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BRIEFLY Foreigners should abide by local laws: CJI NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court
on Friday stayed the deportation of two Sudanese students who violated visa guidelines, but pulled them up for not following local laws by “vanishing without giving addresses.” “We are accommodating them and they cannot breach the rules. They must stay at a fixed place. You [lawyer] just close your eyes and think if somebody does the same in the U.S., what will happen?” CJI J.S. Khehar said.
쐍 NEWS | PAGE 12 Sports Ministry lifts suspension of IOA NEW DELHI: The Sports Ministry
has lifted the suspension of the Indian Olympic Association with immediate effect after it removed the corruption-tainted duo of Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as life presidents following widespread outrage. The Ministry had suspended the recognition of IOA on December 30 last following its admission of “faux pas” while making Kalmadi and Chautala as life presidents.
So what’s the big deal about advancing the Budget, asks SC “What provision of law is violated by this?” LEGAL CORRESPONDENT DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday said it found nothing wrong in the government’s move to advance the presentation of the Union Budget in Parliament by almost a month, on February 1, amid the run-up to the elections in five States. “So what is the big deal in that? It is only the presentation of the Budget. Everybody will get to know a little in advance on what the government is going to do. Any problems, everybody will get a due chance to object,” NEW
Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar told advocate Manohar Lal Sharma. Mr. Sharma, in a PIL petition, had sought the postponement of the annual
Budget till after the elections are over. He said it could contain sops to influence the voters in the Assembly elections, and was thus a violation of the poll code.
“We do not understand what your problem is. You are saying the Budget is presented usually towards March 1 and this year it is on February 1… We do not find any justification, tentatively, in what you are saying,” Chief Justice Khehar, who was accompanied on the Bench by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, said. The court said there is only a government statement that the Budget is going to be presented on February 1. “So what provision of law is violated by this statement? What provision of the Indian Constitution is violated here?” Chief Justice Khehar asked.
쐍 CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
House panel not to summon PM on demonetisation BJP members prevail on Thomas to accept it had no such powers SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT NEW DELHI: In a stormy meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on Friday, BJP members prevailed upon chairperson and former Union Minister K.V. Thomas to give his assent to a clarification that the committee did not have the powers to summon either Prime Minister Narendra Modi or any other Minister with regard to any issue before it. Mr. Thomas had declared that the PAC was within its rights to summon Mr. Modi as the committee was examining monetary policy and the issue of demonetisa-
tion. BJP MP Nishikant Dubey had previously written to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan protesting against the assertion by Mr. Thomas. At Friday’s meeting, MPs from the ruling party strongly objected to
the statement. An MP present at the meeting said BJP MP Kirit Somaiyya objected to Mr. Thomas talking about summoning the Prime Minister.
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India’s note ban has hit Nepal hard, says envoy
쐍 SPORTS | PAGE 17
A bull being trained for jallikattu, as part of the Pongal festival preparation, at Karisalkulam in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu on Friday. Protests were held across the State in support of conducting the sport. — PHOTO: S. JAMES
Grievance channel for jawans, says Army Chief DINAKAR PERI NEW DELHI: Chief of Army Staf (COAS) Bipin Rawat on Friday asserted that concerns of superseded Eastern Army Commander Praveen Bakshi would be looked into if they were brought to his attention even as he promised a “suggestion and grievance” system to enable soldiers to reach him directly. Gen. Rawat’s comments came after a jawan took to social media to air his grievances with Army’s sahayak system. In his first formal interaction with the press after taking over as Army Chief, he said: “We will have COAS grievance and redressal boxes at the Army headquar-
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat speaks in New Delhi on Friday. — PHOTO: SANDEEP SAXENA ters and subsequently in all formations.” He said everyone, irrespective of their rank and file, could put their concerns in a sealed cover and drop in the boxes. “We will ensure that the names are not disclosed,” he said.
‘WE RESERVE RIGHT TO RETALIATE’ | PAGE 12
Kejriwal’s ex-aide may join politics JOSY JOSEPH NEW DELHI: Rajendra Kumar, former principal secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has sought voluntary retirement from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), said he will continue to be in public service and did not rule out the possibility of joining politics.
