its own sake, should dismantle its nuclear and missile programmes, he said. “The threat of a nuclear attack on Seoul, or Tokyo, is real, and it’s only a matter of time before North Korea develops the capability to strike the U.S. mainland,” he said.

Somini Sengupta Gardiner Harris United Nations

The U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki R. Haley, has often been the first, most outspoken member of the Trump administration to weigh in on key foreign policy issues, on everything from military strikes on Syria to sanctions against Russia. Much of that has come as a surprise to the State Department, and the Secretary of State, Rex W. Tillerson, has often been far from the limelight. Now, in an apparent attempt to foster greater coherence in U.S. foreign policy, State Department officials are urging her aides to ensure that her public remarks are cleared by Washington first. An email drafted by State Department diplomats urged Ms. Haley’s office to rely on “building blocks” written by

China urges dialogue While Mr. Tillerson repeated the Trump administration's position that all options are on the table if Pyongyang persists with its nuclear and missile development, Mr. Yi said military threats would not help. Mr. Yi said dialogue and negotiations were the “only way out” and called on parties to stop arguing over who must take the first step. China wants talks first and action later, while the United States wants North Korea to curtail its nuclear programme before such talks start. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov also said on Friday the use of force would be “completely unacceptable.” China and Russia both also repeated their opposition to the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea. Mr. Gatilov described it as a “destabilising effort”, while Mr. Yi said it damaged trust among the parties. Also, a top foreign policy adviser to South Korea’s presidential frontrunner Moon Jae-in said on Friday that Mr. Trump’s suggestion that Seoul pay for the THAAD advanced U.S. missile defence system would be an “impossible option”. Mr. Trump had said that he wants South Korea to pay for the $1 billion Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.


Father of slain Maldivian blogger Yameen Rasheed has appealed to the international community to intervene in the probe into his son’s recent death. “I don’t trust the [Male] police investigation,” he told reporters here on Friday. Currently in Colombo to pressure diplomats to take up the case, 54-year-old Hussain Rasheed said India, as the most important country in the region, must take the lead. “No one feels safe in Male,” he said of the island’s capital city, where activists accuse the government of curbing dissent.

Dissident views Earlier this month, Yameen Rasheed, 29, known for his dissident views, was stabbed to death by unidentified persons. “I was not allowed to see his body at first, but after some arguments with the staff at the hospital, I got to see him,” his father said, recalling having spotted at least

14 stab wounds on his son’s chest and forehead. “His throat was slit, and part of his skull was missing.” The blogger spent much of his childhood in Kerala, where his father continues to work. After completing his schooling in Thiruvananthapuram with his siblings, Yameen went to Bangalore to pursue a degree in computer science. “He could understand Hindi and Malayalam well, but hardly knew any Dhivehi [Maldivian] language,” said the father. He moved to Male in 2010. “We heard that he had reported some death threats he received in the name of Islam to the police,” Mr. Rasheed said, adding that while his son was not irreligious, he was against radical Islam. “There was no action from the police,” he said, accusing them of erasing evidence at the scene of crime. Following the blogger’s murder, the UN called for an immediate probe that meets international standards.

Haroon Habib Dhaka

Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir has announced his decision to return the award conferred on his late father by Bangladesh for his contribution to Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971. Mr. Mir’s father, Waris Mir, was awarded by Bangladesh for raising his voice against military atrocities in the then East Pakistan. He had penned a series of reports in Urdu newspaper Jung on the atrocities carried out by the Pakistani Army on the night of March 25, 1971. Announcing the surprise decision on Friday, Mr. Mir claimed that Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was “bent on deteriorating relations with

‘U.K. should alter immigration rhetoric’ NGO says the debate should be more positive and go beyond the economic argument Vidya Ram

The forthcoming general election offers British politicians and the media an opportunity to change the rhetoric around immigration and migrants, said the head of an NGO working on migrants. While official figures have shown a rise in hate crime in the immediate aftermath of last year’s Brexit vote, anecdotal evidence suggests this has continued, triggering wider concerns and fears within Black and minority ethnic communities, even those who have lived in Britain for generations. “When people are verbally abused, the abuser isn’t concerned about their immigration status — they may just see someone with a different accent, or someone who looks different,” says Fizza Qureshi, director of the Migrants’ Right Network, which has also been tracking incidents of racism and xenophobic street harassment via a volunteer-created initiative iStreetWatch. The initiative has mon-

Countering hate: An anti-racism protest called by the ‘Stand Up To Racism’ group in south London earlier in the month. AFP *

itored incidents up and down the country — from northern Scotland to Cornwall in the south —— and hundreds of incidents in London and the surrounding areas. “The idea is to get a visual map of what is happening, and to look at what the political and media narrative is and see if there is a correlation.” “We know there is significant underreporting of events. And even if there is fear in the community that is not necessarily translated

into the incidents.”



Fuelling concerns There are concerns that the language deployed by the media and politicians are adding to the frenzied atmosphere around the issue of immigration. “We are monitoring the language used by politicians — it’s unlikely to be very different to what has been previously expressed, especially by those parties and candidates who want to close the doors or want

much reduced immigration,” says Ms. Qureshi. She added that existing policies were fuelling concerns and were proving difficult for communities to handle. “There is an issue of the hostile environment. The Prime Minister [Theresa May] when she was Home Secretary was pushing a crackdown on undocumented migrants but this also impacts on communities themselves who are asked to do the policing and check their right to be in the country — whether it’s employers or NHS staff — this is creating divisions,” she said, adding that mapping by the network of businesses that being subject to immigration raids had found a significant number of Indian and Pakistani restaurants had been among them. “There is an approach where certain communities are being focused on, and this adds to the tensions.” We think there should be a more rights-based approach to immigration, making it a more fair and transparent

Pak. envoy summoned by Iran

‘Let us say ‘No’ to violence in the name of God’





Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Pakistan’s Ambassador in Tehran to protest against the killing of nine Iranian border guards by Sunni militants attacking from neighbouring Pakistan, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported on Friday. A Sunni militant group called Jaish al Adl, or the Army of Justice, has claimed responsibility for the attack on Wednesday in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan Province. “Iran expects Pakistan to take serious and essential measures to arrest and punish those terrorists responsible for the killing of our nine guards,” IRNA quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.

Pope Francis, starting a twoday visit to Egypt, urged Muslim leaders on Friday to unite in renouncing religious extremism at a time when Islamist militants are targeting ancient Christian communities across the West Asian region. Pope Francis’s trip, aimed at improving ChristianMuslim ties, comes just three weeks after Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 45 people in two Egyptian churches. “Let us say once more a firm and clear ‘No!’ to every form of violence, vengeance and hatred carried out in the name of religion or in the name of God,” the Pope told a peace conference at Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, Al-

On a visit to Egypt, Pope urges Muslim leaders to unite against religious extremism

process rather than what seems to be one that is subjective and based on ad hoc policies that are constantly changing.”

Positive debate She added a more positive conversation was needed on immigration — that went beyond the economic contribution of migrants. “We will be looking to encourage the media and candidates to consider how they talk about migrants and refugees, to ensure that it’s non-divisive and fairer.” There have been a number of public initiatives in response to some of the media coverage of the issue of immigration and race, including one called Stop Funding Hate that is focusing on encouraging advertisers to avoid publications such as the Sun, The Daily Mail and The Daily Express. “I think it’s a sign that the current processes for dealing with such issues are not working and people are having to use other means to try and influence the media.”


Mutual appreciation: Pope Francis with Sheikh Ahmed alTayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, in Cairo, Egypt on Friday.



wound down, drove off into the heavily guarded capital. He is the second Pope to visit Egypt, the most populous Arab nation, following John Paul II, who came in 2000.

‘Unmask the militants’ “It is our duty to unmask the peddlers of illusions about the afterlife, those who preach hatred in order to rob simple people of their present life,” the pontiff said in his second speech of the day, to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The Pope appeared on Friday to criticise the notion of political Islam, saying: “Religion risks being absorbed into the administration of temporal affairs and tempted by the allure of worldly powers

that in fact exploit it.” The pontiff has repeatedly said that Christian-Muslim dialogue is the only way to confront Islamist fundamentalism, but his message carried special resonance inside Al-Azhar, where he was a guest of its Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, widely considered among the most moderate clerics in Egypt. In his own speech, Tayeb said militants had “carelessly” and “ignorantly” misinterpreted religious texts. “Islam is not a religion of terrorism,” he said. Pope Francis stressed the importance of good education. “To counter effectively the barbarity of those who foment hatred and violence, we need to accompany young people,” he said.

Pakistan”. He added the award was a “deception” on the part of Ms. Hasina’s government. Among those chosen for the “Foreign Friends of Bangladesh Award” in 2013 were 13 Pakistanis, including Mr. Mir’s father. His announcement came as a surprise as he was among those who have been calling on Islamabad to offer an apology to Dhaka for the atrocities committed in 1971. Bangladesh’s relations with Pakistan have been deteriorating as war crimes trials progressed. They hit a new low last year as Islamabad broke diplomatic protocol and condemned the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leaders.

French leader quits over ‘Nazi remarks’ Reuters Paris

Marine Le Pen’s bid to defy the odds and win the French presidency risked a setback on Friday when the man named interim head of her National Front party stood down to defend himself against charges that he shares the views of Holocaust deniers. Days ahead of a May 7 run-off pitting the far-right leader against centrist exbanker Emmanuel Macron, the abrupt exit of JeanFrancois Jalkh raised ghosts of the FN’s past and revived a furore sparked by Ms. Le Pen’s father when he called the Nazi gas chambers a “detail” of history. At issue are comments attributed to Mr. Jalkh in a conversation with a researcher in 2005 about the work of Robert Faurisson, a professor convicted more than once for questioning the scale of Jewish extermination in Nazi gas chambers during the Second World War.

Taliban launches ‘spring ofensive’ Agence France-Presse

While Egypt has escaped the sort of violence that has engulfed Syria and Iraq, its Christian community has felt the full force of Islamist militants over the past six months, with bomb attacks in several churches.

Azhar. Eschewing the armoured motorcades normally reserved for visiting heads of state, the 80-yearold pontiff instead clambered into a simple Fiat car on his arrival, and, with his window

the department to prepare her remarks. Her comments should be “re-cleared with Washington if they are substantively different from the building blocks, or if they are on a high-profile issue such as Syria, Iran, IsraelPalestine, or the DPRK (North Korea),” added the email, the text of which was seen by The Times. The State Department and the U.S. mission at the UN did not respond to requests for comment. The request underlines the vastly contrasting styles of the Trump administration’s two top diplomats, Ms. Haley and Mr. Tillerson. Ms. Haley is an outspoken former Governor who has been on Sunday talk shows and given interviews to several television news outlets. Mr. Tillerson is a former oil company executive who has kept a noticeably low profile. NYT

Pak. journalist to return father’s award to Dhaka


Meera Srinivasan

State Dept. wants to screen Haley’s remarks


The Afghan Taliban launched their “spring offensive” on Friday, heralding fresh fighting in the drawn-out conflict as embattled security forces struggle to recover from a devastating attack on a military base one week ago. Operation Mansouri — named after the group’s former leader, killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2016 — will target foreign forces with “conventional attacks, guerilla warfare, complex martyrdom attacks, insider attacks”, an insurgent statement said. “The enemy will be targeted, harassed, killed or captured until they abandon their last posts,” it continued. The annual spring offensive normally marks the start

of the “fighting season”, though this winter, the Taliban continued to battle government forces, most successfully in last week’s attack on the military base outside the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The massacre last Friday saw insurgents armed with guns and suicide bombs slaughter at least 135 young recruits, according to the official toll, though multiple sources have claimed it is much higher. Afghanistan's Interior Ministry shrugged off the Taliban threats Friday, saying the offensive was “not something new”. The Taliban statement also vowed a political approach in areas it controls that will focus on statebuilding and “establishing mechanisms for social justice and development”. A ND-ND







market watch 28-04-2017


Sensex dddddddddddddddddddddd 29,918 ddddddddddddd -0.37 US Dollar dddddddddddddddddddd 64.24 ddddddddddddd -0.12 Gold ddddddddddddddddddddddddddd 29,480 ddddddddddddddd0.10 Brent oil ddddddddddddddddddddd 51.50 ddddddddddddddd1.62

Tata-Docomo deal gets nod


ACC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1626.55. . . . . . . . -9.45 Adani Ports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327.70. . . . . . . . . 5.20 Ambuja Cements. . . .. . . . . . 245.90. . . . . . . . -3.60 Asian Paints. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1120.45. . . . . . . 15.10 Aurobindo Pharma . . . . . . 606.75. . . . . . . . -0.30 Axis Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 509.65. . . . . . . . . 3.05 Bajaj Auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2864.00. . . . . . . . -2.05 Bank of Baroda . . . . . .. . . . . . 187.55. . . . . . . . . 6.15 Bharti Airtel . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 355.50. . . . . . . . -2.40 Bosch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22991.60. . . . . 468.00 BPCL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 719.25. . . . . . -16.75 Cipla . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 557.45. . . . . . . . -4.25 Coal India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 276.65. . . . . . . . . 2.50 Dr Reddys Lab . . . . . . . .. . . . 2599.15. . . . . . . . . 2.60 Eicher Motors. . . . . . . . .. 26068.00. . . . . . . 94.10 GAIL (India). . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 423.95. . . . . . . . . 5.55 Grasim Ind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1155.05. . . . . . . . . 2.85 HCL Tech. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 814.10. . . . . . . . . 4.40 HDFC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1537.15. . . . . . -29.35 HDFC Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1546.50. . . . . . -22.10 Hero MotoCorp . . . . . .. . . . 3318.60. . . . . . . 17.80 Hindalco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199.35. . . . . . . . . 4.50 Hind Unilever . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 934.95. . . . . . -12.35 Indiabulls HFL . . . . . . . .. . . . 1016.95. . . . . . . 12.55 ICICI Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278.50. . . . . . . . . 4.35 IndusInd Bank . . . . . . . .. . . . 1444.95. . . . . . -25.70 Bharti Infratel . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 354.70. . . . . . -12.10 Infosys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 918.95. . . . . . . . -6.30 Indian OilCorp . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 440.05. . . . . . . . -3.25 ITC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278.00. . . . . . . . -7.80 Kotak Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901.95. . . . . . -14.70 L&T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1749.80. . . . . . -16.95 Lupin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1338.35. . . . . . . . . 2.15 M&M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1335.55. . . . . . . . -1.65 Maurti Suzuki . . . . . . . . .. . . . 6524.85. . . . . 150.80 NTPC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164.50. . . . . . . . . 0.40 ONGC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186.55. . . . . . . . . 7.45 PowerGrid Corp . . . . .. . . . . . 208.00. . . . . . . . . 0.25 Reliance Ind . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1395.20. . . . . . -14.30 State Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289.75. . . . . . . . . 7.70 Sun Pharma . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 641.95. . . . . . . . . 4.95 Tata Motors . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 458.90. . . . . . . . . 3.55 Tata Motors DVR. . . .. . . . . . 280.00. . . . . . . . . 3.70 Tata Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84.30. . . . . . . . -0.35 Tata Steel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 449.25. . . . . . . . . 3.40 TCS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2273.15. . . . . . -29.50 Tech Mahindra . . . . . . .. . . . . . 416.95. . . . . . . . -8.00 UltraTech Cement . .. . . . 4248.95. . . . . . . 11.85 Wipro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 494.25. . . . . . . . -1.80 YES Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1630.25. . . . . . -12.15 Zee Entertainment . . . . . . 526.85. . . . . . . . -3.90

EXCHANGE RATES Indicative direct rates in rupees a unit except yen at 4 p.m. on April 28 CURRENCY



US Dollar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 64.04. . . . . . . 64.36 Euro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 70.02. . . . . . . 70.37 British Pound . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 82.87. . . . . . . 83.29 Japanese Yen (100) . .. . 57.51. . . . . . . 57.80 Chinese Yuan . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 9.29. . . . . . . . . 9.34 Swiss Franc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 64.65. . . . . . . 64.98 Singapore Dollar . . . . . . .. . 45.88. . . . . . . 46.11 Canadian Dollar . . . . . . . . .. . 46.94. . . . . . . 47.18 Malaysian Ringitt . . . . . .. . 14.74. . . . . . . 14.83 Source:Indian Bank



April 28 rates in rupees with previous rates in parentheses Retail Silver (1g) . . . . . . . . . . . 43.20. . . . . (43.10) 22 ct gold (1 g) . .. . . . . . . . . . . 2,778. . . . . (2,769)

RBI has no locus: Delhi High Court

Overseas call: The deal will have a bearing on the goodwill of Tata Sons, the court says. Akanksha Jain NEW DELHI

The Delhi High Court on Friday declared as “enforceable in India” the Arbitral Award of $1.18 billion to be paid by Tata Sons Ltd. to its erstwhile Japanese telecom partner NTT Docomo Inc. as it rejected RBI’s contention that the same was opposed to the public policy of India, while also holding that an Indian entity honouring its commitment would have an impact on foreign direct investment inflows. “The Award dated 22nd June 2016 passed by the Arbitral Tribunal in London... is declared as enforceable in India and shall operate as a deemed decree of this Court,” said Justice S. Muralidhar. He also declared that the parties are bound by the Consent Terms and will proceed to take steps in terms thereof. “The issue of an Indian entity honouring its commitment under a contract with a foreign entity which was not entered into under any duress or coercion will have a bearing on its goodwill and reputation in the international arena,” said Justice Muralidhar. “It will indubitably have an impact

on the foreign direct investment inflows and the strategic relationship between the countries where the parties to a contract are located. These too are factors that have to be kept in view when examining whether the enforcement of the Award would be consistent with the public policy of India,” he said. In a statement, Tata Sons welcomed the order. Docomo had come to the court seeking execution of the award. In February, Tata Sons informed the court that it had no objection to the same. The RBI, however, sought an intervention saying the award could not be enforced despite both parties reaching a settlement. The court held that the RBI had no locus in the matter. “The issue had dented the reputation of the country in respecting sanctity of private contracts,” Ramesh Vaidyanathan, managing partner, Advaya Legal said. “The RBI had no business poking its nose into this dispute in the first place. The matter could have been left to the court,” he said. (With inputs from Piyush Pandey in Mumbai)

Mull privatising PSBs: Acharya ‘Divestment is an option given state-run banks’ poor health’ SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT MUMBAI

The deteriorating health of public sector banks has prompted the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to suggest radical steps to tackle the issue including considering mergers and possibly even the privatisation of some of the lenders which had been previously nationalised. Commenting that the government should not allocate capital poorly, RBI deputy governor Viral Acharya mooted options for the troubled sector including

raising private capital and selling non-core assets. According to the central banker, divestment is also one option that needs to be considered. “Undertaking these measures would improve overall banking sector health, creating an opportune time for the government to divest some of its ownership of the restructured banks, as it has over time in many other sectors of the economy,” he said at a seminar organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and In-

dustry (FICCI). “Perhaps re-privatising some of the nationalised banks is an idea whose time has come?” he said. These steps would pare the overall amount the Centre needed to inject as bank capital and help preserve its hard-earned fiscal discipline, he opined. Fiscal discipline along with a stable inflation outlook and the diverse nature of the country’s growth engine had made India the darling of foreign investors, Mr. Acharya said.

IBBI mulls fast-tracking process

Proit is not a bad word, unfair enrichment is: Jaitley

‘Taxing farm income is States’ call’

Special Correspondent

Anti-proiteering clause prevents irms from reaping gains

Special Correspondent

New Delhi

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) is considering fasttracking insolvency resolution process for corporate debtors, the body’s chairman M.S. Sahoo said. Speaking at an Assocham conference on ‘New Corporate Insolvency Regime,’ Mr. Sahoo said: “We want laws to be [enacted] as fast as possible, in tune with market requirements, in sync with the need; and business should not suffer because [the] law is not [enacted].” He said the IBBI is considering bringing out updated and revised regulations annually on April 1. “...whatever regulations we have, we should get comments, and if there is urgency, we [will] amend it and we will keep the door open for comments from April 1 to December 31. I will see all comments [by] March 31, take a view of whatever procedure I have to follow, and bring an updated, revised regulations on the April 1.”

Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

The Centre is not against profits but unjust enrichment, Union Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley said, defending the anti-profiteering provisions in the Goods and Services Tax law that industry has termed draconian. Mr. Jaitley also promised that the tax rates under the new regime would not surprise anybody as the rates committee was sticking to the formula that had been made public a while ago, referring to the principle of an item’s GST tax slab being the rate closest to its existing rate of taxation. “Profit is not a bad word but unfair enrichment is. And therefore the benefit of reduction in taxation is a benefit that consumers are entitled to. “And that's not a principle that can be seriously contested,” Mr. Jaitley said while speaking at CII’s Annual Meeting.

Consumer is king: The gains from GST must be passed on to the consumer, says Jaitley. AFP *

The Finance Minister had earlier explained that the inclusion of the anti-profiteering clause in the GST legislation was to prevent companies from unfairly benefiting from any reduction in the tax rates by refraining from passing on the benefits to the consumer and instead reaping the gains themselves.

Fixing tariffs “We are now in final stages of fixing tariffs for different

commodities,” Mr. Jaitley added. “The formula under which it is being done has also been explained and therefore nobody is going to be taken by surprise. “It's not going to be very significantly different (from present).” The GST tax rates are to be in the slabs of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. The winding up of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, in line with his Budget proposal, was nearly complete, Mr. Jaitley said.


Two days after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley clarified that the Centre has no plans to tax farmers, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian observed that while he wondered why rich farmers shouldn’t be taxed, a decision on taxing farm income was clearly in the domain of the State governments, and not with the Centre. The Niti Aayog had distanced itself from member Bibek Debroy’s comments about taxing agricultural income above a certain threshold and stressed that it was not part of its threeyear action plan. “Nothing prevents state governments from taxing agriculture income,” Mr. Subramanian said at the CII’s annual meeting on Friday. “The constitutional restriction is on the central government taxing agricultural income. One could make a case that this is a choice open to 29 state governments and if there are willing takers, all power to them,” he added.

Markets’ surge not a bubble, says Tyagi Strong macro-economy, reforms like demonetisation have been the drivers Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

SEBI chairman Ajay Tyagi said on Friday that the recent growth in India’s financial markets was not a ‘bubble’ effect, but driven by the country’s strong macroeconomy and reforms like demonetisation. Stock indices scaled new highs on April 26, with the benchmark Sensex closing above the 30,000-mark for the first time. Continuing foreign inflows also helped the rupee strengthen to a 20-month high against the dollar.

Ajay Tyagi

chaired by the Finance Minister. A lot of issues that the CBDT and the RBI had… have been deliberated upon and a committee had given a report. SEBI will take the initiative and reopen that and act as a convenor to further take forward that report,” he added. The markets regulator also intends to improve the risk-based registration system for FPIs, especially issues raised by category II and III investors, and was awaiting the finance ministry’s comments on its proposed common registration form for FPIs, he said at a session on financial markets at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s annual meet.

plicable for listed companies. “Enforcement and investigation agencies should keep abreast with the latest happenings in the market so that they don’t look at things in an outdated manner that could lead to harassment. We will not allow and tolerate any kind of harassment by investigation and enforcement. We will do so in a timely manner, objective manner and anyway, those decisions are appealable before the SAT and Supreme Court,” he said. Mr. Tyagi conceded that stock market listings by startups had failed to take off despite relaxations offered to them and said consultations were underway with start-up representatives. “Either the relaxations are not adequate or as some people say, it’s the general economic environment that they have other issues. We will review why this is not working and do what is required,” Mr. Tyagi said.

FPI norms To make it easier for global funds to dabble in the Indian market, the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is working on a new common registration form for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in tandem with the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Reserve Bank of India so that they don’t have to register separately

with each of them. Mr. Tyagi said he would push for removing restrictions on currency derivatives trading in the country as not only was the market for such instruments moving to places like Singapore and Dubai, but also job opportunities in financial services. “Currency derivatives are regulated by RBI and it has some views,” Mr. Tyagi said. “It was also discussed in the Financial Stability and Development Council

Hyundai sets up quality centre

Stent pricing pitches medical tech irms into spat with Centre

Special Correspondent

‘Price caps put investments at risk, curbs innovation’


Hyundai Motor India on Friday inaugurated its global quality centre in India, which it said will play a “very strong” role in developing new models, particularly in the initial stages. The India Quality Centre in Faridabad, which is the fifth such centre for Hyundai globally after U.S., Europe, China and the Middle East, was built at an investment of about ₹30 crore. “The making of India Quality Centre is our long term strategy to benchmark quality products for India and global markets,” Hyundai Motor India CEO Y. K. Koo said. The centre will study market conditions in India and other Asia Pacific regions to develop new cars. CM YK


A group of global medicaltechnology companies plans to tell Indian officials next month that any further price control measures would risk future investments and make them less likely to introduce new products in the country, according to an industry source familiar with the matter. The lobbying effort by Abbott Laboratories, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson and others comes after the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February set a price cap for stents — small wire-mesh structures used to treat blocked arteries — slashing prices that patients pay for some devices by about 75%.

To curb harassment While harassment by the market watchdog’s enforcement officials would not be tolerated, the SEBI chief said market intermediaries still needed to abide by corporate governance norms that were stricter than those ap-

That has sparked a growing showdown between the companies and the government in India, where the “med-tech” sector is worth $5 billion. Abbott and Medtronic filed for withdrawal of some of their stents, but the Centre rejected their request, saying it contravened drug laws. Mr. Modi has taken a more aggressive stance against multinational healthcare companies, announcing price curbs on drugs used to treat critical ailments such as cancer, HIV/ AIDS and diabetes. At a recent event, the prime minister said patient interests were more important than “unhappy” companies. The firms, meanwhile, worry price controls could

extend to other devices such as implants or valves, making it unviable for them to sell next-generation products in India, industry sources said.

‘Lot of nervousness’ Executives from Abbott, Medtronic and Boston Scientific — which all sell coronary stents in India — along with Johnson & Johnson and others, plan to approach the health and trade ministries in May to convey that “price control is not the way forward”, according to an India executive at a multinational company aware of the plans. “There is a lot of nervousness,” the executive said. J&J is worried about potential price curbs on its imported knee, joint or hip implants. A ND-ND








Internet link issues may delay GST Revenue Secretary lags project delays in northeast India to Telecom Ministry in bid to speed progress is poor and there is no coordination among all the agencies doing work,” Mr. Adhia said in the letter.

Yuthika Bhargava NEW DELHI

Textiles likely to have uniform rate under GST COIMBATORE

The textile sector is likely to see a uniform rate under Goods and Services Tax (GST), according to Union Textile Minister Smriti Zubin Irani. Industry sources said that when asked about GST, the Minister urged the industry associations to give suggestions and views during meetings that will be held in diferent cities shortly. She also indicated that there might be a uniform rate across the value chain. She attended two meetings relating to the sector.

Berger to market ‘reinish’ paints in India KOLKATA

Berger Paints India will market ‘reinish’ paints manufactured by Rock Paint Co., Japan, from next month, under an agreement. It may also discuss establishment of a joint venture later, according to a statement. While Berger is present in all areas of automotive paints in India, Rock Paint ofers it the opportunity to tap the ₹2,000-crore automotive ‘reinish’ market in India, the company said in a statement.

Poor Internet connectivity is turning out to be a challenge for the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), particularly in the North East, as the Centre pushes for the July 1 deadline to implement the new indirect tax regime. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has written to his counterpart in the Telecom Ministry — P. K. Pujari, red-flagging various connectivity issues, which if not addressed at the earliest, may lead to a delay in implementation of the biggest indirect tax reform. The implementation of GST requires high-speed connectivity between the GST server and the State VAT data centre, and also between District VAT office and State VAT office since the processing of returns, among other processes, is done online. Additionally, all dealers have to upload in-


A month after announcing a ₹5,000-crore capital raising plan to drive inorganic growth, Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) announced a ₹1,292-crore buyout of British partner Old Mutual’s 26% stake in its life insurance arm. The deal, expected to close in a quarter or so, bucks the trend of foreign partners raising holdings after foreign holding norms were increased to 49% in 2015. PTI


voice-wise details online, Mr. Adhia stressed in his letter. Mr. Adhia, who had visited Arunachal Pradesh and other north-eastern states last week, was apprised of the “serious constraints in terms of availability of Internet” at a meeting with the State’s Chief Secretary, Commissioner of VAT and IT Secretary.

‘Global standards will curb unsafe imports’ Local industry, consumers to beneit

In his communique to the Telecom Secretary dated April 21, Mr. Adhia had requested that a senior Department of Telecom official be entrusted the work of “supervising the connectivity in North East and have all these complaints removed.” “There are multiple projects going on in North East... However, the progress

Special Correspondent

A good standards regime will help in preventing flooding of domestic market with unsafe or sub-standard imports at the expense of the domestic industry as well as consumers, the Commerce Ministry said on Friday. The days of differential standards — low for domestic market and high for exports — are over and if the Indian industry has to survive and thrive, it has to adopt global standards, the commerce ministry said in a statement.

The ministry, in collaboration with the industry body CII, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) and other knowledge partners, is organising a National Standards Conclave on May 1-2 in the national capital. The Conclave would also aim at preparing an Indian National Strategy for Standardization (INSS) document to enable the development of a harmonised, dynamic, and mature standards ecosystem in India, according to the Ministry.

Money will be used to fund growth Special Correspondent CHENNAI

Sundaram BNP Paribas Home Finance is planning to raise more than ₹1,700 crore this year to fund growth, a top official said. “We are planning to raise ₹1,700 crore as part of our growth plans,” said Srinivas Acharya, Managing Director, Sundaram BNP Paribas Home Finance. “It will be through a mix of different funding instruments including tapping the debt market,” he said. “Ours is a South-centric company, with 52% of business coming from Tamil Nadu and Chennai accounting for more than one-third of disbursement. To strengthen our business volume, we are planning three new branches in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra, and some in Cent-

India to seal pact with Russia-led grouping Free trade agreement to open up market with potential of up to $62 billion Special Correspondent Thiruvananthapuram

New Delhi

Kotak bank buys out Old Mutual in insurance arm

Push needed: There is no coordination among agencies doing work in various projects, says Hasmukh Adhia.

‘Senior officer needed’ He added that there is a strong need for having one Deputy Director level officer of Department of Telecom in Itanagar to coordinate these projects. In Arunachal Pradesh, he pointed out, the optical fibre cable is available only in 7 of the 20 districts. “Railtel seems to have been given a target of laying OFC in Arunachal Pradesh for 192 nodes. The last date of completion is December 2017. But so far, only 26 nodes are connected and it does not appear that they will be able to achieve the target,” Mr. Adhia said. The revenue secretary further stated that there is a serious shortage of optical fibre cables, leading to delay in completion of work. In addition, the agencies doing

work are not following the norms of depth at which the OFC cable should be laid and as a “result there are many instances of cutting OFCs in road repair works. This creates problem for connectivity.” There is also a problem of a lot of time being taken by Border Roads Organisation in giving Right of Use (ROU) permission in case of damaged cables. “Therefore, DoT should take up a coordination meeting with BRO to get this expedited,” the letter said. With little more than two months to go for the proposed GST rollout, the government is yet to finalise the tax rates that will apply for different products but is confident of implementing the new tax regime from July 1. Constitutional amendments to enable the GST regime mean that all existing indirect taxes and levies will lapse from September this year.

Sundaram BNP to raise ₹1,700 crore

India is set to formalise a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, clearing the decks for negotiations on deepening trade relations with the five former Soviet republics. The joint statement on the FTA is likely to be issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at St. Petersburg on June 1, Sunil Kumar, joint secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said here on Friday. Addressing a stakeholder consultation, he said the report of the Joint Feasibility Study Group had been

Step closer: PM Modi and Russian President Putin will meet on June 1.

accepted by both sides and the formal negotiations would begin by July. The Eurasian Economic Union comprises Russia, Be-

larus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The FTA is expected to open up a huge market with a trade potential of $37 to 62 billion. Trade between India and the five Eurasian countries stands at about $11 billion. “The FTA with the Eurasian countries was dictated by India’s need to diversify into new markets. We have a targeted trade of $30 billion with the five countries by 2025 and $15 billion annual investment,” Mr. Kumar said. At the meeting, experts highlighted the need for better understanding of the challenges in the new market like non-tariff barriers and quality standards before

the negotiations take place. Mr. Kumar said the Eurasian market could open up new export opportunities for Kerala in medical tourism, IT and IT-enabled services, besides traditional sectors like spices, marine products, coir and rubber. He stressed the need for safeguards in the pact to protect the state’s interests. Exporters and representatives of trade organisations called for steps to prevent dumping of goods and misuse of the rules of origin. They also highlighted the need for clarity on sanitary and phytosanitary measures, import licensing, quantitative restrictions and trade remedies.

ral and East India this year as part of our national rollout,” he said. The firm has more than 110 offices in the country and more than 50,000 customers, he said.

Net stays flat For the year ended March 31, the firm posted a net profit of ₹154 crore against ₹153 crore for the comparable period in the previous year. Loan disbursements went up 5% to ₹1,831 crore. Net NPA continued to be below 1% at 0.98%. Total loan assets under management were ₹7,640 crore against ₹7,489 crore. The deposit base stood at ₹1,095 crore. “We are clearly seeing a pick-up in business activity in real estate,” he said. “We have set a modest target of ₹2,000 crore in loan disbursement for the current year.”

GAVS eyes mergers to spur revenue Special Correspondent CHENNAI

GAVS Technologies, an IT services provider, is planning to grow its business through mergers and acquisitions (M&A), a top official said. “Right now, two mergers are in the pipeline. The first is a hardware firm and the second is in the private cloud space to enhance existing data network,” said Sumit Ganguli, CEO, GAVS Technologies. Last year, the firm had revenues of $40 million, of which India accounted for $15 million. This year, it is eyeing revenues of $50 million.








Knight Riders post crushing win over Daredevils

We need to keep going: Sanju

Gambhir and Uthappa’s half-centuries complement Coulter-Nile’s three-wicket haul; Sanju and Shreyas come good with the bat for the loser Y.B. Sarangi KOLKATA

Kolkata Knight Riders gave another display of exemplary team work, highlighted by Nathan Coulter-Nile’s three-wicket haul followed by Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa’s half-centuries, to post a crushing sevenwicket win over Delhi Daredevils in the IPL-10 at the Eden Gardens here on Friday. After restricting DD to 160 for six, KKR cruised to the winning target in 16.2 overs and strengthened its position with its seventh victory. DD, which could not capitalise on its 41 for no loss in four overs and eventually tasted its fourth consecutive defeat, fared miserably. Sanju Samson and Karun Nair executed some stunning shots before the latter was trapped in front by Sunil Narine in the fifth over. Sanju (60 off 38 balls) was in good touch as he thrashed Umesh Yadav for a graceful four past mid-on and an ex-

IPL-10 hilarating six over square-leg in the second over. He also played some fine shots off Chris Woakes before slowing down inexplicably. Sanju, who raced to his first 25 run off just nine deliveries, completed his first half-century of the season off 32 balls. He shared a 75-run stand from 55 balls with Shreyas Iyer, whose first 18 runs came without a shot to the fence. They parted ways soon after trying to accelerate the scoring rate when Sanju was adjudged lbw off Umesh in the 14th over.

Keeping it tight KKR’s bowlers did a superb job in the middle overs with Narine and Kuldeep, who dropped two catches off his own bowling in the 17th over, keeping it tight with their variation. Woakes altered his length smartly to provide some help.

POINTS TABLE TEAM M Kolkata Knight Riders 9 Mumbai Indians 8 Sunrisers Hyderabad 9 8 Rising Pune Supergiant Gujarat Lions 8 Kings XI Punjab 8 Royal Challengers Bangalore 9 7 Delhi Daredevils Crucial strikes: Nathan Coulter-Nile celebrates after snapping up Rishabh Pant’s wicket.