Rajendra Kumar. Other avenues “I need to, I have to, and I must look for other avenues of public service. I am a sincere believer that the medium of government provides one the best way of serving the people, to go on the path of public service,” the 1989 batch IAS oicer said in an interview on Friday. Mr Kumar said as he had
sought voluntary retirement, providing public service through the government was closed and he would look for new ways to serve the public. “Once that is stopped for me, much against my wishes, I will look for other avenues of public service. There are NGOs, there are many good private companies and I may also consider politics as one
of the good paths for public service,” he said. The winner of the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award in Public Administration and an IIT alumni, Mr Kumar said proving his innocence wouldn’t be the end of his legal fight. “A person of my standing, my seniority, a person who has got the highest award for public service in this country, a person whom so many people know, if he can be maligned and haunted like this then there are millions of people who, without being at the wrong side of the law, are being haunted and are being wronged. The fight is theirs,” he said. Asked if those persons who are allegedly harassing him should be made accountable, he said: “All these
SP’s campaign materials have nowhere to go without the ‘bicycle’ OMAR RASHID LUCKNOW: On a Thursday
afternoon, a yellow banner greets passers-by near the SP headquarters here on Vikramaditya Marg, pledging that “Arvind Shukla (Pintu), senior party worker, Samajwadi Party” will be on an indefinite hunger strike until the SP party family reunites. “Mulayam Singh Yadav zindabad. Samajwadi Party zindabad. Akhilesh Yadav zindabad,” the banner declares. But the usually bustling street with a steady flow of SUVs and party workers is witnessing little activity. A gaggle of SP workers assembles to participate in CM YK
NEW DELHI: India’s demonetisation has triggered a serious financial crisis in Nepal. Not just the government but the people are also facing hardships, said Nepal’s envoy. Speaking to The Hindu on Friday, Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyay said the government is facing a severe shortfall of its annual stock of Indian currency, due to the lack of supplies from the Reserve Bank of India. “We have asked for a special arrangement for our standard supply of Indian currency and have received assurances, but frankly we are worried because of growing public resentment over
IN A FIX: Vendors selling election material fear huge losses if the Samajwadi Party symbol is frozen. — PHOTO RAJEEV BHATT workers but allow them to the hunger strike. “We have continue. full faith that things will get Across the street, Sashi better,” says Shukla, the Kumar Saxena watches the group’s leader. episode with interest. He Minutes later, a group of policemen ask them to runs a store selling SP abandon their dharna as accessories — banners, they had not sought posters, calendars, photo permission and it violated frames, scarves, stickers, the election model code of badges, flags, practically anything that can have conduct. After a brief images of Mulayam, negotiation, the police Akhilesh or other Yadav lodge an FIR against the SP
family members on it. “I never thought I would be killing time like this in peak election season,” Mr. Saxena says. If demonetisation upset sales, the future of the “bicycle” is under a cloud. The possibility that the symbol might be frozen by the Election Commission has deterred SP workers and leaders from making big campaign purchases. After the SP feud snowballed, Mr. Saxena sufered losses worth ₨2-3 lakh. At least 25 orders were cancelled. Around 20,000 flags and posters he made for an SP candidate from Purvanchal lie in his store. The scene is much the
same for the half-a-dozen small stores and hawkers selling SP material exclusively near the party oice. “I had expected business of ₨5-7 lakh. But due to this uncertainty, my clients have already blocked orders for 2 lakh banners and flags,” said store owner Dipu Agarwal. If the symbol is frozen? “Well, it will be a big loss. We will then have to figure out what to do with the flags and posters” said Mr. Agarwal. While the party is divided, the merchants have not lost hope. Ayushi Srivastava, a store owner and an SP oice-bearer, believes the father and son will patch up.
people will have to be made accountable for their actions and I am sure it will happen.” He said controversial former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) DIG Sanjeev Gautam had ofered to let him of the hook if he helped them get Mr Kejriwal legally entangled. B.K. Bansal, the former director general in the Ministry of Corporate Afairs, who committed suicide after the CBI arrested him for allegedly receiving a bribe, had named Mr Gautam in his suicide note. Mr Bansal accused Mr Gautam of harassing his wife and daughter, both of whom had committed suicide earlier. Mr Bansal and his son committed suicide later.
쐍 SEE ALSO | PAGE 4
Corrupt ‘rebels’ in BJP, says Rawat KAVITA UPADHYAY DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand Harish Rawat said if the 10 former Congress MLAs who had rebelled against him win the ongoing elections in the State, it would lead to political instability. “Their victory will mean instability for Uttarakhand politics. If they win, it will mean that the public accepts these kind of politicians,” Mr Rawat said in an interview. He denied the BJP’s allegations of corruption against him. “Those involved in corrupt activities of illegal sand mining etc. are the turncoats who are now in the BJP,” he said.
쐍 DETAILS ON | PAGE 13
Deep Kumar Upadhyay the currency situation which has hit a large number of people,” said the envoy. Mr. Upadhyay said cit-
izens living in the far-flung mountain region of Himal have nowhere to go with the Indian currency that they traditionally held as savings for diicult times. “I am receiving phone calls from distant mountain areas and people are seeking explanation about the demonetisation. They are asking India to give them an opportunity to deposit old Indian notes,” said Mr. Upadhyay. He informed that the Nepal Rashtra Bank has asked the Reserve Bank of India to make some Nepalspecific rules to help the people hit by the note ban.
쐍 CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
SBI levying convenience charge at Delhi Metro
The SBI is levying 2.5 per cent convenience fee to recharge smart cards.
NEW DELHI: Delhi Metro commuters have been paying more when they electronically recharge their smart cards. The State Bank of India (SBI) has erroneously been levying commuters a 2.5 per cent convenience charge when they pay using their debit or credit card.
Metro. But because of an error on the SBI’s part, the charges are being passed on to unsuspecting metro commuters. “We had flagged in the system all the service charges being recovered. But inadvertently convenience fee on the Delhi Metro was omitted,” said Manju Agarwal, the bank’s Deputy Managing Director, Digital Banking and New Business.
No role: DMRC While the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation said they had no role in the matter, the SBI said they would get the error “fixed.” Following the decision to demonetise high value currency notes in November last year, the government directed all banks to waive transaction charges on all electronic transactions till December 31. Since January 1, banks have again begun levying transaction or convenience charges on card transactions. But PSU banks like the SBI, in keeping with the government’s push to encourage digital transactions, have continued to waive these charges for a number of services, including the Delhi
Error corrected Ms Agarwal claimed that the error had been corrected 10 days ago. But when it was pointed out that The Hindu had in its possession bills of January 13 that show a convenience charge of 2.5 per cent, she appeared surprised. “It’s some news. It should not have been charged since we rectified this mistake some 10 days back,” she said. “We will get this fixed.” A DMRC spokesperson said it had no role in the decision of the banks to charge transaction fee from commuters who are recharging their smart cards through debit cards. “The banks are following RBI guidelines in this regard,” the spokesperson said.
TCA SHARAD RAGHAVAN & SIDHARTHA ROY
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
D E L H I
Jan 14, Sat
Jan 15, Sun
Jan 16, Mon
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RISE 07 15 SET 17 47 RISE 20 SET 09 14 53
RISE 07 15 SET 17 48 21 RISE 51 SET 09 54
RISE 19 53 SET 08 29
Kissing prank: cops blame YouTube Youths say persons featured in the video were friends; police to verify claim with the women STAFF REPORTER NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police
have blamed websites for encouraging “obscene activities” after a video showing a youth kissing “random” girls at Connaught Place surfaced recently. The police said they would investigate the roles of search engines and videosharing sites, and an event management company, to assess their criminal liability in the making of the video that was first shared from a YouTube Channel by the name ‘Crazy Sumit’. Sumit Kumar Singh, 20, and his friend, Satyajeet Kadian, 25, the two men allegedly involved in the mak-
ing of the video, were apprehended by a crime branch team from their Gurugram home on Friday. However, despite having the duo in their custody, the police stopped short of arresting them after claims that the women who were kissed in the video were actually their friends and had willingly agreed to be a part of the video. Video goes viral Ravindra Yadav, Joint CP (Crime), said his team would get in touch with the women featuring in the video to verify the authenticity of the claim. If it turns out as claimed by the duo, the police may not be able to press
PURUSHARTH ARADHAK NOIDA: A 27-year-old software engineer died after he allegedly fell from the sixth floor of a residential building in Sector 74 here on Thursday. The deceased has been identified as Gaurav Shrotiya, a native of Rajasthan. The police said he had gone to the apartment to meet a woman colleague who lived there and was in an inebriated condition. “The colleague said she refused to meet him and did not open the door,” said Bijendra Bhadana, SHO, Sector 49 police station. His body was found around 10 p.m. by the security guards of the apartment. The guards informed the residents, who rushed the victim to a hospital. On Friday, he succumbed to injuries received in his head and other body parts.