Lions will look to keep momentum


W 7 6 5 4 3 3 2 2

L 2 2 3 4 5 5 6 5

NR 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0

PTS 14 12 11 8 6 6 5 4

NRR +1.223 +0.514 +0.588 -0.666 -0.360 -0.448 -1.401 +0.514

*After the KXIP vs SRH match




Barring the brief period when Shaun Marsh thrived on some poor catching to keep alive the hopes of Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad produced a championlike performance on Friday night. Having posted 207 for three with Shikhar Dhawan, David Warner and Kane Williamson scoring half-centuries after being asked to bat, the Sunrisers bowlers lived up to their growing reputation and earned the team a 26-run victory. Once again, the Sunrisers’ ability to take wickets complimented the good work done by the three frontline batsmen. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra and Siddharth Kaul struck in the first five overs to reduce Kings XI to 43 for three. With Martin Guptill — in for an unwell Hashim Amla — Manan Vohra and Glenn Maxwell back in the dugout, Kings XI was hit further when Man-of-the-Match Rashid Khan enhanced his reputation by conceding just 16 runs in his four overs and accounted for Eoin Morgan to break the fourth-wicket stand worth 73 runs. Siddharth Kaul was not required to prove his cool when bowling the ‘death’ overs. He took three wickets to justify his presence. Bhuvneshwar, the ‘Orange Cap’ holder, returned to ef-

앫 Man-of-the-Match Rashid Khan returned impressive igures of 4-0-16-1 앫 Shaun Marsh waged a lone battle, scoring 84 off 50 balls 앫 Dhawan brought up his best innings of the competition (77, 48b) CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

runs, went for 20 in the 19th as Sunrisers expectedly crossed the 200-run mark in


Red hot: Shikhar Dhawan went on the rampage, even outpacing David Warner, to set the base for Sunrisers Hyderabad’s victory. AFP *

fectively end Kings XI’s hopes by scapling Marsh, the highest scorer at 84, after being dropped at 60 by Deepak Hooda and at 75 by Warner. Once Marsh departed, Kings XI could only reduce the margin of defeat. Nehra added two more wickets in the final over. Interestingly, Sunrisers

treated Kings XI much like the way it dealt with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural match this season. In that contest, Sunrisers posted 207 for four — one wicket more than what it lost on this day — and restricted batting-heavy RCB to 166 for a 35-run victory. Kings XI, capable of chas-

ing down big targets owing to its batting resources, did make a match of it mainly through Marsh and gave its supporters something to cheer about. Earlier, the Sunrisers innings was well-paced with 13 overs producing 10 runs or more. Ishant Sharma, whose opening over cost three

There will be oicials at the SGM who will oppose any move to stall the country’s participation India is the holder of the ICC Champions Trophy, which it won in 2013, and it is certain, notwithstanding motivated leaks to the media, that Virat Kohli’s team will take the field against Pakistan in a league match at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on June 4. People occupying important positions and empowered to take decisions on this matter have thrown sufficient hints that a fullstrength Indian team will play the tournament in England. A handful of BCCI officials, hurt by the ICC Board’s firm decision to go ahead with the administrative reforms (governance and revenue structures), had considered withdrawing Team India from the eight-nation tournament. But the idea of a resolution to this effect was dropped before the BCCI’s CM YK

Delhi Daredevils: Sanju Samson lbw b Umesh 60 (38b, 4x4, 3x6), Karun Nair lbw b Narine 15 (17b, 3x4), Shreyas Iyer lbw b Coulter-Nile 47 (34b, 4x4, 1x6), Rishabh Pant lbw b Coulter-Nile 6 (4b, 1x4), Chris Morris c Woakes b Coulter-Nile 11 (10b, 1x4), Corey Anderson run out 2 (5b), Ankit Bawne (not out) 12 (12b, 1x4), Pat Cummins (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (lb-1, w-6): 7; Total (for six wkts in 20 overs): 160. Fall of wickets: 1-48 (Karun, 4.5), 2-123 (Samson, 13.6), 3-131 (Pant, 15.1), 4-140 (Shreyas, 15.5), 5-146 (Anderson, 17.1), 6159 (Morris, 19.5). Kolkata Knight Riders bowling: Nathan Coulter-Nile 4-0-34-3, Umesh Yadav 4-0-38-1, Chris Woakes 3-0-20-0, Sunil Narine 4-0-25-1, Kuldeep Yadav 4-027-0, Colin de Grandhomme


Team India will deinitely play in the Champions Trophy G. Viswanath


1-0-15-0. Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine b Rabada 4 (4b, 1x4), Gautam Gambhir (not out) 71 (52b, 11x4), Robin Uthappa run out 59 (33b, 5x4, 4x6), Manish Pandey b Rabada 5 (4b, 1x4), Sheldon Jackson (not out) 12 (5b, 2x4); Extras (b-4, lb-5, w-1): 10; Total (for three wkts in 16.2 overs): 161. Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Narine, 1.2), 2-117 (Uthappa, 12.2), 3-139 (Manish, 14.5). Delhi Daredevils bowling: Zaheer Khan 1.1-0-8-0, Kagiso Rabada 3.2-0-20-2, Corey Anderson 2.5-0-27-0, Chris Morris 3-0-39-0, Pat Cummins 3-022-0, Amit Mishra 3-0-36-0. Toss: KKR. Man-of-the-match: Gautam Gambhir. KKR won by seven wickets with 22 balls to spare.

Special General Meeting (SGM) at New Delhi on April 19, two days before the BCCI delegates flew to Dubai for the ICC meetings. This happened because there was strong opposition articulated within the BCCI and conveyed to the office-bearers in no uncertain terms. A former BCCI president insisted that the resolutions should not be tinkered with, but the officebearers were told to abandon the provocative resolution and they did so after some posturing. The BCCI has convened an SGM in New Delhi on May 7 to apprise members of the outcomes of the ICC meetings. Vinod Rai, chairman of the Committee of Administrators appointed by the Supreme Court of India, told the BCCI that May 12 would be too late for an SGM and that it should be either on May 5 or 7. There will be voices at the


SGM opposed to any move to thwart or stall India’s participation in the tournament. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, president of the Cricket Association of Bengal and India’s representative in the ICC commentary panel, is expected to speak for the Indian team.

Not to be swayed There are others such as Uttar Pradesh’s Rajeev Shukla, Maharashtra’s Abhay Apte, and Vidarbha’s Anand Jaiswal who are expected to give primacy to the game of cricket and to institutions and not be swayed by bruised egos. These people will expect acting president C.K. Khanna to take control of proceed-

ings at the SGM and make a stand that will support the game and the tournament. In any case, a decision other than enabling and confirming India’s full participation in the Champions Trophy is likely to be shot down by the CoA. It is clear that the CoA, which has engaged constructively over the past three months with ICC members and, of course, with the chairman, Shashank Manohar, appreciates that Team India should not become pawns in the games played by present and past BCCI officials. The BCCI has found itself isolated within the International Cricket Council in recent months. There are doubts about India having its way in ICC future tour programmes that involve bilateral series, in the event of its staying away from the Champions Trophy.

The BCCI knows that Cricket South Africa and the England and Wales Cricket Board are aggressively positioning their own Twenty20 Leagues, and the Big Bash is already a big success in Australia. These countries have the option of denying no objection certificates to their players for the IPL. There will be other ramifications from the broadcasters who have signed massive deals with the BCCI and the ICC; and in the present vitiated environment, cricket’s market value can plummet if feuds break out between ICC members. Fourteen years ago, a dispute of a different kind during the 2003 World Cup resulted in the ICC having to pay a broadcaster $75 million. The ICC recovered the money from its full members, although the BCCI got away without paying its share.

the final over. Dhawan brought up his best contribution of the competition, outpacing Warner in the early part of the innings. Warner, who woke up to his aggressive ways after hitting Axar for a four and two sixes in one over, played his part in the century partnership. Later Dhawan continued the good work in the company of Williamson. If Sunrisers went past the 200-run mark, it owed it to the elegant Kiwi.


Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner b Maxwell 51 (27b, 4x4, 4x6), Shikhar Dhawan c Maxwell b Mohit 77 (48b, 9x4, 1x6), Kane Williamson (not out) 54 (27b, 4x4, 2x6), Yuvraj Singh c Axar b Maxwell 15 (12b, 2x4), Moises Henriques (not out) 7 (6b); Extras (lb-1, w-2): 3; Total (for three wkts in 20 overs): 207. Fall of wickets: 1-107 (Warner, 9.6), 2-147 (Dhawan, 14.2), 3171 (Yuvraj, 17.1). Kings XI Punjab bowling: Ishant Sharma 4-0-41-0, Anureet Singh 2-0-26-0, Mohit Sharma 3-0-34-1, Axar Patel 30-34-0, K.C. Cariappa 4-042-0, Glenn Maxwell 4-0-29-2. Kings XI Punjab: Martin Guptill c Henriques b Bhuvneshwar 23 (11b, 4x4, 1x6), Manan Vohra c Kaul b Nehra 3 (6b), Shaun Marsh c Hooda b Bhuvneshwar 84 (50b, 14x4, 2x6), Glenn Maxwell c Nehra b Kaul 0 (2b), Eoin Morgan c Hooda b Rashid 26 (21b, 2x4, 1x6), Wriddhiman

Special Correspondent Kolkata

Delhi Daredevils’ Sanju Samson said his team needed to have belief in its abilities to perform better in remaining matches of the Indian Premier League. “As a sportsperson, we know how to come back from failure. We need to keep going. Life also has a lot of failures and we have doubts. We need to have the faith and belief,” said Sanju. On DD’s inability to put up a bigger score despite getting a good start, Sanju said, “There’s pressure, but we can use it in a positive way and perform. We are youngsters but have been playing in IPL for four to five years. We have enough experience to make the team win.” Sanju said DD players could not have got a better team management, comprising mentor Rahul Dravid and captain Zaheer Khan. “We get very emotional when we think of the match as we are supported so much (by the management). “Each and every youngster is lucky to be part of this team. Most of our players are under-25. Being with Rahul Sir, the youngsters learn a lot. He always backs us. We just want to perform and win matches for him,” he added.

RCB may come out iring

SRH bowlers live up to their growing reputation; loss sees KXIP rooted in the bottom half of the table Rakesh Rao



to an issue with his left leg, showed no signs of discomfort as he plundered 59 from 33 balls, including five fours and four sixes, to record his fourth fifty. His furious stroke play was at its peak when he slammed two sixes punctuated by a four off successive deliveries in Morris’ first over. Gambhir played his role well as he cut and pulled with confidence to get his fourth half-century, containing 11 boundaries. The skipper stayed on till the end to see his side cross the winning line.

Sunrisers spread gloom in the Kings camp

G. Viswanath

Gujarat Lions, which scored a terrific win over Royal Challengers Bangalore away on Thursday, will hope to put it across Mumbai Indians in its last home match of IPL 10 at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium on Saturday. The bowling department remains a concern for the Lions, though; only seamer Andrew Tye has impressed, taking 12 wickets at 11 runs a piece. Lions will depend largely on Suresh Raina, Brendon McCullum and Dinesh Karthik to fire with the bat. Aaron Finch made a match-winning 72 against RCB, and will look to continue in the same vein. MI returns to action after going down to Rising Pune Supergiant for the second time in the tournament last Monday. Rohit Sharma struck form against RPS with a half-century, but quarrelled with umpire S. Ravi over the interpretation of a wide delivery. The break since must have given Rohit the time to reflect on his behaviour and to consider Lasith Malinga’s readiness. The last time the two sides met, the Lions had smashed him for 51 runs in four overs at the Wankhede.

But it was Coulter-Nile who underlined his utility for KKR by rapping the pads of Rishabh Pant and Shreyas (47 off 34) in the 16th over and claiming Chris Morris in the final. DD managed only 37 off the last five overs. In reply, the in-form pair of Gambhir and Uthappa butchered the DD attack and put KKR on the driver’s seat by gathering 108 runs from 66 deliveries. Uthappa, who had delegated the wicketkeeper’s responsibility to Sheldon Jackson after the ninth over due

Saha b Kaul 2 (4b), Axar Patel c Warner b Kaul 16 (9b, 2x4), Anureet Singh c Williamson b Nehra 15 (12b, 2x4), Mohit Sharma c Hooda b Nehra 2 (4b), Ishant Sharma (not out) 5 (2b, 1x4); Extras (lb-4, nb-1): 5; Total (for nine wkts in 20 overs): 181. Fall of wickets: 1-26 (Guptill, 2.2), 2-37 (Vohra, 3.5), 3-42 (Maxwell, 4.6), 4-115 (Morgan, 13.1), 5-138 (Saha, 14.6), 6-144 (Marsh, 15.4), 7-162 (Axar, 17.4), 8-175 (Mohit, 19.2), 9-181 (Anureet, 19.6). Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-0-27-2, Ashish Nehra 4-0-42-3, Siddharth Kaul 4-0-36-3, Deepak Hooda 1-0-17-0, Moises Henriques 3-0-39-0, Rashid Khan 4-0-16-1. Toss: Kings XI Punjab Man-of-the-Match: Khan.


Sunrisers Hyderabad won by 26 runs.

Nandakumar Marar Pune

The desperation to break out of a cycle of defeats makes Royal Challengers Bangalore a dangerous opponent while Rising Pune Supergiant has come through close encounters. A squad of heavyweights driven into a corner, like the visitors from Bengaluru, may come out firing at the MCA stadium on Saturday. Rajat Bhatia has no doubt about the visitors’ potential. “You know the RCB batting line-up. Any player in the side, can win the match on his own. We are aware and will try to keep them in the form they are in at the moment,” said the home team utility player, a gusty all-rounder captains turn to when the chips are down. “The track here has always been batsmanfriendly, so high scores are expected.” RCB’s slide down the slope for now, can change direction. Misfiring big guns — A.B. de Villiers, Shane Watson, Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle — won’t take long to find the range. For Kedar Jadhav, subdued after a rapid-fire 69 against Delhi Daredevils in a home game which Bengaluru won, it is time to lead the way. He is the highest run-getter this season (206 runs) for them.

Speak up — CoA chief to legends Amol Karhadkar MUMBAI

Vinod Rai, chief of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), has urged the legends of Indian cricket to “speak up” to bring about an improvement in the administration of the sport. Rai was sharing the dais with Sachin Tendulkar and releasing a biography of the icon. “Indian cricket is once again at its peak. We have a remarkable young team. They are aggressive, they are dedicated, their commitment on the field is absolutely wonderful. Why do all of us accumulate, collect and go to see the matches, because this is a set of cricketers who perform remarkably on the ground,” said Rai on Friday after releasing the book titled Hero, penned by Devendra Prabhudesai. “What we need to ask ourselves is are we providing them with the best support in terms of logistics, admin-

Hero: CoA chairman Vinod Rai, left, and author Devendra Prabhudesai at the launch of Sachin Tendulkar’s biography.

istration and whatever? I don’t think we’re doing good service to the excellent team we have.

Deserve far better “I would suggest that because of the fact that they deserve something far, far better, there are legends like Kapil [Dev], Sourav [Ganguly], Anil [Kumble], Rahul [Dravid], Sunil [Gavaskar] and Sachin [Tendulkar] who need to, in some way, mentor these people, speak up and ensure that cricket



administration in the country improves. “Cricket administration in this country becomes objective and supportive of the cricketers, and it’s not the players who become the support of the new administration of the BCCI.” Rai hoped that he along with his colleagues in the CoA can initiate a dialogue with the legends. “There is a need for each one of us to sit down together, talk these things through.” A ND-ND







United holds City goalless


Parul Gupta case — SAI steps in Says there would be a training camp and selection trial

Fellaini sees red; headbutts Aguero in a feisty derby

Kamesh Srinivasan Agencies



Following Parul Gupta’s plea for her inclusion in the Indian tennis team for the Deaflympics to be staged in Turkey in July, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has sent a written communication to her father, Avinash, that there would be a training camp and selection trial in Gandhi Nagar. It was mentioned that the All India Sports Council for the Deaf (AISCD) had made the proposal, and that the selection would be made under the supervision of SAI officials. On behalf of AISCD, its secretary general Walter Fernandez said the selection procedure was well laid out and that it had to “satisfy the qualifying standards as de-

Manchester United held on for a goalless draw in a feisty derby with Manchester City after midfielder Marouane Fellaini was sent off for a headbutt in the Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday. The Belgian was dismissed when, moments after being booked for a foul on Sergio Aguero, he tripped the Argentine and then, in clear view of referee Martin Atkinson, confronted him by pushing his forehead towards the City forward who fell. City, which dominated most of the game, thought it had a late winner when Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus, on as a late substitute for his first appearance since being injured in February, headed home from close range but was offside. The result leaves City in fourth place, still a point — and a place — ahead of its local rival in the race for a top-four finish and Champions League qualifying spot, and extends United’s unbeaten run to 24 league games.

‘Aguero partly to blame for Fellaini red’ MANCHESTER

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero was partly to blame for getting Marouane Fellaini sent off, said Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho after the two fought out a 0-0 draw in the Premier League on Thursday. “I didn’t watch the Fellaini incident but I spoke with Fellaini. He thinks it was a red card because he is Fellaini. I spoke to Martin (Atkinson, referee) — he thinks it was a red card. I can guess it’s a bit of a red card and a bit of a very smart, very experienced Argentinian player,” said Mourinho. AFP

Rahul stars for Hooghly KOLKATA

Rahul Paik's half-century guided Hooghly Hurricanes to a seven-wicket win over Howrah Hawks in the Future school cricket championship at the FC Ground, Salt Lake, here on Friday. The scores: Birbhum Bravehearts 100 for eight in 20 overs (Abhishek Oraon 33, Srijan Maity two for 11) lost to Murshidabad Nawabs 103 for one in 10.5 overs (Chinmay Jain 49). Howrah Hawks 138 for eight in 20 overs (Sahitya Hazra 56, Sayan Biswas 33, Aryasena Lahiri three for 13) lost to Hooghly Hurricanes 144 for three in 19 overs (Rahul Paik 68).

Frantic end It was a frantic end to what had been a disappointing derby with injury-ravaged United largely restricted to trying to limit City’s forward movement and Pep Guardiola’s team unable to turn dominance with the ball into clear-cut opportunities. The best chance for the home side came early. Striker Aguero, a pre-match injury doubt, should have opened the scoring in the ninth minute, missing a


Indian Grandmaster Harika Dronavalli ended her campaign on a high note with a win against Jakob Pfreundt of Germany at the Reykjavik Open here. She had to toil for a little less than four hours to eke out a victory against her German opponent. She ended the tournament with six wins, two draws and two losses to finish 17th with seven points in the 10-round Swiss tournament which saw 267 players from across the globe competing for the coveted crown. Playing for the fifth time in Iceland, the Indian was also adjudged the ‘best women’s player of the tournament’ and gained two rating points. “From a normal position in the game, I constructed an attack on my opponent’s king which was successful due to a few errors from him,” Harika said. PTI


great chance when he turned a low Kevin de Bruyne cross against the post from close range. City was on top in midfield but defensive frailties, which has hampered it this season, was evident in the 25th when Claudio Bravo flapped at a cross, palming the ball into the path of Henrikh Mkhitaryan before keeping out the Armenian’s shot. The home pressure increased as the half progressed. de Bruyne’s low shot was pushed away by David de Gea at the near post, Aguero forced a fine save from the Spaniard and Raheem Sterling blasted hurriedly over from a promising position. United should, however, have reached halftime with the lead after City’s defence

Incentive to drive in F4 championship Sports Bureau Coimbatore

The second edition of the Formula Junior Racing Series gets under way at the iconic Kari Motor Speedway this weekend, with the winner earning a drive in the LGB F4 class of the National Racing Championship this season. As many as 12 young hopefuls will be seen in action in the ten-race, tworound championship, including one racer each from Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates. Conceived and promoted by FMSCI President Akbar Ebrahim’s Meco MotorSports, to be the bridge between karting and formula racing, the FJRS will feature Formula LGB 1300 cars with inexpensive mechanical components from stock automobiles, with instructors and well-qualified mechanics on standby to help the drivers. “The FJRS provides an affordable platform to young

TV PICKS Formula One: Sochi GP (Qualifying), SS Select HD 1, 5.25 p.m. I-League: TEN 1, 2, 7 p.m. NBA: Sony Six & Sony Six HD, 5.30 a.m. (Sunday)

may defame India’s image,” the secretary general wrote, to strengthen his argument against self-financing athletes. “Due to technical reasons, we are unable to disclose the list before getting the administrative sanction from the Sports Ministry and External Affairs Ministry,” he added. Meanwhile Avinash, who has already moved the court in Patiala, has stated that the National Games was the selection criteria and his daughter had placed third. He further argued that since four women tennis players can be fielded, along with two reserves, and when one of the top-four players is prepared to fund her entry and trip, why was the AISCD not accepting it.