‘No CCTV cameras’ The police said there were no CCTV cameras in the area where the incident happened. “We are investigating if the victim fell from the sixth floor of from some other place. We are also looking into the murder angle,” said Mr. Bhadana.
NEW DELHI: A 56-year-old Delhi Police head constable lost his leg after being hit by a container truck in south Delhi’s Tughlakabad on Friday. The victim, Shishram, was going to a tea stall across the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road when the accident happened. The police said he was on picket duty in the area.
Hit by speeding vehicle As he was crossing the road, an allegedly rashly-
Raking in the moolah “YouTube pays them around ₨700 for every 1,000 hits their video receives,” said Mr. Yadav. “The trend is to shoot obscene videos to get more hits and thereby more money. YouTube and Google are also giving them incentives like recognition and certificates in parties organised by them,” claimed the oicer. “They are also hired by manufactures of games and apps to advertise for them and make new launches successful,” the oicer added. Mr. Yadav gave the recent
driven container truck hit the policeman from behind. He fell down, and his left leg came under the vehicle’s wheels. “His leg was severed on the spot. The weight of the truck was such that the outcome was inevitable,” said a senior police oicer. Even as the truck driver stopped his vehicle and fled, the policeman’s cries drew the attention of his colleagues, who rushed to his aid. The victim was taken to AIIMS, but doctors could not
save his leg. He is currently admitted at the intensive care unit of the hospital. “We are thinking about the option of a prosthetic leg for Shishram,” said the oicer. Driver nabbed The truck driver, Rahisuddin, was later nabbed and booked for rash driving and causing grievous injury. A native of Alwar district in Rajasthan, Shishram who was posted at the Govindpuri police station for since over a year now.
example of an event management company allegedly throwing a party at a posh restaurant in Connaught Place to felicitate those whose videos had earned the most hits on YouTube. “YouTube has been organising and day seminars to encourage such activities by the pranksters. These types of parties are being hosted by a company namely Menaki Communication based in Gurgaon and Mumbai on behalf of YouTube and Google,” said Mr. Yadav. A BCA student at a college in Gurugram, Sumit decided to make these videos while he was bed-ridden for two months following an accident three years ago.
One held with imported cigarettes worth ₨6 lakh
Man jailed for molesting minor NIRNIMESH KUMAR
STAFF REPORTER NEW DELHI: The body of a 52-
year-old businessman was found in his Toyota Corolla car in west Delhi’s Inderpuri on Thursday. The deceased has been identified as Hemant Dhall, a resident of Gurugram. Vijay Kumar, DCP (West), said Dhall had left his electronics showroom in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh in his car around 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Family approaches police But he did not go home, prompting his family to file a complaint at the Ranjeet Nagar police station the same night. Around 10 a.m. the next day, his body was found in his car on the campus of an institution in Inderpuri. His wrist was slit, allegedly with a surgical blade found near his body. An alcohol bottle was also found in the vehicle. The police said Dhall had left behind a suicide note in which he blamed losses in his
Hemant Dhall business for ending his life. Dhall’s colleagues, however, claimed that he had been murdered as there were some cut marks on his neck. The police said they would wait for the autopsy report before reaching any conclusion. Note under scanner The police, however, have sent the suicide note to fingerprint experts to ascertain its veracity. Preliminary probe has revealed Dhall had sufered losses in the recent past because of which there had been a delay in salary payment to some of his employees.
NEW DELHI: A court here has sentenced a 57-year-old man to two years in jail for molesting a six-year-old girl in north-west Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh in 2010. The court also imposed a fine of ₨10,000 on the convict, Anil Prakash, and directed him to pay a compensation of ₨30,000 to the victim. The court held the accused guilty on the basis of the medical report and the evidence given by the victim and her parents. The convict claimed that he was implicated in the case as there was a money dispute between him and the victim’s parents. The court, however, dismissed the allegations.