Losing his head: Fellaini’s headbutt — moments after being booked — sees Aguero ‘collapse’ leaving referee Martin Atkinson no choice but to red card the Belgian. REUTERS

Juniors’ chance to get taste of the big league

Harika adjudged best at Reykjavik Open

cided by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf”. He pointed out that the first step was to select the “toppers in each discipline from the National Games held in Chennai”. He was categorical that the list of probables would be disclosed only after SAI’s approval. The approved list would be communicated to the various State units, who in turn would inform the athletes concerned. The AISCD was also of the view that allowing athletes to participate at their own cost would set a bad example. “If MYAS (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports)/ SAI accept it, it will be a bad practice for others and it

racers in the country to showcase their skills and break into the big league,” Akbar said on the eve of the series. “The first edition was a super hit and helped us identify good talent at the entry level,” he added. “The most encouraging news is that the winner will be able to race with the best racers in the country free of charge,” Akbar said. The runner-up will get two free drives in the F4 championship while the second runner-up will get one free drive. The FJRS, which was launched last year to promote the sport at the grassroots level, is open only to drivers who have not had a podium finish in any FMSCIrecognised single-seater series event. Apart from the F-LGB 1300, the competition will also feature four categories of motorcycle races: Novice (up to 165 cc), Open (up to 300 cc and up to 400 cc) and Ladies (up to 165 cc).

EUROPEAN LEAGUES somehow left Ander Herrera unmarked as Marcus Rashford whipped in a free-kick from the left but the Spanish midfielder could not get his header on target. City remained on top after the break, attacking and shooting on sight, with the effervescent de Bruyne finding the side-netting with a low angled strike in the 58th minute. Guardiola was forced to change his goalkeeper in the 80th minute when Bravo pulled up with a calf injury and was carried off on a stretcher to be replaced by Willy Caballero. Then came Fellaini’s minute of madness, as he lost his cool and left the referee with no alternative but

to send him off. Sensing the chance of a late winner against 10-man United, Guardiola brought on Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus. The move almost paid off when Jesus, who had been roared onto the field, superbly angled a header past de Gea from an Aguero cross and raced off in celebration. But the effort was rightly ruled out for offside. The results: Premier League: Manchester City 0 drew with Manchester United 0. La Liga: Alaves 0 drew with Eibar 0; Sevilla 2 (Correa 49, Ben Yedder 79) bt Celta Vigo 1 (Iago Aspas 53-pen); Athletic Bilbao 2 (Aduriz 53-pen, Muniain 60) bt Real Betis 1 (Ruben Castro 63).

U-17 World Cup: Minister to monitor Kochi’s progress Disappointed over delay in completing the various works Special Correspondent KOCHI

Just when he appeared to have wound up his trip of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday afternoon, Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel caught the FIFA under-17 World Cup’s Kochi organising committee officials off guard. “Where’s the toilet,” he asked. “I want to have a look.” The nearest washroom from the stadium’s conference hall, where Goel had his review meeting of Kochi’s preparations for this October’s World Cup and where he interacted with the

Spurs, Raptors through to second round

media, was not yet ready. So he was taken to one of the players’ dressing rooms some distance away where things were slightly better. Without power, it was dark inside the washroom and mobile phone lights were quickly switched on to help the Minister. He was quick to spot the metal sheets that made up the washroom’s roof.

Behind schedule “We are much behind schedule, we were supposed to complete the work by March 31. Though I’m disappointed over the delay, the officers

have promised me that most of the work, especially the Nehru Stadium would be complete by May 15.” Goel said that the local officials must ensure that all works were done with utmost urgency and that he would be monitoring the work personally. “There is not much time to discuss the reasons for the delay but I’m here to push their panic button that the Sports Ministry is very serious about the preparation of this World Cup venue. “The prestige of the Central and State Governments are involved here.”

Gill sets the pace for early lead Ole Christian Veiby is second

Spurs win the Eastern Conference against Grizzlies Agence France-Presse

Whangarei (New Zealand)

two loops of the 1km-long super special stage.

Los Angeles

Gaurav Gill of Team MRF set the scorching pace in the super special stage and led teammate Ole Christian Veiby by 2.5 seconds as the International Rally of Whangarei got underway on Friday. Gill (co-driver Stephane Prevot) came up with an imperious drive during the

Provisional classification (after super special stage): 1. Gaurav Gill / Stephane Prevot (Team MRF, Skoda Fabia R5) (1min, 49.2secs); 2. Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjærmoen (Team MRF, Skoda Fabia R5) (01:51.7); 3. Jan Ketomaa / Ville Mannisenmaki (Mpart Sport, Mitsubishi Mirage) (01:52.9).

Sports Bureau

Kawhi Leonard tallied 29 points as San Antonio Spurs advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs with a 103-96 victory over Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday. Tony Parker delivered 27 points for the Spurs, who eliminated the Grizzlies by winning the Eastern Conference series in six games. The Spurs next face Houston Rockets in a best of seven series that gets underway on Monday. Elsewhere, DeMar DeRozan delivered 32 points as Toronto Raptors rebounded after blowing a 25-point second half lead to defeat Milwaukee Bucks 92-89 to reach the second round. LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds for San Antonio, who won for the first time in Memphis this season. The Grizzlies got 26 points from Mike Conley and

Brilliant run: Kawhi Leonard put in an inspired performance to see the Spurs advance to round two in the play-ofs. AP *

NBA 18 from Marc Gasol. This was Conley’s fifth straight game with 20 points or more. Zach Randolph finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. San Antonio survived a strong challenge from Memphis by outrebounding the Grizzlies 46-28. Spurs coach Gregg Pop-

ovich said Memphis was a good test and now his team is better prepared to go on a long postseason run. Veteran Parker shot 78.6 % from the field (11-of-14), the best he’s ever shot in a post season game. The results: Eastern Conference: Toronto Raptors 92 bt Milwaukee Bucks 89; San Antonio Spurs 103 bt Memphis Grizzlies 96.

Eden honour for war heroes Press Trust on India Kolkata

The Cricket Association of Bengal on Friday named four blocks of the stadium in honour of four war heroes in the Eden Gardens. The name plates of Lieutenant Colonel Dhan Singh Thapa, Colonel N.J. Nair, Havildar Hangpan Dada and Subedar Joginder Singh

were unveiled at a ceremony here. In a stadium that stands on land owned by the Ministry of Defence, the formality was due after the Eden had named four stands after former India captain Sourav Ganguly, former BCCI presidents B.N. Dutt and Jagmohan Dalmiya, and Pankaj Roy.












(set by Arden)

12 Takes two to check jewellery (8)

3 She played her part to hinder Carmelite order (7,8)

13 French man on short visit, is calm (6)

5 Reduce inner dimension of shaft (4)

11 12

15 Issue's absent, law is pragmatic (6,2,4)

13 14

18 Aground? Find a magic solution (6,6)

15 16


21 Makes a change- It's suitable during promotions (6)

18 19



22 It's said to have happened once, date unclear (8)

22 23

24 Guard posted on train line (8) 24



Power of Kamban’s verse

6 Maybe one is going through a grind analysing data (6,9) 7 Home to teach, free student intake (6) 8 Number of eels, odd? No, not odd (6) 11 Settle lovers' tiff, there's peace inally (7)




■ ACROSS 1 Shock as second seed exits playing amateur (6) 4 Salt in the open will stick to the hull (8) 9 I say yes- in short it's not enough (6) 10 Gathering outdoors- maybe an Angel will protect the little one (8)


25 Release pressure for some time, hot stuff will make you squirm (6) 26 Carrying something beautiful (8) 27 Programme for mature politicians (6) ■ DOWN

14 Slight force split a face (7) 16 Brave to relocate along with family (8) 17 Regularly sent empty crate on ixed rate among other things (2,6) 19 Said to be huge mountain range (6)

1 Harry met bimbo, set off at appointed time (4,4)

20 10 mop up stone... (6)

2 During a yatra one lipped over a plant (8)

23 ...for him it's hollow victory, made the cut (4)

Solution to puzzle 11993 M U M S L E






Solution to yesterday’s Sudoku

There is a mantra that praises Lord Siva as the One who destroys demons and gets rid of danger from snakes. He gives medicines for all diseases. He exaggerates even the few good things that we do and speaks kindly about us. Lord Narayana too always thinks kindly of His devotees. He never tolerates criticism of His devotees, even if such criticism comes from Goddess Mahalakshmi. The mantra can be seen as a reference to Rama, in the context of the destruction of snakes too, said V.S. Karunakarachariar in a discourse. When Kamban wrote his Ramayana, he had to take it to the 3000 Brahmins of Chidambaram for their approval. But they told him that they were so busy with their different duties, that they did not have the time to assemble to consider the literary merit of his work. Three months elapsed, but the Brahmins were not able to have a look at Kamban’s work. The Lord then appeared in his dream and asked him to go the cremation ground, where all 3000 were assembled, and to read his work there. But the Brahmins had gathered there because a child was dead. It was, therefore, hardly the right time to read his work. However, one of the Brahmins there asked Kamban if his work could revive the dead child, which had died of snake bite. Kamban read the verse that narrated the incident in the Ramayana, where Rama and Lakshmana are tied up by Indrajit’s nagapasa, the bonds of which are broken by Garuda, Lord Narayana’s mount. The mere flap of Garuda’s wings scatters the snakes. When Kamban recited this verse of his, the dead child came back to life. Approval for his entire work automatically came to him from the Brahmins of Chidambaram. So Rama, like Siva, protects us from snakes. A ND-ND








Thiago extends Bayern stay until 2021

Ghosal reaches his maiden semiinals

Advani falters in the inal


Falls agonisingly short in his bid for the continental double Press Trust of India Doha

Pankaj Advani lost 6-3 to Lu Haotian in the summit clash of Asian snooker championship here on Friday, falling short in his bid to win the continental double of billiards and snooker titles in the same year. Advani lost 95(65)-32, 31-

Joshna, Dipika sail into the last four


Bayern Munich announced on Friday that it has extended the contract of Spanish playmaker Thiago Alcantara until 2021. The 26-year-old Thiago signed in 2013 when Bayern’s ex-coach Pep Guardiola insisted he was the player he wanted brought from Barcelona. AFP

Ramkumar progresses

FIFA ines Brazil, Argentina and Mexico

Sports Bureau



FIFA has fined the football associations of Brazil, Argentina and Mexico for homophobic chants by fans. Brazil suffered the heaviest fine — $35,000 — due to its status as a repeat offender. The Argentinian Association was fined $20,117 while the Mexican Federation was hit with a $10,061 penalty. IANS

Sorry, says Nastase BUCHAREST

Ilie Nastase took to Facebook on Friday to apologise for his offensive remarks on Serena Williams and for a foulmouthed tirade at the British team during the Fed Cup match that saw him suspended by the ITF. “My words during the Fed Cup have rightfully caused controversy and upset the audience, the press and, most painfully for me, the tennis world,” he wrote. “So please accept my apologies, for whatever they may be worth right now.” PTI

Mizoram triumphs KOZHIKODE

Mizoram regained the National sub-junior football title on Friday defeating Meghalaya by a solitary goal from K. Lalfakzuala in injury time. The result: Mizoram 1 (Lalfakzuala 90+2) bt Meghalaya 0. SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT


Japanese produced some fine strokes from the backcourt, which stunned the Indian, and pocketed the third. Misaki matched Joshna stroke for stroke in the fourth, and even held gamepoint at 10-9, but Joshna got a ‘stroke’ to level the scores. Then her forehand drop was so perfect, Misaki couldn’t reach it. Joshna went on to seal the contest with an identical shot.

Ramkumar Ramanathan made the semifinals of the $75,000 Challenger tournament getting past fourth seed Guido Andreozzi, with the latter retiring because of leg cramps after the Indian had fought back to level at 4-6, 7-5, 1-1. Leander Paes and Scott Lipsky made the doubles semifinals, getting a walkover. At the $100,000 ITF women’s event in Anning, China, Prarthana Thombare and Xun Fang Ying were beaten in straight sets by Han Xinyun and Ye Qiu Yu in the final. Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan also lost in the final of the $25,000 Futures in Karshi, Uzbekistan.

The results (quarterfinals): Men: 3-Mohd. Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas) bt 7-Ivan Yuen (Mas) 11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 16-14; 5-Leo Au (Hkg) bt 4-Yip Tsz Fung (Hkg) 12-10, 10-12, 11-6, 11-4; 2Saurav Ghosal bt 10-Vikram Malhotra 11-7, 11-7, 11-7; 1-Max Lee (Hkg) bt 15-Harinder Pal Singh 11-8, 11-9, 11-8. Women: 2-Joshna Chinappa bt 7-Misaki Kobayashi (Jpn) 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10; 4-Dipika Pallikal bt 5-Liu Tsz Ling (Hkg) 11-3, 11-6, 11-6; 1-Annie Au (Hkg) bt 16-Satomi Watanabe (Jpn) 11-5, 11-6, 11-3; 6-Tong Tsz Wing (Hkg) bt 3-Joey Chan (Hkg) 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7.

The results: $75,000 Challenger, Tallahassee, USA: Quarterfinals: Ramkumar Ramanathan bt Guido Andreozzi (Arg) 4-6, 7-5, 1-1 retired. Doubles: Scott Lipsky (USA) & Leander Paes w/o Guido Andreozzi (Arg) & Jose Hernandez-Fernandez (Dom). $25,000 Futures, Karshi, Uzbekistan: Final: Sanjar Fayziev (Uzb) & Timur Khabibulin (Kaz) bt Sriram Balaji & Vishnu Vardhan 7-6(3), 6-3. $100,000 ITF women, Anning, China: Final: Han Xinyun & Ye Qiu Yu (Chn) bt Xun Fang Ying (Chn) & Prarthana Thombare 6-2, 7-5.

Finding her range: Except for a minor blip in the third game, Joshna Chinappa was largely in control of her quarterinal match against Misaki Kobayashi. M. VEDHAN *

K. Keerthivasan CHENNAI

Everything went according to script for the Indians in the Jio-19th Asian squash championship at the Express Avenue Mall on Friday. Saurav Ghosal, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal cruised into the semifinals, but top-seeded Max Lee of Hong Kong ended the fine run of Harinder Pal Sandhu 11-8, 11-9, 11-8 in the quarterfinals. Ghosal was ruthless in his 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 win over compatriot Vikram Malhotra, a US-based Indian player, and reached his maiden semifinals in the event. Joshna survived a minor scare when she lost the third game, but recovered in time to register a 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10 victory over Misaki Kobayashi of Japan. Dipika looked unperturbed right through her match against Liu Tsz Ling. Her powerful strokes from the backcourt proved too much for her opponent. Dipika won 11-3, 11-6, 11-6.

ASIAN SQUASH The lone upset of the day came when Tong Tsz Wing of Hong Kong defeated sparring partner and third seed Joey Chan for the first time in her career. The scoreline read 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7. What was expected to be a keenly-awaited contest between two of India’s topranked players, Ghosal and Vikram, turned out to be a damp squib. Vikram couldn’t keep pace with the second seed whose solid forehand drives and shots just above the tin gave the 10th seed no chance. Ghosal raced away to an 8-1 lead before Vikram made it 8-7. The second and third games followed a similar pattern, the 30-year-old from Kolkata having the final say. “I tried to be as focused as possible. It was not an easy match,” said Ghosal. Hitting powerful strokes and moving well within the T, Joshna outplayed Misaki in the first two games. The

Sindhu loses

75(58), 69-43, 65(57)-24, 078, 102(102)-6, 48-61, 59-48, 71-69 in the final to his Chinese opponent, a defeat which dashed his chances of becoming the first player to win Asian titles in both billiards and snooker in a calendar year. Advani had stormed into the final beating Pakistan’s

Mohammad Bilal 5-0 in the semifinal earlier on Friday, while Haotian had defeated Mohamed Shehab of the UAE 5-3. Against Bilal, Advani trailed in the first frame, but after he was gifted a chance, the top seed grew from strength to strength to win rather comfortably.

Murray and Nadal advance in Barcelona Sharapova eases into Stuttgart semis

Wuhan (China)

P.V. Sindhu went down 1521, 21-14, 24-22 to Bingjiao of China in the quarterfinals in the Asian badminton championship here on Friday.

Indian colts hold Benica Press Trust of India Setubal (Portugal)

The India U-17 football team, preparing for the FIFA youth World Cup, earned a 2-2 draw against SL Benfica in a friendly encounter, a part of its exposure tour of Europe.

Coorg blanks Himachal Principal Correspondent Bengaluru

Vengeance is his: At the Barcelona Open on Friday, Andy Murray turned the tables on Albert Ramos-Vinolas who had beaten him at the Monte Carlo Masters last week. AFP *

Agence France-Presse Barcelona

Andy Murray saved a matchpoint to beat Albert RamosVinolas, and joined Rafael Nadal, who defeated Hyeon Chung, in the semifinals of the Barcelona Open on Friday. Ramos-Vinolas, who beat Murray in the third round at Monte Carlo last week, threatened to repeat that upset when he served for the match in the third set. But Murray battled back for a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) win after three hours on court. He now meets Dominic Thiem. Nadal continued unhindered with a 7-6(1), 6-2 win over the Korean qualifier. At the WTA Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart,

Maria Sharapova eased into the semifinals seeing off qualifier Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-4. The results: At Barcelona: ATP Barcelona Open: Quarterfinals: Andy Murray bt Albert Ramos-Vinolas 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4); Dominic Thiem bt Yuichi Sugita 6-1, 6-2; Rafael Nadal bt Hyeon Chung 7-6(1), 6-2. Third round: Ramos-Vinalos bt Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 3-6, 6-4; Karen Khachanov bt David Goffin 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-4; Horacio Zeballos bt Benoit Paire 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3). At Stuttgart: WTA Porsche GP: Quarterfinals: Kristina Mladenovic bt Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-2; Maria Sharapova bt Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-4. Second round: Mladenovic bt Angelique Kerber 6-2, 7-5; Karolina Pliskova bt Coco Vandeweghe 7-6(2), 6-4.

Hockey Coorg blanked Hockey Himachal 4-0 to book a last-four spot in the Hockey India sub-junior national championship (B division) here. The results: Pool B: Namdhari XI 14 (Hanspal Singh 11, 25, 29, 31, 32, 37, 46, Gurpreet Singh 6, 19, 39, Hardeep Singh 4, 52, Harvinder Singh 44, Surpreet Singh 69) bt Hockey Madhya Bharat 0; Mumbai HA 5 (Aifaz Saeed 23, 62, Rajpath 3,Mohd. Tauseef Qureshi 34,Ryan Nayak 66) bt Goans Hockey 1 (Shahil 58); SAG (Gujarat) 6 (Sunny Thubre 6, 10, Shyamprakash Yadav 41, 52, Shivank Vilekar 28, Harsh Bhatt 32) bt Hockey Puducherry 0. Pool C: Bengal HA 15 (Thirthankar Chowdhury 17, 58, 65, 69, Rabi Shankar Yadav 11, 21, 55, Kallu Ali 4, 28, Lorik Pal 39, 49, Shovon Biswas 5, Anand Singh Yadav 32, Siddharth Kharwar 44, Aniruddha Marik 51) bt Vidharbha 0; Hockey Coorg 4 (M.K. Chetan 50, 54, 65, N.T. Tarun 17) bt Hockey Himachal 0; Citizen Hockey 3 (Zainul 19, Jaswanth Singh 57, Pawan 63) bt Telengana Hockey 1 (Ravi Teja Cheekati 28).

























Throwing their hat in the WWE ring About 35 contestants from India, West Asia harbour dreams of making it to the popular arena one day Parshathy J. Nath Dubai

Re-issue to feature unreleased Prince songs LOS ANGELES

A remastered version of Prince’s landmark album Purple Rain will be released this summer with several previously unreleased songs. NPG Records and Warner Bros. Records announced on Friday that two remastered versions of the 1984 album will be released on June 23. The labels said Prince himself oversaw the remastering process of the two—disc Purple Rain Deluxe in 2015. AP

Prehistoric human DNA in caves uncovered WASHINGTON

Scientists have uncovered prehistoric human DNA from caves without bones, an advance that could shed new light on evolution. The study is based on 85 samples from sediments dating to the Pleistocene, a period that extended from 5,50,000 years ago until 14,000 year before the modern era. AFP

The ring is set in Dubai Opera for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Tryouts. Around 35 contestants, in their T-shirts and shorts, jump, squat and practise push-ups. The contestants, from India and the West Asia, harbour dreams of making it to the WWE ring one day. Out of this, 10 are Indians and come from diverse sports backgrounds such as kushti, kabaddi, weightlifting and even television. Sukwinder Grewal, Rinku Singh, Gurvinder Singh, Kavita Devi, Sahil Sangwah, Laxmi Rahoot, Rahul Bodke and Gurvinder Singh believe it’s all a dream come true. Ms. Devi, who has won an international-level gold medal in weight-lifting, hails from Jind district of Haryana. She says it was her training in the Great Khali Wrestling School that paved her path to WWE. “I hail from a place where women are not given enough freedom. But, my big

Learning the ropes: Contestants from India and the West Asia during a workout session as part of the WWE Tryouts in Dubai. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT *

brother kept motivating me to pursue my dream. I was a national champion in weightlifting. However, I was not satisfied. I wanted to do something different. Joining the Khali school was a big opportunity for me,” she said. The school draws many like Ms. Devi whose hearts

Air pollution can up risk of heart attack

are set on wrestling and the WWE ring. “Most of us come from lower-middle class backgrounds. For us, wrestling is our ticket to achieving something big and rising up in life,” she said. WWE has been strengthening its initiative to tap into the Indian market. They have been keen about re-

cruiting Indian talents for the last few years.

‘Rich history’ Ed Wells, WWE Executive Vice President, International, said: “We have a long and rich history in India. There is a tremendous fan base here and India gives us the largest social media mar-

ket in the world. However, we haven’t done enough localisation. We are working on that. Last month, WrestleMania 33, our biggest event, premiered in Hindi.” Canyon Ceman, V.P. Talent Development, who conducts scouting trips, says Punjab was a big target spot. “When I asked for athletes with large physical size, people told me to go to Punjab. We have also tried to highlight culturally important sports so that they also gain a bit from our initiatives. We have visited kabaddi grounds and kushti centres. The athletes from these backgrounds are more graceful in their movements than any body or power-builder” There has been a surge in the interest for WWE in India, Mr. Ceman pointed out. “I get a lot of Facebook requests from India. They are extremely proactive, when it comes to WWE participation. The social media metric is crazy and has considerably increased in the last few years,” he said.


2017 to be one of the hottest years: study WASHINGTON

2017 will be among the hottest years on record, say scientists who have developed a new method for predicting global mean temperature. Yale University Researchers found that weak El Nino activity from 1998 until 2013 was the root cause for slower rates of increased surface temperature. PTI

Tiny particles in polluted air can travel from the lungs into our bloodstream and increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, a new study warns. Nanoparticles in air pollution have been associated with cardiovascular disease, which can lead to premature death. However, how particles inhaled into the lungs can affect blood vessels and the heart has remained a mystery. Scientists, including those from University of Edinburgh in the U.K. and the National Institute for Public


Body language

Health and the Environment in the Netherlands, have found that inhaled nanoparticles can travel from the lungs into the bloodstream, potentially explaining the link between air pollution and cardiovascular disease.

72% of early deaths The World Health Organisation estimates that in 2012, about 72% of premature deaths related to outdoor air pollution were due to ischemic heart disease and strokes. Pulmonary disease, respiratory infections and lung cancer were linked to the other 28%.

Chinese group releases its irst single Reuters Beijing

China’s all-girl “boy band”, FFC-Acrush, had more than 7,49,000 followers on social networking site Weibo even before any of their music was released. Sporting short bobs, loose T-shirts and barely there make-up, Acrush’s androgynous look is bucking centuries-old norms in a society where girls strive to look feminine and act demurely.

Reference to Adonis Marketed by sports brand Fantasy Football Confederation (FFC), the five women — aged 18 to 24 — held their first news conference in Beijing on Friday as their first single Action was released. The letter ‘A’ in the band’s name is a reference to the god Adonis — the archetype of youthful male beauty in Greek mythology. It’s not the first time Chinese music agents have had the idea of forming a

Song and dance: A member of FFC-Acrush in Beijing on Friday. REUTERS *

gender-neutral act. In 2005, a boyish-looking Li Yuchun briefly won fans with her style. She also sparked debate about how women should dress in a conservative society. Held back by worry about a social backlash, the music industry had stayed away from marketing “handsome girl” acts until 2016. Last year, Zhejiang Huati Culture Communication, an entertainment start-up backed by Tencent Holdings, was looking to create a girl band when the idea of an androgynous act came about.

British inventor takes light in ‘Iron Man’ suit Richard Browning hovers a short distance with thrusters attached to his arms and back tially miniature jet engines on his limbs. Along the way, he said, there were more than a few crashes to the ground.

Agence France-Presse Press Trust of India

Androgynous band takes on femininity


British inventor Richard Browning lifted off from the shore of Vancouver Harbour on Thursday in a personal flight suit that inspired references to comic superhero ‘Iron Man’. Using thrusters attached to his arms and back, Mr. Browning flew in a circle and hovered a short distance from the ground, captivating attendees at a prestigious TED Conference. The personal flight suit is capable of propelling wearers much higher and faster, according to its creators. “The hypothesis was that the human mind and body, if

Real-life superhero: The light suit is capable of propelling wearers much higher and faster, its creators said. AFP *

properly augmented, could achieve some pretty cool stuff,’ the extreme athlete and engineer said at the

gathering a short time earlier. Mr. Browning told of experimenting with various numbers and arrays of essen-

‘Learning from failures’ “The whole journey was about trying and failing, and learning from that,” Mr. Browning said. The first reasonably stable, six-second flight with the gear inspired his team to press on. His start-up, Gravity, formally debuted about a month ago with an early-version suit called Daedalus. A 55-second video clip of the suit in action has logged more than a million views since being posted on You-

Tube about three weeks ago. Mr. Browning said he was already getting interest from investors and some in the British military, who told him they had given up on the flight feature of an ‘Iron Man’ suit until seeing his humanpropulsion gear. “I don’t think anyone is going to be going down to Wal-Mart with it or taking anybody to school for quite a while, but the team at Gravity is moving it along,” Mr. Browning said. He dreams of a flight suit that one day will allow its wearer to launch from a beach, soar along the coast and then perhaps hop into a helicopter in the air to continue their journey.

A safer alternative to lithium-ion batteries Scientists develop nickel-zinc devices Press Trust of India Washington

Open message: An activist of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wears a costume showing ‘internal organs’ during a protest against animal dissection in schools and universities, in New Delhi on Friday. SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR *

Scientists have developed a safer alternative to fireprone lithium-ion batteries, which are common in household devices such as smartphones and laptops. Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed the nickelzinc (Ni-Zn) batteries in which a three-imensional Zn “sponge” replaces the powdered zinc anode, or positively charged electrode, traditionally used. With 3D Zn, the battery provides an energy content and rechargeability that rival lithium-ion batteries while avoiding the safety issues that continue to plague lithium. “The 3D sponge form factor allows us to reimagine zinc, a well-known battery material, for the 21st century,” said Debra Rolison from NRL’s Advanced Electrochemical Materials group. Zinc-based batteries are the go-to global battery for single-use applications, but are not considered rechargeable in practice due to their tendency to grow conductive whiskers (dendrites) inside the battery, which can grow long enough to cause short circuits. “The key to realising rechargeable zinc-based batteries lies in controlling the behaviour of the zinc during

Power play: Lithium-ion batteries are considered more ire-prone. cycling,” said Joseph Parke, lead author of the research paper published in the journal Science.

Ready to be used “Electric currents are more uniformly distributed within the sponge, making it physically difficult to form dendrites,” said Mr. Parke. With the benefits of rechargeability, the 3D Zn sponge is ready to be deployed within the entire family of Zn-based alkaline batteries across the civilian and military sectors, researchers said. “We can now offer an energy-relevant alternative, from drop-in replacements for lithium-ion to new opportunities in portable and wearable power, and manned and unmanned electric vehicles, while reducing safety hazards, easing transportation restrictions, and using earth-abundant materials,” said Jeffrey Long from NRL.

New diabetes app forecasts blood sugar levels Press Trust of India New York

Scientists have developed a new personalised app that can allow people with type 2 diabetes to keep a tighter rein on their blood sugar levels — the key to managing the disease. The app, Glucoracle, comes with an integrated algorithm that predicts the imCM YK

pact of particular foods on an individual’s blood glucose levels. “While we know the general effect of different types of food on blood glucose, the detailed effects can vary widely from one person to another and for the same person over time,” said David Albers, from Columbia University Medical Centre in

the U.S. “Even with expert guidance, it is difficult for people to understand the true impact of their dietary choices, particularly on a meal-to-meal basis.” “Our algorithm, integrated into an easy-to-use app, predicts the consequences of eating a specific meal before the food is eaten, allowing individuals

to make better nutritional choices during mealtime,” he said. It uses a technique called data assimilation, in which a mathematical model of a person’s response to glucose is regularly updated with observational data, blood sugar measurements and nutritional information, to improve the predictions. A ND-ND

saturday 앫 april 29, 2017


60% of EPE work done

A beitting conclusion

‘Don’t doubt jury integrity’

Pierced and proud

Efforts on to inish Eastern Peripheral Expressway by August, Nitin Gadkari does aerial survey Page 2

S.S. Rajamouli’s visually stunning spectacle, Baahubali – The Conclusion, is a game changer Page 4

Ramesh Sippy talks about his ilm academy and the alleged bias in selection process of the National Film Awards Page 5

From traditional to subversive and now ‘cool’, the nose ring continues to evolve Page 6


Poll-battered AAP goes back to voters


Party legislators plan public meetings to understand local issues, residents welcome move

Delhi may cancel some holidays

Soumya Pillai New Delhi

5 killed in cracker unit blast in Ghaziabad GHAZIABAD

Five persons were killed and several others were injured in an explosion at a ireworks manufacturing factory in Farookh Nagar here on Friday. The 55-year-old factory owner was among those dead. The cause of the ire is yet to be ascertained. CITY

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Teens die after falling of Badarpur lyover NEW DELHI

Two teenagers on a motorcycle were killed when they fell of a lyover after being hit by a car near southeast Delhi’s Badarpur on Friday. One of the deceased was identiied as Sulabh Pandey, a resident of Faridabad. The other victim was a girl. The incident happened around 3 p.m. CITY

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21-year-old student abducted, raped in car GREATER NOIDA

A 21—year—old woman, a student of a private university, was allegedly abducted and raped in an SUV near the Buddha International Circuit here last week. The police have registered an FIR on the complaint of the victim’s father. The victim said that a person named Arjun abducted her from the university’s gate in his SUV and took her to Dankaur area near the Buddha International Circuit where he raped her inside the vehicle. The accused is absconding. PTI

Following the debacle in the municipal elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday started the process of reconnecting with voters as several MLAs held local sabhas (meetings) in their areas. The move to reconnect with the people had worked for the AAP after their poor performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The party’s national convener, Arvind Kejriwal, had addressed several jansabhas (public meetings) and had repeatedly apologised to the people for stepping down from the chief minister’s post in just 49 days. This direct dialogue with the people, which was very unlike any politician in the past, had sparked a new hope of alternative governance among the public. The party then went on to sweep the Assembly polls in 2015, winning 67 of 70 seats.

Leading the way In the renewed effort to reconnect with the voters after a poor show in the recent municipal polls, where it managed to win just 48 wards out of 270 wards, AAP’s MLA from Tilak Nagar Jarnail Singh addressed residents and discussed their problems in Keshopur Park on Friday. “This was just a reminder to the people that I am here for them. They can get in touch with me whenever they face any problem relating to water, electricity, sewage or security,” said Mr. Singh. The MLA said that it was decided during the sabha that similar meetings would be organised with him and the local councillor twice every month. The results of the muni-

Staff Reporter New Delhi

Back to grassroots: AAP’s MLA from Tilak Nagar Jarnail Singh (centre) holds a meeting with local residents to understand their issues on Friday. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT cipal elections on Wednesday came as a shock to many AAP legislators who said they were expecting a better outcome. “What has happened has happened. We accept the people’s mandate and want to move forward and continue to work for the people. The focus now is to understand why the people of Delhi were angry with us and to resolve their problems,” Mr. Singh said.

‘Good idea’ Residents agreed that the meetings would be a good platform to discuss their problems with their leaders. “They have decided to include the MLA and the councillor in the meeting. This shows that they have the good of the people in mind.

accept the < > We people’s mandate... The focus now is to understand why the people of Delhi were angry with us and to resolve their problems Jarnail Singh AAP’s Tilak Nagar MLA

This connect by the party had gone missing after a few months of them coming to power two years back,” said Manveen Kaur Bedi, secretary of the Residents’ Relfare Association Block-B, Tilak Nagar.

‘Chance to improve’ Legislators in other areas are also reaching out to residents in their areas. The Delhi government’s Water and Tourism


Drizzle after sizzle

Minister, Kapil Mishra, who is also the MLA from east Delhi’s Karawal Nagar, has started visiting each house in his constituency to ascertain why the public chose the BJP over the AAP in three of the five wards under his constituency. “If you know where you are going wrong then there is a chance for you to improve yourself. The AAP was formed from a movement that has come from the people and the people of Delhi are our biggest strength,” said Mr. Mishra. The Minister said he plans to visit each house and ask people about their problem and how they want him to address the issues. Meetings will also be conducted with RWAs.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday announced that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has decided to cancel public holidays on birth or death anniversary of eminent personalities. A senior government official, however, said that a final announcement would be made later. Admitting that they took a cue from Yogi Adityanathled government in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Sisodia took to Twitter: “The Delhi government will cancel holidays on birth or death anniversary of eminent personalities. I have issued instruction to the chief secretary in this regard.”

‘Good initiative by UP’ “The U.P. government has taken a good initiative. We should always be ready to learn from other states,” Mr. Sisodia said in a following tweet. He quickly added that he was glad to see that other States were following the AAP in doing away with red beacons and building mohalla clinics. An official said the Chief Secretary had been directed to go through the existing list of gazetted and restricted holidays in the Capital following which the decision would be taken and announced officially. U.P. recently cancelled 15 public holidays at educational institutions after a Cabinet meeting on April 25.

High-speed winds pummel city

I am an ISI agent, man tells IGI staf Pakistan passport holder in custody Press Trust of India New Delhi

“Hello, I am an ISI agent. But I don’t wish to continue any further and want to remain in India,” a passenger told a shocked help desk employee after he got off an Air India flight from Dubai at the IGI airport on Friday. Thirty-eight-year-old Muhammad Ahmad Sheikh Muhammad Rafiq, a Pakistan passport holder, approached a help desk at the airport and conveyed to a woman at the counter that he wanted to share information about Pakistan’s snooping agency, ISI. Taken aback by his statement, the staffer informed security officials who detained the man and informed the central intelligence agencies. Mr. Rafiq had arrived here by Air India’s flight from Dubai and was further booked for Kathmandu.

Passenger had gotten of an Air India light from Dubai. However, he did not take the next flight and decided to break his journey and walked up to the help desk counter at the airport.

Gets quizzed During questioning, Mr. Rafiq said he was connected with the ISI but had decided to call it a day and remain in India, officials said. He was whisked away to an undisclosed place where he is being questioned by sleuths from various central intelligence agencies, they said, adding that the man’s claims were being verified.

14,000 weddings this weekend Traic police prepares for chaos Staff Reporter New Delhi

Around 14,000 wedding ceremonies that are scheduled over the weekend are likely to play havoc with traffic. The Delhi Traffic Police said it will be deploying extra personnel at Chhattarpur, Mehrauli, and Delhi-Gurgaon road — hubs for banquet halls and farmhouses. “We will seek the help of the local police in traffic management. They will be assisting the traffic police in issuing challans and ensuring that vehicles are parked properly,” said Garima Bhat-

nagar, Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic). Traffic police officials said they have held meetings with banquet hall and farmhouse owners, asking them to deploy their staff to ensure that vehicles do not block traffic. In certain high rush zones, diversions have already been put in place. “The wedding rush started on Friday because of Akshaya Tritiya, which is considered to be an auspicious day. Saturday and Sunday will also be busy for us,” a senior traffic official said.