‘No grounds for leniency’ Quashing a plea for lenient punishment by the counsel for the accused, the court said: “I am not inclined to give benefit of probation to the convict as this was a crime against a woman, which should be strictly dealt with.”
NEW DELHI: A man was held at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here on Friday allegedly trying to smuggling in over 500 packets of foreign cigarettes worth ₨6 lakh. The incident occurred around 3:00 a.m., when CISF personnel noticed the “suspicious” activities of the passenger, identified as Manoj K. He was coming from Bangkok, oicers said.
Cops on the trail He was later seen crossing the green channel with another person. The passenger was intercepted in the arrival area and four bags containing 520 packets of a cigarette brand called ‘Esse’ were seized from him. —PTI
FESTIVE FERVOUR: People celebrate Lohri in New Delhi on Friday. PHOTO: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA
Former volleyball player killed NEW DELHI: A former volleyball player was allegedly stabbed to death in north-west Delhi’s Rohini on Thursday night. The police said the victim, Rohit Kumar, was attacked with knives and sticks by a group of four men following an argument with them. The victim was rushed to hospital by passers-by. However, by the time the police
Tube was what had made the two youths to come up with such ideas.
Cop loses leg after being hit by truck
Engineer falls to death from Noida highrise
charges of molestation, and may only think of booking them under Section 67 of the IT Act, which pertains to transmitting obscene material in an electronic form. Earlier, a case under the IT Act as well as for molestation was registered by the Cyber Crime Cell soon after the video had gone viral. The officer said that a raid at the house of the accused led to the recovery of two laptops, a video camera used for recording the clip, wireless mikes, and a trophy awarded by YouTube to Sumit for garnering one lakh subscribers. Delving into the motive behind the video, the police said money earned from popular videos shared on You-
Trader found dead in car; suicide suspected
reached the hospital, the victim had succumbed to his injuries. ‘Accused identified’ A case in this connection has been registered and a probe initiated. A hunt is on for the assailants, who have been identified, said the police. Kumar had been booked by the Delhi Police in at least four criminal cases over the past decade, said the police.
DELHI TODAY Talk: Dr. C. D. Deshmukh Memorial Lecture 2017: “Through a Different Lens: Should India adopt a more civilisation view of the World” by Dr. Shiv Visvanathan, social scientist; Chair: Soli J. Sorabjee, president, IIC, at C.D. Deshmukh Auditorium, India International Centre (IIC), 6:30 p.m. Book reading: Interactive reading and discussion on Franz Kafka’s masterpiece ‘The Trial (1925)’, at Amaltas Hall, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 7 p.m. Music: Baithak with Sarodist Ustad Aashish Khan and
Sarodist Shiraz Ali Khan of the Senia Maihar Gharana; Nishaant Singh on pakhawaj and Pt. Arup Chattopadhyay on tabla, at The Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 7 p.m. Art: “Magic Melody- Song of Love”, an art show by Kishore Roy, at Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, Copernicus Marg, Mandi House, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Art: “Chromatic Harmonies”, an art show by Zargar Zahoor, at Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, Copernicus Marg, Mandi House, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: “Transmuta-
tion”, a show of sculptures by Tarun Maity, at Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, Copernicus Marg, Mandi House, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: “Soul of my country”, a painting show by Uma bardhan, at Open Palm Court Gallery, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 7 p.m. Screening: Of documentary film “Flames of Freedom: the Ichchapur Declaration” in Kosli and Odia, with English subtitles, at Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 7 p.m. (Mail your listings for this column at [email protected])
Published by N. Ram at Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002 and Printed by S. Ramanujam at HT Media Ltd. Plot No. 8, Udyog Vihar, Greater Noida Distt. Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P. 201306, on behalf of KASTURI & SONS LTD., Chennai-600002. Editor: Mukund Padmanabhan (Responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act).
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
‘I consider politics as a good path for public service’ Rajendra Kumar, an IAS oicer of 1989 batch and former principal secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, has sought voluntary retirement from service after months of unexpected ordeal, during which the CBI arrested him alleging corruption, and Income Tax and Excise Departments accused him of other illegalities. A winner of Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration and an IIT alumnus, Mr. Kumar spoke to Josy Joseph. ■ Why have you decided to resign? I consider myself one of the biggest beneficiaries of government programmes, excellent educational institutions that the government has established, scholarships they give and it is because of all these that even a person like me, from a poor family background, could come this far. I always had responsibility to give back, and in a way my trust in the government that helped me come up in life is very, very high. Even after these series of incidents, I was hoping and I was confident that at some point the government will realise that what it is doing is not correct, not appropriate, and may be illegal. But when I found out that they are still continuing with the same methods, I realised that the government, which I always considered to be inanimate, is after all run by people and there are people in the gov-
In my VRS letter I have mentioned the Bansal case...how can a responsible system force somebody to commit suicide
ernment who are misusing it. Are you joining politics? I need to, I have to, and I must look for other avenues of public service. I am a sincere believer that the medium of government provides one the best way of serving the people, to go on the path of public service. Once that is stopped for me, forcibly, I will look for other avenues of public service. There are NGOs, there are many good private companies and I also consider politics as one of the good path for public service. And your fight is not just about proving yourself innocent? That is a very small part. Please see that a person of my standing, my seniority, a person who has got the highest award for public service in this country, if he can be maligned and haunted like this, then there are millions of people who without being at the wrong end of the law are being haunted, and are being wronged. The fight is theirs. I am confident that I will come out clean. But this is not about me. It is about those millions of people who cannot even raise their voice. In my VRS letter also I have mentioned about B.K. Bansal’s case (a senior oicial of the Corporate Ministry who was accused of corruption by the CBI and his entire family committed suicide, accusing CBI oicials of harassment). How can a responsible democratic system force somebody to commit suicide in such a gruesome manner? His wife, daughter and son were forced to commit suicide. It is only the law, the judicial process which could have determined that he was guilty and punished. People who are entrusted with the diicult
task of investigation of a case have absolutely no business to harass someone. Each time they harass or abuse or beat somebody it is not only the abuse of the process of law, but also a much bigger illegality committed, which will have to be answered at a later day. You spoke of B.K. Bansal. I wanted to bring in the arrest of former Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi, which was criticised by the court later. Why is the CBI or other agencies going overboard? Are they ignorant of law? I don’t have much knowledge about the case of S.P. Tyagi. But the general impression which I have gathered in my case, the way my co-accused have been treated, and the way many of the other witnesses have been treated, many of them have been severely beaten up. I must put it on record that I have not been
beaten, but I have been harassed, I have been abused, abused with choicest expletives. I don’t bother much about it. The beating up of people, hundreds of people they have called, and in each instance they have asked what property they hold, and then told them that it’s Rajendra Kumar’s property. It is such a unique situation, the whole jurisprudence puts the onus on the prosecution and investigation to prove a statement. Here it was going in the opposite direction. When the person says it is his own property, he is told, “You prove it is yours.” Then there is a need to bring all documents, and, in fact, in two-three cases the CBI has filed cases of disproportionate assets just to harass them. Their intent was (they should) name Rajendra Kumar, and the intent with me and my co-accused was that we name somebody else.