Light showers bring down mercury Staff Reporter New Delhi

Rain interruption: Many commuters were caught unawares during a brief downpour that brought much-needed relief from the hot weather on Friday. SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR *

With winds reaching speeds of 52km per hour, a squall battered the city on Friday. The storm was followed by light rain that brought down temperatures in the evening. Areas with a lot of construction activity were the worst hit as high winds kicked up dust, dropping visibility for a short period. However, the showers that followed the squall brought down the mercury and Delhiites were treated to a pleasant evening. The Safdarjung observatory, the reading of which is considered as the official figure for the city, received 0.2 mm rainfall till 5.30 pm, while areas under Lodhi

Road and the Ridge recorded 0.6 mm of rainfall. Areas under Palam and Ayanagar observatories did not receive any rain. The maximum temperature was recorded at 38.6 degrees Celsius and the minimum was recorded at 24 degrees Celsius, both normal for this time of the year.

Windy weekend Rain or dust storms have been forecast for the weekend with the MeT deparment predicting “Partly cloudy sky, rain or dust storm with squally winds or thunder storm” for Saturday. The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to hover around 38 and 24 degrees Celsius.

Sedition case: three JNU students quizzed HC extends stay on JNU admission policy Police had sent out a list of 31 students who they wanted to join investigations Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

Next date of hearing on July 27 Akanksha Jain New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Friday extended till July 27 the stay on its single judge’s order upholding the admission policy of the Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU) for M.Phil and Ph.D courses based on the University Grant Commission (UGC) regulations. A Bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said that admissions to M.Phil and Ph.D courses for the academic year 2017-18 would be subject to the “final outcome of the writ CM YK

petition”. The Bench was hearing the appeal filed by four students against the single judge order, which held that JNU was strictly bound by UGC notifications. The court has asked the parties to file written submissions on the matter. The next hearing is on July 27. Earlier, on April 18, the Bench had stayed the “effect and operation” of the single judge order stating: “...the impugned order has given findings and made absolute propositions of law which would have wide ramifications”.

The Delhi Police on Friday questioned three of the 31 Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU) students they had asked to join investigations in the sedition case that was registered following an event in the campus last year. A senior police officer confirmed that the questioning took place on campus but did not share who all were questioned. JNU Students’ Union ( JNUSU) president Mohit Kumar Pandey said the students were quizzed via a form that contained 40 questions, which included asking students about what they saw and their whereabouts on the evening of February 9, 2016, when alleged “anti-national”

JNUSU president Mohit Pandey questioned the timing of the probe. slogans were raised during an event on Indian Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

‘Fully co-operating’ “We are fully co-operating with the investigation but questions need to be asked about why suddenly this interrogation has been called for an year after the incident,”

Mr. Pandey said. A student who did not want to be identified as his/ her name features on the list said: “The timing is very suspicious as the students have been raising voices against the government by opposing the UGC Gazette Notification.” “Perhaps, this is a way to intimidate us to stop our movement. Attempts are also being made to malign our image by posting images of past JNUSU members out of context by certain news websites affiliated to right-wing groups in relation to the incident in Sukma [site of Maoist attack].” JNUSU said that 30 students have been called for interrogation without specifying the reason. “The list contains names of students, many of whom were not even students

of JNU on February 9, 2016 while some others are not students now. There are names of students who can’t even be identified,” said the JNUSU.

‘Targeting students’ They questioned the basis of the list and the connection between the names listed with the mentioned date. The JNUSU also demanded to know what charges had been levelled against the students. “We see this as another attempt to target and threaten students and fullfil the agenda of destroying a university where the battle of ideas and critical thinking are a wellcherished practice,” said the JNUSU. “We Debate, We Dissent, We argue, We Are JNU,” said the JNUSU in a statement. B ND-ND








60% work on Eastern Peripheral Expressway over Union Minister Nitin Gadkari surveys the progress, says project will be completed by August Staff Reporter New Delhi

3 prime suspects in Metro porn video case

Over 60% of the work on the 135-km Eastern Peripheral Expressway, being constructed from Kundli to Palwal, has been completed, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday. Efforts are on to complete it by August, the Minister said, adding that work on the Palwal-Manesar section of the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal project has been completed. He added that this was the first access-controlled expressway, being constructed at a cost of ₹4,418 crore. After making an aerial survey of the progress on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway near Jahllaka village in Haryana, Mr. Gadkari said the project would help reduce vehicle pressure by up to 50% in Delhi, besides reducing pollution.


Three unidentified men, possibly commuters, have emerged as prime suspects in the April 9 porn video incident at Rajiv Chowk metro station, an internal probe by the DMRC has found. The report has been submitted to the police. PTI

Eligible persons should get subsidised grains: HC NEW DELHI

The Delhi High Court on Friday told the Centre that no one eligible for foodgrains under the Public Distribution System should be denied the benefit. It asked the authorities concerned to produce data on persons covered under the PDS scheme in Delhi. STAFF REPORTER

Mutual transit After its completion, vehicles wouldn’t have to enter Delhi for mutual transit to Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir, Mr. Gadkari said, lauding the efforts of the Haryana government in completing the work in its territory. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation

PIL in HC on sale of fake eggs, veggies from China NEW DELHI

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the Centre’s response on a PIL claiming that eggs and vegetables made of plastic were being brought from China and sold in India. A Bench asked the Centre to inform the court on July 19, the next date of hearing. STAFF REPORTER

On track: The 135-km-long Eastern Peripheral Expressway will help reduce traic congestion in Delhi. of the expressway in November 2015.

Western expressway Like Eastern Peripheral Expressway, work on construction of Western Peripheral Expressway in the State is also being carried out by the Haryana government, Mr. Gadkari said. Apart from smooth traffic

movement in the area, Mr. Gadkari said new possibilities for development of industrial and business sectors would be generated with the construction of the Eastern Peripheral Expressway. The Eastern Peripheral Expressway would pass through Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar and Faridabad. Many modern fa-

cilities, including highway traffic management system, electronic signage, video incident detection system, warning devices, over speed checking system and fire optic network are being used in the project. Of 330 structures, 222, including bridges, interchanges and over-bridges, have also been completed,



the Minister said.

Other structures In addition to construction of main bridges on the Yamuna, Hindon and Agra Canal, eight railway over-bridges, four over-bridges, 45 small bridges, 77 underpasses and 152 pedestrian underpasses are also part of the project, he added.

‘Classmates didn’t sit with rape victim’

5-km elevated road in the works on Gurugram-Alwar Highway

Vishwas looks beyond EVMs to explain poll loss

HC comes to aid of HIV+ former lab tech

Staff Reporter

To be built from Subhash Chowk to Badshahpur village

Points to a ‘communication gap’

He had accidentally pricked himself

Press Trust of India

Akanksha Jain

New Delhi

Among the many things that the minor rape survivor, whose school has been accused of denying her admission to Class XI as it would bring the institution a “bad name”, had to face was her classmates’ unwillingness to share a seat with her, said sources in the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW). The commission issued a notice seeking explanation from the Directorate of Education (DoE) after her parents approached the DCW. A reply to the notice is awaited.

‘Stopped talking to her’ It’s learnt that even before she was allegedly asked by the private school to stop coming to class, her fellow students stopped talking to her and refused to sit with her. While the parents told the commission that the school had forced the children to adopt the stance, the DCW source didn’t rule out the possibility of the students behaving in a certain way on their own after discovering that she had been raped. Last November, the girl, who was in Class X in the same school, was allegedly kidnapped, raped and thrown out of a moving car.

Staff Reporter Gurugram

A five-km elevated road will soon be built from Subhash Chowk to Badshahpur village on Gurugram-Alwar Highway, locally known as Sohna Road. With several housing societies and commercial establishments on both sides of the road, traffic snarls are a routine affair on this stretch. Revealing details about the project during an interaction with journalists on Friday, Haryana Public Works Department (Building & Roads) Minister Rao Narbir Singh said tenders for the project have already been floated. According to Mr. Singh,

Talk: “Road rage: Youth aggression on the roads” by Dr. Deepali Rao, Clinical Psychologist at Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 7 p.m. Dance and Talk: World Dance Day celebrations 2017: “Everyone can dance” - Bharatanatyam workshop by Dancer Geeta Chandran, 10 a.m.; Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan will launch Dance in Retrospect Part II edited by Dr Sunil Kothari, followed by a dialogue with Dr. Kothari on his life and work. 4 p.m.; Young dancers festival: Bharatanatyam by Aniruddha Knight (grandson of Balasaraswati), 6:30 p.m.; Kathak by Gauri Diwakar,7:45 p.m. at Main Building, India International Centre (IIC), 10 a.m. onwards Dance: World Dance Day celebrations. Dance performances by various artistes at Vasuki Auditorium, Lok Kala Manch, 20, Lodhi Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, 6 p.m. Music: Dhrupad Festival in memory of Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar: Auchin Banerjee / Vinay Shukla (Dhrupad vocal duet), Ali Zaki Hader (Rudra veena), Shiv Darshan Dubey (Dhrupad vocal), Bala Chander (veena) at IHC, 7 p.m. Exhibition: “Craft Beton Collection 2017” craft show by international designers at Bikaner House, Pandara Road, India Gate, 10:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Exhibition: “Fragile Silence: Traversing Pictures and Words” solo photo-poetry art show by Sanchita Chatterjee at Triveni Kala Sangam, 205, Tansen Marg, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: “Numaaish: A photographic journey” by Pixels, the


Original plan According to the Minister, the elevated road was supposed to start from Vatika Chowk earlier. However, the Centre decided to extend it by a kilometre till Subhash Chowk. The elevated road, which will go beyond Badshahpur village, will benefit commuters going to Sohna, Nuh, Palwal and Alwar. Motorists face heavy traffic jams on this stretch during peak hours. The Minister expressed confidence that the elevated road will help reduce travel time considerably on this

stretch. Mr. Singh said the road would be supported by a series of single pillars so that the current six-lane road underneath will also be available. Besides, proper cuts will be provided at the central verge on the road underneath for commuters to go to Teekli and other villages situated on arterial roads connecting the highway. The elevated road would also be helpful in tackling the problem of traffic jam in Badshahpur village where traffic snarls have become a routine. The Minister added that people residing in group housing societies and other residential colonies situated along this stretch have welcomed the move.

New Delhi

Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas on Friday said there was a “communication gap” between the party, its volunteers and voters. “There was a communication gap between volunteers and the party leadership. We should first decide whom did we start our fight with. [Is it] corruption, the Congress, [Prime Minister] Narendra Modi or Electronic Voting Machines [EVMs]? Should we run a campaign to change electoral process? Problems in the EVMs are a part of elections. They should be questioned,” Mr. Vishwas said in an interview to a news chan-

nel. Pointing to reasons beyond the party’s official stand to explain its recent poll defeats, he said the AAP was getting “Congressionised” to an extent.

Uri terror attack He also differed with party convener and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over asking for proof for surgical strike after the Uri terror attack last year. Mr. Vishwas said during instances like terror attacks and surgical strikes, political parties should work shoulder-to-shoulder without seeing who is at the helm of affairs. He said with the poll results it has also become “obvious” that people did not vote for the AAP.

Venkaiah’s nod to pact on Urban Housing Mission Issues that held back its implementation for 22 months resolved at a meeting with Delhi L-G recently Staff Reporter New Delhi

Delhi would soon see implementation of the Urban Housing Mission, with some issues now being ironed out. “Issues that held back implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana [Urban] in the National Capital Territory of Delhi for 22 months

have now been resolved,” said a Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation spokesperson. Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday approved the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Ministry, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement

Board (DUSIB). The issues were resolved at a meeting by Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal last month, the spokesperson said.

Land ownership “Keeping in view the uniqueness of jurisdiction of land ownership in the NCT of Delhi, it was decided in the meeting by the L-G that the

DDA and the DUSIB will sign a memorandum of agreement as required by the mission guidelines,” he said, adding that the Delhi government was supposed to sign the agreement as per guidelines but Mr. Naidu made an exemption in this case. The agreement requires the State government’s commitment to com-

ply with six mandatory conditions, including amending the Master Plan earmarking land for affordable housing, removing requirement of separate nonagricultural permission if the land falls in residential zone, a single-window time-bound clearance system for layout approvals and building permissions, etc.

New Delhi

Coming to the aid of a father-of-two who was allegedly dismissed as lab technician at the Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute at Delhi University after he tested HIV positive, the High Court has asked the Centre to ensure he receives proper medical care. The man had accidentally pricked himself with needles during the course of employment. A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra issued the direction. Posting the matter for August 9, the court also directed the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) to explore the possibility of employment for him.

Single judge order The Bench was hearing the appeal of a 26-year-old, who filed the petition under the name “Pxxx”. The petitioner, through advocate Ashok Aggarwal, had challenged the November 2016 order of a single judge, who had held that since he was employed through a contractor he couldn’t contest his termination as violation of his fundamental rights. Pxxx, a resident of Sonipat, started working at the institute in April 2011. He accidentally pricked

himself three to four times while working in the laboratory and informed the hospital management. However, he was never administered post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is a requirement in such situations as per National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) guidelines. He alleged that the hospital doesn’t provide PEP or free medical assistance to staff working on contractual basis. “I told my superiors about the needle pricks but they told me not to worry,” he said, adding that he got tested for HIV last year and was shocked to find the result positive.

‘In shock’ “I couldn’t believe the report. I got a sample tested at a private lab and also at AIIMS. I was HIV+,” he said. Soon after the report came out, he learnt he had lost his job. His contractor didn’t help either, said Mr. Aggarwal. After battling depression, the 26-year-old decided to move court. The hospital, however, told the single judge and reiterated in a recent intimation to NACO that there was no sanctioned vacancy against such post and therefore it couldn’t employ him legally.



the cost of the project would be ₹1,385 crore and the foundation is likely to be laid next month.

photography society of Hansraj college at IHC, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: Solo painting show by Manoj Aher at IHC, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

April 30: Dance and Talk: World Dance Day celebrations 2017: Chhau Workshop conducted by Guru Shashadhar Acharya, 10 a.m.; Health for Dance: Illustrated lecture by Dr. Sheela Nambiar, 4 p.m.; Manipuri by Nandita Devi, 6:30 p.m.; Vilasini Natyam by Purva Dhanasree, 7:45 p.m at Main Building, IIC, 10 a.m. onwards Music: Dhrupad Festival in memory of Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar: Ashutosh Bhattacharya (Dhrupad vocal), Zahid Khan (Rudra veena), Ashish Sanrkrityayan (Dhrupad vocal) at IHC, 7 p.m. Exhibition: “Craft Beton Collection 2017” craft how by international designers at Bikaner House, Pandara Road, India Gate, 10:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Exhibition: “Numaaish: A photographic journey” by Pixels, the photography society of Hansraj college at Open Palm Court Gallery, IHC, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: Solo painting show by Manoj Aher at IHC, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: “Delhi Memoirs” - solo photography exhibition by Abhishek Kumar atIHC, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: “Hanuman: Images beyond imagination” by artist Charuvi Agrawal at Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts (IGNCA), 11, Mansingh Road, 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: A group painting, photography & sculpture show at IHC, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Mail your listings for this column at [email protected])

Big gaps found in NCR emission control programmes EPCA report questions test results over very low rates of failure; inadequate monitoring mechanisms another major concern Damini Nath New Delhi

From lack of inspectors to nearly all vehicles getting a passing grade, programmes to check pollution from vehicles in the National Capital Region (NCR) were found to have big loopholes by a Supreme Courtappointed body. The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) was tasked by the Supreme Court to conduct a study of pollution under control (PUC) centres in the NCR earlier this year.

Recommendations made On Friday, the EPCA submitted its report, which contains recommendations on how to improve emission testing programmes. Anumita Roychowdhury, an executive director at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said the EPCA’s report had brought

to light some “glaring” weaknesses in the way vehicular emissions testing programmes were being run. For instance, 1.37 million PUC tests were conducted in Delhi from November 2016 to January 2017 as per data provided by

the Delhi Transport Department to the EPCA team. The report said with 6.47 million vehicles in Delhi, according to the department as on August 1, 2016, the number of vehicles being tested was low. As per the report, only 35% of

four-wheeled vehicles in Delhi are compliant with Bharat Stage-IV norms, which means that the rest must be tested every quarter. All two and three wheelers in Delhi are BS-III or lower. “The number of PUC tests

to be conducted per quarter should at least be 5.91 million...This works out to be a compliance rate of 23.2%. Many vehicles in Delhi remain outside the PUC testing network,” it said. Test results were also questioned, with the rate of failure being very low. The report found that the overall failure rate in Delhi was 4.69%, with diesel vehicles failing at a rate of 1.68%, compared to 5.18% of petrol. “Further analysis of Delhi data has shown close to 20% vehicles tested scored zero emission. Zero values of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in some vehicles can be overlooked. But sensitivity of the instrument should be verified in case any PUC centre reports many zero values,” added the report. Another major concern, Ms. Roychowdhury said, was inadequate monitoring mechanism. While Delhi is

the only one in the NCR to have an automatic data reporting system, Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida and the other NCR towns have manual systems. And to check the veracity of the data and functioning of PUC centres, Transport Departments across the NCR have an inadequate number of inspectors — Delhi has 28 inspectors for 971 centres, Gurugram nine for 127 centres and Gautam Budh Nagar, which includes Noida and Greater Noida, has seven for 104 centres. “There’s lack of oversight on PUC centres. The number of centres has been increasing. There’s need for systemic changes,” she added. The report recommends limiting the number of PUC centres, upgrading them, improving monitoring, and linking PUC certificates to the annual insurance renewal process to improve compliance. B ND-ND







One held for honour killing

5 killed in cracker unit blast 55-year-old factory owner among those dead; cause of ire yet to be ascertained

Convict in Jigisha murder case gets 5-day interim bail

Staff Reporter

Purusharth Aradhak

Lifer allowed to attend proceedings of property partition



Almost a year after the family of a minor girl allegedly murdered the man she had eloped with, the Delhi Police Special Cell on Thursday arrested her brother in the case. The accused, 35-yearold Varun (name changed), was arrested from Ahmedabad based on a tipoff. The police said it was a case of honour killing. Varun’s sister had eloped with a 22-year-old man from their village in Ghaziabad last April. This did not go down well with the girl’s family, as her partner, Vishal, belonged to a different caste.

Five persons were killed and several others were injured in an explosion at a firecracker manufacturing factory in Farookh Nagar here on Friday. The deceased were identified as Pappu (55), Ashfaq (40), Rafeek (60), Sageer (40) and Qutubuddin (50). While Pappu was the owner of the factory, the others were labourers. According to the police, the blast occurred around 1 p.m., when the workers were on duty.

False promise Her father then approached Vishal, and promised to give her hand in marriage to him once she turned 18. At the time, Vishal and the girl were staying with his sister in west Delhi’s Uttam Nagar. Vishal and his family agreed to the proposal and allowed the girl’s kin to take the couple back home. Vishal, however, was taken to Vijay Nagar in Ghaziabad, where Varun along with his father Suresh, uncle Satish and cousin Arun (all names changed) assaulted him and later pushed him off a highrise. The Ghaziabad police registered a zero FIR and transferred the case to the Delhi Police. The police are looking for the other accused.


Severe impact “The impact of the explosion was such that the bodies of at least two of the workers were ripped apart,” said SHO Sudhir Tyagi. Over a dozen fire tenders were pressed into service. Deputy Inspector-General (Meerut Zone) K. S. Emmanuel reached the spot to

Akanksha Jain NEW DELHI

Breach of law: The police are probing whether the factory in Ghaziabad was being run illegally. *

The Delhi High Court on Friday granted five-day interim bail to Baljeet, a lifer in the Jigisha Ghosh murder case, for being able to attend partition proceedings relating to a family plot in south Delhi. Justice G. S. Sistani and Vinod Goel, however, directed the convict to not contact Jigisha’s family or leave Delhi. While Special Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said he could be allowed to attend the partition proceedings while in custody, Baljeet’s counsel Amit Kumar submit-

ted that he needed to participate in family discussions to arrive at any agreement to the mode of the partition.

‘Physical presence must’ “The State has ascertained that Baljeet’s family holds a 250 sq yards plot at Masoodpur village. His brothers seek partition of the property, for which his presence is necessary. The police recorded the statements of his relatives and neighbours to confirm this,” the Bench noted. “Having regard to the submissions made and verification carried out, we suspend the sentence of the ap-

pellant for a period of five days from the date of his release, subject to his furnishing a personal bond of ₹20,000 with one surety....,” it ordered.

Set of instructions “The appellant [Baljeet] will provide a mobile number of his close relation to the trial court. He will not contact the family member of the deceased during this period. He shall not leave the NCT of Delhi,” the court said. Baljeet is one of the three convicts in the 2009 murder case of IT executive Jigisha Ghosh.


take stock of the situation. It is suspected that the source of the explosion was a simmering beedi. The police are also probing whether crackers were being stored in the factory

and whether the unit was illegal.

No FIR filed yet No FIR has been registered yet. A case report will be sent to the State govern-

ment, said Mr. Tyagi Friday’s explosion was the second such incident reported in UP-NCR in the last fortnight. In the previous case, a fire at a Noida factory killed several employees.

Teens die after falling of Badarpur lyover

Man shoots wife, commits suicide Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

A 34-year-old man allegedly killed his wife and later committed suicide at his residence in north Delhi’s Rohini on Friday. According to the police, Tilkraj (34) shot his wife

Hemlata and used the same pistol to kill himself. No suicide note was found even as the motive remains unclear.

Neighbours inform cops Deputy Commissioner of Police (Rohini) Rishi Pal said neighbours called the police

when they spotted blood outside the couple’s flat in F Block, Sector 15, Rohini. The murder weapon was recovered from the bed. The couple had no children and been living in the flat for the last seven years, said Mr. Pal.

Motorbike rider loses control after being hit by car; accused arrested within hours Staff Reporter New Delhi

Two teenagers on a motorcycle were killed when they fell off a flyover after being hit by a car near south-east Delhi’s Badarpur on Friday. One of the deceased was identified as Sulabh Pandey, a resident of Faridabad. The other victim was a girl. The incident happened

around 3 p.m. Eyewitnesses said a silver car hit the two-wheeler from behind, after which the rider lost control of the vehicle and rammed a railing of the flyover. The victims then fell off it. “The two were rushed to the AIIMS Trauma Centre, where they were declared brought dead. Their motor-

cycle was found lying on the flyover,” said a senior police officer.

Case of rash driving The police later arrested the car driver, Mohammad Anwar (28), with the help of locals. A case of rash driving and causing death due to negligence was registered against him at the Badarpur

police station. Anwar is a resident of Kathputli Colony. The police said the car was owned by his employer, whose relative was in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

CCTVs under scanner The police are also scanning CCTV footage to establish the sequence of the event.








Mobiles a risk drivers ready to take Cancellation threat looms Survey across eight cities inds most motorists throwing caution to the wind while receiving calls

< >

Staff Reporter New Delhi

Nearly half of the 1,800-odd drivers who participated in a study on mobile use patterns across Indian metro cities admitted they used their phones behind the wheel. This, even as they agreed it was dangerous. Similar patterns were revealed in what SaveLIFE Foundation and Vodafone India Ltd. claimed was a firstof-its-kind study on “Safety in Mobility” here on Friday. It covered various categories of drivers across eight cities. The survey was carried out among 1,749 drivers across Delhi, Chennai, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Kanpur, Mumbai and Kolkata. Within each city, four categories of drivers were surveyed. This included drivers of two-wheelers, cars, trucks, buses and auto-rickshaws. The survey covered four sections — demography, extent of mobile phone use, effect of mobile phone use on road user behaviour, and perception of mobile phone use by road users. The study revealed that 94% of people acknowledged using mobile phones while driving as being dangerous, but 47% of them admitted to receiving calls while driving. Amongst other findings, the study also found that 34% of all respondents tend to apply sudden brakes when talking on the phone while driving, while 20% of

Rape twist to double murder

34% of all respondents tend to apply sudden brakes when talking on the phone while driving

Study titled ‘Distracted Driving in India: A Study on Mobile Phone Usage, Pattern and Behaviour’

respondents admitted to having had near-miss situations or having experienced a road crash due to using mobile phones while driving. As many as 96% of the people spoken to said they felt unsafe as passengers if the driver was using a mobile phone while driving. The report titled ‘Distracted Driving in India: A Study on Mobile Phone Usage, Pattern and Behaviour’ was released by P. Balaji, Director External Affairs, Regulatory & CSR, Vodafone India, and Saji Cherian, Director Opera-

tions, SaveLIFE Foundation.

Mobile app launched The study was released in the presence of Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways Abhay Damle, who also launched the Vodafone-SaveLIFE Foundation “Road Safe” mobile application. The app has been created to keep drivers away from distractions while driving, besides offering tips on safe driving. According to the study, 41% of the respondents said they answered calls while

driving if it was work-related, while another 36% said they took calls if they were driving slow. A majority of auto-rickshaw drivers said they took calls during non-stressful traffic conditions, and if they were personal or social calls. A high proportion of truck or bus drivers reported that they generally answered calls and made calls if it is work-related. In Kolkata and Delhi, 61% and 49% respondents respectively said that they answered calls if they were

social calls. Terming it alarming, the report posited that 70% respondents said they answered calls without parking at a safe location. Of these, 13% said that they, in fact, continued driving while on the phone. Answering and continuing to drive during a call, the report found, was more prevalent among two-wheeler and truck or bus drivers. Similarly, for reading and sending messages/emails, 63% and 64% respondents respectively said that they did not stop at a safe location, and an overall of 10% respondents said they continued driving staying updated with their social media feeds. According to the report, respondents reported reduction in driving performance when driving and using the mobile phone. As many as 48% respondents across categories said they used turn signals less frequently while driving and talking on the phone, while 32% said they braked more suddenly. Around 29% of drivers said they changed lanes more frequently when messaging and driving.


All that glitters is gold

Noida CEO says new developer to be roped in to inish lats Purusharth Aradhak Noida

Noida Authority Chief Executive Officer Amit Mohan Prasad on Friday said that if a builder is unable to finish a sick project he will cancel its allotment and handover the same to another builder who will agree to deliver the flats without delay to the buyers. He said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has clearly instructed that home buyers should not face humiliation at the hands of the realtors. The former Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav, had in 2016 come up with a project settlement policy to address multiple issues that delay realty projects. Following the policy, 60 housing project owners in Noida and Greater Noida had applied to settle issues related to financial crisis and surrender of land. But the two authorities are yet to resolve issues in any of these realty projects. Home buyers have been demanding resolution of their grievances as they are unable to get flat possession on time. Around 200 build-

Three separate cases of power theft reported from various parts of the city were presented before the Special Courts of Electricity in Saket. The accused in these cases have been awarded three months’ imprisonment each and fines of over ₹13 lakh. The Capital, in fact, has been witnessing several such cases in the last one month. The soaring temperatures are believed to be a reason behind the spike.

Midas touch: Customers at a jewellery store on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya, which is considered an auspicious day for Hindus, on Friday. SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA *


ers in Noida and Greater Noida have failed to deliver their housing projects on time citing dip in sales amid slowdown in the realty sector.

Project settlement policy “We will use project settlement policy (PSP) to resolve issues in stuck housing projects. But if PSP fails to solve issues and any builder is unable to finish the project, then we will cancel the allotment. We will bring a new developer who can deliver. Our aim is to provide relief

to home buyers whose rights are being infringed upon by the builders,” Mr. Prasad said. A delegation of aggrieved home buyers on Thursday met with the Chief Minister in Lucknow. “I will call a meeting with Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India soon to find out solutions to revive sick realty projects. I will try to address the issues first by meetings all the stakeholders, including the developers,” Mr. Prasad added.


City sees spike in cases in last month New Delhi


Home truths: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed that home buyers should not face humiliation at the hands of realtors. FILE PHOTO

Six jailed, ined for power theft Staff Reporter

Shubhomoy Sikdar

Exposing an alleged goof-up in probe by the local police, which had arrested the husband of a woman who was found murdered in outer Delhi on February 19, the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch has claimed that she was raped and murdered by three men. The trio had also tried to rob the woman who was out with a male friend, they said. The man was found murdered a short distance away on February 20. The police had arrested the woman’s husband and said he strangulated them after finding out about his wife’s extra-marital affair. The Crime Branch, however, contested the police’s claims after the arrest Jasbir Dabas, Devender and Manjeet. While DCP (Crime Branch) G Ram Gopal Naik did not offer details, he said they had received inputs. DCP (Outer) M.N. Tiwari refused to comment saying he had not studied the case.

over sick realty projects

Tailoring unit owner held The three cases involved the owners of a tailoring unit, a de-silting firm, and three residents of Central Delhi. In the first case, accused Khursheed Begum, who owns a tailoring unit in Okhla’s Abul Fazal Enclave, was found to be stealing power. When BSES — one of the two discoms operating in Delhi — inspected the matter, they found that over 17KW of power was being stolen. Of this, 10KW was being used for commercial activities, while 7KW was being used for domestic purposes.

As many as 18 motorised sewing machines were found on the first floor of the building, while an eatery was found functioning on the ground floor. The court awarded Begum three months’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of ₹13.2 lakh.

De-silting firm involved In another case, Rajesh Kumar and Kishore Kumar, owners of a de-silting firm in Nizamuddin, were found guilty of stealing 29KW power. “This is an economic offence wherein the society as a whole is the victim, and the honest payers of electricity charges are the sufferers on account of the proved conduct of the convicts. Such convicts are getting unearned benefit at the costs of others,” said Additional Sessions Judge Neelam Singh.

964 constables inducted into Delhi Police NEW DELHI

As many as 25 postgraduates, 347 graduates and three B.Ed degree holders were among the 964 constables inducted into the Delhi Police on Friday. Of the total number of constables, 433 constables are from the Northeast. One of the constables has an LLB degree, while 478 of them have completed Class XII. They took oath at a parade which was attended by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju. PTI

NDMC staff take ‘swachhta oath’ NEW DELHI

Three residents accused Among the other accused were 70-year-old Amarjeet Singh, a resident of Tilak Bazaar. Two other Central Delhi residents, too, have been sent to jail.

With the New Delhi Municipal Council working towards achieving 100% segregation of waste to mark World Environment Day on June 5, its staff took a ‘swachhta’ pledge on Friday. The pledge was administered by NDMC chairperson Naresh Kumar, who asked the employees to spread awareness on waste segregation at the household level. He also pressed for a change in attitude towards waste disposal. STAFF REPORTER

that unfold during the crowning of Mahishmati’s king. A hat tip to the team that made it possible, from cinematographer Senthil Kumar to production department captained by Sabu Cyril and the visual effects team. The downer in this fantastically-mounted spectacle

is the climactic portion — let’s just say Marvel superheroes would be put to shame. For the most part, The Conclusion doesn’t let us take our eyes off the screen. It’s designed to be a cinematic celebration, one that deserves to be watched on the largest screen possible.


A beitting conclusion S.S. Rajamouli ups the game with well-deined characters, an absorbing narrative and a visually stunning spectacle Sangeetha Devi Dundoo

Baahubali – The Conclusion is a game changer. Years from now, filmmakers who dream big but shy away from taking that leap of faith will probably draw strength from the work of this team. With part one, this team broke the barriers of what otherwise gets boxed into a ‘regional film’ and took it to a pan-Indian audience, ending with a cliff hanger and the raging question #wkkb. There were awe-inspiring sequences and characters about whom we wanted to know more. There were also niggles, like the track between Mahendra Baahubali (Prabhas) and the guerilla warrior Avantika (Tamannaah). With The Conclusion, the team makes The Beginning seem like child’s play. They raise the bar to give us a visually breathtaking film that also makes up for a few aspects that were found wanting in part one. The Rajamouli that ardent Telugu moviegoers know is an excellent storyteller. Here, he gives us welldefined back-stories (story by Vijayendra Prasad) with the necessary emotional CM YK

Baahubali - The Conclusion Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Rana Daggubati and Ramya Krishna Director: S S Rajamouli Music: M M Keeravaniz Run time: 197 mins Cast:

heft. The magnificent Mahishmati is celebrating its victory over the Kalakeyas and its king-to be, Amarendra Baahubali (Prabhas). Beneath the celebratory layer, something sinister is brewing. The larger-than-life palace appears eerie, as though it bemoans the impending fall from grace. Amarendra, oblivious to the viciousness of Bhallaladeva (Rana Daggubati), gives his all to be the dutiful foster son and the prospective king his people would be proud of. The film is a whole lot more than ‘why Kattappa killed Baahubali’ (#wkkb). It’s a conflict of characters, caught in the whirl of palace politicking and deceit. The face-offs take place between Mahendra Baahubali and Bhallaladeva, between the loyal Kattappa (Sathyaraj) and the conniving

Timeless tales: “Baahubali - The Conclusion” is a story of good vs. evil.

Bijjaladeva (Nasser) and more interestingly, between Sivagami (Ramya Krishna) and Devasena (Anushka Shetty). As each of these characters reveal to what extent they can go for their convictions, the actors’ real names seem like a blur. You’d rather give in to their screen names and parts. Prabhas, Anushka and

Rana get their career-best roles. As the two Baahubalis, Prabhas is still lifting boulders, trees and whatever mighty is in front of him to protect people who matter. He is regal and assured as Amarendra and thirsty for revenge as Mahendra, learning war tactics along the way. Rana is on a beast mode as the dark, ominous Bhal-



laladeva. It’s Anushka who’s a revelation. Not even in Rudhramadevi did she shine as she does as Devasena. Thrown into an unenviable situation, she stands her ground and questions the basic tenets of the kingdom. Her portions with Sivagami (Ramya Krishna, once again aces the part) drive a chunk of the drama.

Broadly speaking, Baahubali – The Conclusion is a tale of good vs. evil. Ever since we saw Devasena in part one gathering twigs for a funeral pyre we knew what’s in store. But within that framework are sequences that warrant a suspension of disbelief and an intriguing match of wits. The film has several of those, particularly the events B ND-ND








‘One should not doubt the integrity of the jury’ Veteran ilmmaker Ramesh Sippy talks about his ilm academy and the alleged bias in selection process of the National Film Awards Anuj KUmar

‘Sameer’at NYFF 2017 Dakxin Chhara’s film Sameer will to make its world premiere at New York Indian Film Festival on May 6. Sameer features Zeeshan Ayub, Anjali Patil and Subrat Dutta. In 2008, Dakxin Chhara set out with a camera to capture the devastating scene of the series of 21 bomb blasts that had shaken Ahmedabad. That incident and meeting the victims made him narrate this story on screen. He says, “Sameer is a story about the brutal reality of our times, a tale of how terror can take over the lives of citizens.” The film is slated for its theatrical release across India in July.

‘Behen Hogi Teri’ on June 2 Oddball Motion Pictures’ maiden production venture Behen Hogi Teri is slated to release on June 2. The film starring Rajkummar Rao and Shruti Hassan in the lead has been extensively shot in Lucknow. The comedy is directed by first-timerAjay K Pannalal. The film also stars Gautam Gulati, Herry Tangiri, Darshan Jariwala, Ranjeet and Gulshan Grover. Music by Rishi Rich, Jam8 and Jaidev Kumar.

After keeping us riveted to his films for decades, seasoned director Ramesh Sippy is opening a film school in collaboration with the University of Mumbai. “When I try to analyse what I have done in my life, I somehow realise that I respond well to challenges. Most of my work has been such right from my first film when people said what this young man will achieve by making a film on a widow (Andaz ). My answer was you can’t keep telling the same story all the time. This turn in my life is also a challenge as I want to share with youngsters what I have learnt and help them tell their stories,” says the director of blockbusters like Sita Aur Gita and Sholay . “There is no formula to making a blockbuster,” he clarifies. “I didn’t know that I was making a hit film while I was making Sholay . I had just set out to make an adventure film. It is essentially about storytelling, where sometimes, silence plays an important role, sometimes music takes the story forward and at times action plays that crucial part. You can’t think of the fruits of your labour first. I brought new techniques to cinema as tools of storytelling. Today, digital technology could be that tool.” These days, filmmakers think of their set of audience before mounting the film. “Yes, some do. In the 70s, too there were filmmakers who followed a formula. These were the guys who found it strange that a film could be made without maa. They didn’t realise

large section of < > Aaudience which used to enjoy my ilms can no longer aford a multiplex ticket

Making a point: Ramesh Sippy says technology should be used as a tool for storytelling

emotion is more important than character. Similarly, some people found that the Jai-Mausi scene had a negative emotion.”

Injecting passion He managed to be different without going to a film school. “I may have been lucky as I was born in a film family but had I got the benefit of going to a film school, I would have achieved more. I can’t impart my genes but I can always inject some of my passion in students,” reflects Sippy. Called Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema and Entertainment, he says the fees will be less than what is charged by Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods but still it

will be considerably higher than government institutions. “Ghai must have his reasons. We will run it at Kalina Campus in Mumbai University at the Garware Institute. We have established two scholarships in the name of my father (G.P. Sippy) and some seats will be reserved according to the government quota.” Recently, Priyadarshan, the head of the jury of the 64th National Film Awards cited Sippy’s closeness to Amitabh Bachchan while defending his choice of Akshay Kumar as the best actor. Bachchan had twice won the National Award for Best Actor when Sippy was the head of the jury. “I go by



merit. Nana Patekar was also a strong contender last year. One argument that came my way was that Bachchan had won it before. I said that it didn’t mean he couldn’t win again. It depends on the performance in a particular film released that year. And according to me, he acted brilliantly in Piku . For an actor who is known for playing intense characters, he moulded himself brilliantly for playing a simple old guy. Similarly, when we gave him for Paa, one journalist asked that it should have gone to the make-up man. I responded that we have awarded him as well, but one should also appreciate how Bachchan managed to emote

very well with such heavy make-up. Not many actors could do that.”

Right choice In judiciary, judges often recuse themselves from cases where there could be a perception about bias. “In that case, I could not be on jury because I have worked with so many actors. In fact, Nana Patekar had also worked in a film produced by me,” retorts Sippy referring to Tax 9211. “I am not afraid of discussing my choice but the integrity of jury members should not be questioned.” He agrees it was easier to target Akshay Kumar. “Had they given it to him for Airlift,

there would not have been so much noise. According to me, Rustom’ s first half was brilliant but after intermission he went over the top, particularly in court room sequence.” Defending his choice of giving Baahubali, the Best Film Award last year, Sippy says the award was for the vision of producer and director. “It was for the way Rajamouli blended technique with storytelling, something which has not been done before at this scale.” A section questioned its ideology. “The ideological clashes will continue to be there in a country as diverse as India. I pushed it for its vision. And Rajamouli has

been doing it for sometime. It reflected in Magadheera as well. He has come ahead of the basic stuff that Telugu cinema was producing in the last few years. Everybody has the right to criticise. We are living in a free world, so please empathise with the sensibilities of the jury too. This is not one person’s choice, by the way. It is even put to vote when it is difficult to find a clear winner. Having said that there have been times where you could make out that it is a put-up job.” Recently, Amol Palekar filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the pre-censorship of films. “The debate should continue because it leads of evolution of thought and democracy. I myself faced it when I was asked to change the climax of Sholay . I argued vehemently that you are making me to do what has already come in thousand films before. It is another matter that the film reached a different level but it saddened me.” Sippy is concerned about the increasing ticket prices of multiplexes. “A large section of audience which used to enjoy my films can no longer afford a multiplex ticket. The collective enjoyment of watching a film is going out. However, there is a movement round the corner which is pushing for the case of a ₹50 seat alongside the ₹500 seat.” Meanwhile, his comeback film Shimla Mirch is ready but producer Viacom18 has yet to announce the release date. “I have no information. Corporate companies were supposed to change the way industry functioned, but they have their own plans,” says Sippy, adding that it doesn’t mean that he is done with filmmaking. “I am going to school to teach. Hopefully, I will get to learn something new to tell.”


Simply inger-licking Ram Swarup Halwai in Old Delhi continues to sell the most delicious bedmi sabzi and nagori halwa rahul verma

The memory works in mysterious ways. One day, just a few days ago, one part of my memory suddenly went ‘blink-blink’, emitting a warm and happy light. I don’t know what triggered it, but a picture popped up in my mind of a small, nondescript shop in Old Delhi. And I recalled that it sold the most delicious bedmi sabzi. There’s an old Chinese saying which states that when memory calls, you must respond. So I responded and rushed off to Purani Dilli one sunny day. I took the Metro, got off at Chawri Bazaar, and then started walking towards Bazaar Sitaram, for, as I recalled, the bedmi shop was there. I found it to my left after walking down the lane for a while. It is still small and nondescript and, as I discovered in the next 10 minutes, it still sells the most

Double delight: Nagori halwa and bedmi sabzi ofered by Ram Swarup Halwai

delicious bedmi sabzi. The name of the shop is Ram Swarup Halwai. The ad-

dress is 3294, Bazaar Sitaram, near Lal Darwaza. The phone numbers are 9210040054 and 9310804526. It is not a very well-known shop, but the local people know all about it. And, as I saw, quite a few people stop there for a morning meal. The shop, run by brothers Ajit Kumar and Anil Kumar, was set up 80 years ago by their grandfather. There is a small counter which holds a few different kinds of sweets — chamcham, gulab jamun,

rasgulla and barfi. But the shop is really known for its bedmi sabzi and nagori halwa. In a kadhai on the side, you can see bedmis being fried. There is a runny and reddish potato sabzi in a large utensil. In a paraat on the counter you will find small nagoris, and in a huge paraat next to it, there’s halwa. Let me tell you what’s so special about Ram Swarup Halwai’s fare. One, the food is excellent. The bedmis are small but crisp, and the

potato curry is spicy and mildly tart. The brothers carefully put a slit green chilli in the potato sabzi, so that makes it nicely hot. The small nagoris, again, are delightfully crisp. You pierce it with your thumb, stuff it with a good helping of halwa and pop it into your mouth. Life really looks up after that. The nagori is prepared with maida, or flour, mixed with suji, or semolina, which adds to its crispness. The halwa is excellent, and I thought the suji had been

really well roasted — which to my mind is the test of a good halwa. I have always believed that nagori halwa is one of the best breakfast meals you can ever have. You can also dunk your nagori in some sabzi and eat it, if you like to alternate between sweet and savoury tastes. The second important point is that prices haven’t really gone up much at Ram Swarup Halwai’s little shop. A plate of two bedmis with potato sabzi comes for ₹15, while two pieces of nagori with halwa are for ₹10. The rate in the bigger shops in Old Delhi is five or six time higher. Of course, the better known bedmi sellers enhance their bedmis with side dishes, such as chholey, fenugreek chutney and pickled vegetables. Ram Swarup’s fare is simple — but finger licking good. I ate some bedmis and nagori halwa, packed some to be consumed later and made my way home. I gave my memory cells a little pat on their backs and urged them to carry on with the good work. The next time they go blink-blink, I am sure there will be another happy memory to be revisited.

the writer is a seasoned food critic

Hidden India A series on lesser known India nikhil varma

BBC Earth is airing Hidden India at 9 p.m. today and tomorrow—a series that showcases the wildlife and natural history in some of the lesser known locales in India. In a telephonic conversation, Julian Hector, the executive producer of the show talked about shooting for the show, his experiences in India and his favourite cities in the country. Julian has produced series like Battle Of The Sexes and Wild Africa and has been involved in the development and production of awardwinning programmes such as Tweet Of The Day, World On The Move, Saving Species and Migration. Talking about the show, Julian says, "India is a country with a good sense of natural history and symbolism, and offers a diverse range of wildlife and climatic zones. In this series, we have attempted to bring out the pockets of the

natural world in the country that are not very well known. We wanted to focus on lesser known aspects of Indian natural history and bring out the diversity of the country to the forefront. In many places, wildlife coexists with people as well. In this series, we have made an attempt to bring all these elements together." Julian adds, "We shot all across the country, in the western ghats, parts of Rajasthan, stretches of the Kaziranga national park, the foothills of the Himalayas and many other locations. The entire process took over three years. Shooting in national parks in India is tough and we collaborated with local wildlife experts and local camera persons and guides. I feel that local knowledge not only helps in negotiating the reams of bureaucratic papers that need to be processed, it ensures that the animals are not put to any harm."





The Latination

Behroopiya Entertainers presents “Massage”, a Hindi comedy play By Rakesh Bedi. A two-act play it is a monologue in which Bedi portrays several characters. Written by Vijay Tendulkar it tries to look at the underbelly of society Venue: Pearey Lal Bhavan, near ITO Time: 7 p.m.

At Piano Man Jazz Club the quartet Latination will perform. A collaboration between French and Indian musicians of jazz and Latin music, its repertoire ranges from salsa and rumba to modern jazz. Venue: B 6, Comm. Comp. Safdarjung Encl. Time: 9 p.m.



World Dance Day Lok Kala Manch celebrates the World Dance Day by presenting Bharatanatyam by Nrityabharti, Kathak by Kalakriti students and Bharatanatyam by Jugnu Kapadia among other programmes. Venue: Vasuki Auditorium, Lodhi Institutional Area, New Delhi Time: 5 p.m.



Ballabhpur ki Roopkatha

It will be a fun musical night at Lanterns Kitchen & Bar as the experimental Sufi fusion band, Strings N Woods is all set to perform. The sixmember from Chandigarh performs across multiple genres including rock, Indian classical, Bollywood/commercial and experimental. Venue: 163/164, Rajendra Place, New Delhi Time: 9 p.m.

As part of Saksham Theatre Festival “Ballabhpur ki Roopkatha” a Hindi comedy play will be staged. Written by Badal Sircar, the play directed and designed by Sunil Rawat is the story of Bhupati Rai trying to sell his palace. Venue: Amphitheatre, IHC Time: 7.30 p.m.

Strings N Woods








Diamond bohemia Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee adds ‘jewellery designer’ to his long list of achievements, with a new collection for Forevermark PERSONAL LUXURIES ■ Time, for me, is the biggest luxury. So I value anything that involves time to myself and my private space. Luxury cannot be hurried. So, in the industry, anything that is not mass produced, but is manufactured taking a lot of time, is a luxury.

The Ayurveda brand, Forest Essentials, makes an oil called Soundarya. It has become my newest addiction. I use it every morning and follow it with a cold and hot water bath because it makes me happy.

Thirdly, good food. There is nothing more luxurious than that. In Bombay, I like China House, Sindhudurg and Swati Snacks. In Chennai, it is Amravati, in Hyderabad, ITC’s Dakshin, and in Delhi, Khan Chacha in Khan Market (I was so upset when they moved!) and Yeti in GK. My taste in food is very schizophrenic — I can go from street to gourmet, but I stay true to that spirit.

Cut, colour and craft: Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee (extreme left); a mood board created while designing Zanyah; a ring (below) and enamelled earrings (top)


elizabeth mathew

It was only a matter of time before Sabyasachi Mukherjee ventured into jewellery. Zanyah, a collection of rings and earrings, fuses Italian design with a vintage Bengali aesthetic, and Forevermark’s careful selection of stones. The result: pieces that can’t be replicated. It’s a little-known fact that jewellery was Mukherjee’s first choice as a designer. “Not many know that I used to design jewellery before I got into clothes. It has always been my first love. Clothes were a happy accident,” he shares, explaining that he credits his passion to his grandfather.

“My maternal grandfather was a shaukeen; a man with fine tastes and enough money to indulge it. All my childhood, I watched him buy beautiful things for my grandmother and my mother. So I grew up knowing the mechanisms of jewellery, especially vintage diamonds and gold,” he adds. Growing up in Bengal, with its strong “decorative arts movement”, as he calls it, also had a strong impact.

Serious whimsy While Mukherjee admits that he always wanted to get into fine jewellery, he also knew exactly what he wanted to bring. “In India, everyone just does templated jewellery, which is dia-

mond set in either white or yellow gold. The younger generation, if they want to wear diamonds, only pick solitaries — which I find very industrial — and the older generation only want to buy ‘serious’ sizes,” he rues. He saw a definite gap in the market for diamond jewellery that fell somewhere between these two sensibilities. “What we wanted to do was inject a little personality, by making them whimsical and bringing in history and the story of craft,” he states. Since Forevermark doesn’t use coloured stones, he brought in enamelling, to add some col-

our to the pieces and create a line that had “craftsmanship and a sense of bohemia”. From labelling Zanyah ‘heirlooms for the urban royals’, to his Mughal inspiration, to curating for Kishandas & Co, erstwhile jewellers to the Nizam of Hyderabad, regalia seems to be a constantly recurring theme. Was this a conscious decision? “I don’t think so,” he says. “To me, it is not a theme, but rather a way of life. In my head, a royal is just someone who has an appetite for the finer things in life.”

Insta-like Mukherjee’s penchant for social media became a strategy here, too. Zanyah was unveiled on Instagram, with moody black-andwhite shots of women wearing his drop earrings and bright closeups of men sporting his cocktail rings. His last two collections, Palermo Afternoon and The Udaipur Collection, debuted on the photo-sharing platform too. So does this mean the traditional fashion show is on its way out? “No! That’s like saying just because the elevator has been invented, stairs are going to be obsolete. Or that a Kindle can replace books,” he laughs. “A fashion show gives a sense of theatre and I will never give up on that. But it’s only good for the 200-odd people who attend it.

We started doing our social media so that there is a direct connect between the brand’s identity, my mind and the consumer. In India, educative marketing plays a big role, especially in elevating the taste of the average consumer.” With over 1.2 million followers on Instagram, and with each picture garnering a minimum of 4,000 likes, he does have a point.

Collective creation Collaborations are nothing new to brand Sabyasachi. From Pottery Barn and Asian Paints to Christian Louboutin, he has tried his aesthetic on varied media and they have all worked magic. How does he pick his collaborators? “It’s simple: I only work with people at the top of their game. But I also have two thumb rules — the collaborations have to tell a crafts story, and an India

story.” But with each collaboration, there is a personal inclination as well. “I have a fetish for wallpapers; all bourgeois Bengali homes have wallpapers. So when Asian Paints came to me, I wanted to work with them because they are the market leaders in that category. I got the same sense, and a lot of freedom, with Pottery Barn, Forevermark and Christian Louboutin, who is now a dear friend,” he sums up. However, he is clear that a collaboration isn’t just about money, but about collectively creating wealth for both brands.“Together, we have to be able to make some change to the consumer industry that we see around us,” he concludes. Prices start at approximately ₹3 lakh for The Zanyah Collection

Phulkari pride Manish Malhotra says designers like Karl Lagerfeld will ind a connect with the embroidery technique

Pierced and proud From traditional to subversive and now ‘cool’, the nose ring continues to evolve in stunning ways divya kala bhavani

Exquisite embroidery: Pieces from the Threads of Emotion collection (above); designer Manish Malhotra (below) rosella stephen

platform? ● While phulkari is deeply en-

How is a craft of 18th-century origin, deeply rooted in Punjabi culture, still relevant in contemporary fashion? Bollywood’s favourite designer, Manish Malhotra, was at The Philadelphia Museum of Art yesterday to showcase the versatility of phulkari to an eclectic gathering. His Threads of Emotion phulkari collection from 2013 was displayed, along with the Museum’s ongoing exhibit, Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection. So together with the Bonovitz’s 19 phulkari works that included the baghs (embroidered like a floral garden), the darshan dwars (usually seen at gurdwaras) and the sainchis (rural scenes), participants were invited to inspect Malhotra’s fluid dupattas, saris and modern silhouettes, like cigarette pants and jackets. More from the designer:

How do you see phulkari being used on a global CM YK

trenched in the cultural fabric of Punjab, it can be translated into a contemporary wardrobe with ease. Phulkari gave me the chance to work with the entire spectrum in a single design, lending each outfit in my 2013 collection an identity of its own. This textile art, so vibrant and playful, requires an almost monastic sense of discipline. I have seen multiple international designers and brands looking to India for inspiration, and amongst them, I feel Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld will do justice to the art of phulkari, if they ever decide to work with it.

Your recent collection showcased chikankari. Other Indian crafts that need to be discovered globally? ● India is one of the most diverse countries in the world today, with every region having a set of different cultures and a craft to its name. While I’ve worked with multiple Indian techniques — such as

the beautiful chikankari from Mijwan to benarasi, Kashmiri and bandhini — I feel the crafts from the North-Eastern and some southern regions are yet untapped. Crafts from Assam or Mizoram, are still not as popular as as they should be Even the crafts from regions such as Orissa or Parsi or Toda techniques have not been recognised.

How is phulkari part of the luxury story? ● Phulkari dupattas were traditionally part of every girl’s bridal trousseau, and were crafted by the bride’s female relatives. Traditionally, each piece told a story through motifs inspired by flora and fauna. It takes us an average of three months to complete an outfit. The manner in which the colours flow together through the threadwork is only achieved by a fine eye and steady hands. Each phulkari ensemble is thus a coveted ‘limited edition’. Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection is on display at The Philadelphia Museum of Art until July 9, 2017.

Whether you choose the subtlety of small nose-hugging palakkas and mukuthis, the bold statement of a nathni, or the rebellion of a septum, nose rings are the accessory of the moment. Jewellery powerhouse Bunty Bajaj of Krsala, whose jewellery business was born in 2006, says that it is a revival of traditional nose rings combined with the influence of film stars like Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone that keep this fashionable tradition alive, despite changing jewellery trends. “From the 60s, you can see how nose rings have evolved.” Hyderabad-based stylist Shweta Malpani agrees. “Absolutely everyone can rock a nose ring; it’s a popular trend and hard-to-miss in India.” Nose rings also connote a rebellious chic, believes stylist Indrakshi Pattanaik, advocate of the septum-ring, who has styled stars like M.I.A. and FKA Twigs.

Rebel with a cause “Nose rings frequent the music and festival scenes, the runways and the streets — all in the name of freedom and it’s so beautiful. As the trend continues to evolve, the sizes will get bigger and the designs will be more intricate, more ornamental,” she adds. Pattnaik observed that while historically, nose-rings were popular among men, now, it is a genderless accessory. Movies have, of course, played a big part in keeping the nose ring trend alive. Between Bajirao Mastani and Ram-Leela,

Aquiline accessory: Delicate nose pins from Ahalya and Outhouse’s edgy septums

and now the recently-released Baahubali, the mainstream is celebrating what was once a symbol of rebellion and cool.

Size matters But bigger isn’t always the best – smaller, delicate pieces are finding takers too. Last year, Forevermark came up with Capricci, a nose pin collection that came

with one diamond stud and seven interchangeable jackets. Amrapali has launched the Baahubali Collection, which features a line of handcrafted silver and gold plated jewellery including nose pins and naths. Chennai-based label, Ahalya, caters to a subtle aesthetic with elegant gold nose-rings in floral designs. The brand’s founder, Ahalya, says, “Our Nose-Candy nose-ring festival earlier this year was hugely popular with nose-rings novices. People who never wore a nose ring were able to try them on and see that it’s quite a flattering look. That’s our essence — to keep the wearer in mind.” New Delhi-based Outhouse Jewellery’s inventive Couture Septum Ring collection is an editorial series taking the wearer through the journey of a butterfly’s life, through a play on the nose. Rashmil Dheer, Outhouse’s brand manager, shares, “The nose ring can take your look from mundane to edgy in a minute and that makes it a great piece of jewellery to own.” Amrapali Jaipur’s Chandrika collection caught stylist Pattnaik’s eye, for its strong motifs and bad-ass accents. The oxidised silver nose-rings feature a stunning faux septum with a super-fine chain attachment, proving that it’s all about complementing the wearer. 2017’s nose ring scene continues to innovate on the heritage piece, so whether you want to wear an edgy septum (faux or otherwise) or a heavy jadau nath to your cousin’s wedding — you can’t go wrong with this statement piece. B ND-ND

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