NDMC passes ‘smart’ budget again DAMINI NATH NEW DELHI: The New Delhi
Municipal Council’s (NDMC) budget for the coming financial year will focus on making Lutyens’ Delhi a ‘smart city’, with several old proposals — including Wi-Fi connectivity — and a smart parking management system being repeated. Being a part of the Union Ministry of Urban Development’s Smart City initiative, Lutyens’ Delhi has been trying to improve services with the help of technology for over a year now. On Friday, NDMC chairperson Naresh Kumar reiterated this goal when he presented the budget for 2017-2018. As per the budget passed by the council, the NDMC would spend ₨3,296.25 crore in the next financial year and earn an estimated ₨3,404.51 crore. ‘Inclusive development’ “The basic philosophy behind this budget was good governance and inclusive development. We will focus on technology intervention, scale and speed when it comes to implementation,” said Mr. Kumar while addressing a press conference after presenting the budget. After being selected for the Smart Cities Mission, the NDMC set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to carry out projects. This SPV has already received a grant of ₨194 crore from the Urban Development Ministry and ₨56 crore from the NDMC, said Mr. Kumar. Wi-fi project to be taken up In the 2017-2018 budget, Mr. Kumar announced that the delayed free public Wi-Fi project would be carried out as a joint venture of the NDMC and a subsidiary of the MTNL. Last year, the NDMC had run into legal trouble while executing a similar plan. The ambitious plan to install 18,500 ‘smart poles’ that would have LED lights, Wi-Fi routers and CCTV cameras was first announced in March 2015. One of the companies that bid for the contract moved the High CM YK
TIME FOR CHANGE: Rajendra Kumar, former principal secretary to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, has sought voluntary retirement from service. FILE PHOTO You mean they wanted you to name Arvind Kejriwal? Who told you? Yes, yes. There is an inspector in the CBI. And the DIG himself. Who is the DIG? DIG Sanjeev Gautam. The same oicer who was accused of harassment by B.K. Bansal in his suicide note? Yes. He told me that ‘look if you want to get out of it, you will have to tell us things which can get him (Kejriwal) entangled legally’. Not only this case. There is another case of Sandeep Sailas, a railway oicer. He has written about misbehaviour, misconduct and illeg-
Municipal schools to remain closed till January 19
ality conducted by the DIG. The point is I don’t understand in which scenario an oicer of DIG rank can be so important that the whole CBI is willing to get its name dragged, its prestige lowered, they are still defending him. Either there is something very seriously wrong with the organisation, or may be some individuals in the CBI are more powerful than the agency itself. The public mostly knows about the CBI haunting you. But the Income Tax Department is also after you, right? I have been filing income-tax returns since the last 27 years. In the first 25
years, I did not get even a single I-T notice. In fact, because of my mistake I have got refund sometimes. Since May 2015, I think I have got seven to eight I-T notices. Such stupid questions they ask. I have a house given to me by a society we had formed in Greater Noida. The society got the land on subsidised rates from the authority. I got 500 square feet plot in Greater Noida at Rs.6.5 lakh, everyone got at the same rate some 10-12 years ago. The sub-lease deed also mentions the market value of the property, which is for the purpose of property tax. So the same document
mentions the market price of Rs.70 lakh. The income tax oicer says this diference is the undisclosed income. How ridiculous could it get? Not only that, this is undisclosed income, and where did you get it from? You got it from the socalled private company that you allegedly favoured. How? Because the CBI has made the claim. We a are statutory authority, then we make such stories? He is an Indian Revenue Service officer, a Class I gazetted oicer. You also have excise cases against you? There is another case which has been filed against me, for allegedly keeping liquor beyond (permissible) limit. The point is that the liquor at my home was within limit. Thus, no case could have been applied on me, so another section was added in that FIR. That section has been used only seven to eight times in the last 50 years, alleging smuggling of liquor. To what extent are we stretching things? Similarly, in the ACB (Anti-Corruption Branch, Delhi government) case, the grant of contract was of 2002. In 2012, I was Commissioner of Transport for a few months. They are asking me why I have not cancelled a contract, because there was an FIR filed in that case. You were once awarded the Prime Minister’s award. Could your experience deter younger civil servants? They should take it as an aberration. System is very, very large. To my friends in civil service I would like to say that my belief in the goodness of civil service and government has not been shaken. Do what is correct, do what is in the best public interest. For full interview, see http://bit.ly/RajendraKumarIntw
STAFF REPORTER NEW DELHI: Primary schools
run by the three municipal corporations of Delhi would remain closed till January 19 due to the extreme cold weather conditions. On Friday, the North, South and East Delhi corporations announced that their primary schools would extend the winter break so that students don’t have to brave the chill. Temperature in the Capital dipped to 2.3 degrees Celsius this week, forcing schools to extend the winter vacations. On Thursday, the Delhi government had announced the decision to extend the winter break from January 16 to 19 for its schools. While government schools would remain closed till January 19, some private schools would resume classes by January 16.
CLICK HAPPY: Youngsters enjoy a sunny afternoon in the Capital on Friday. PHOTO: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA
Court against the NDMC’s decision to allot the project to a competitor. After this, the NDMC failed to find takers in subsequent attempts. “The industry was not willing to take up the project on the public-private partnership (PPP) model, so we decided to form a joint venture. After covering the NDMC area, the company can go national or even global,” said Mr. Kumar. With regard to public transport and parking, the NDMC budget presented a mix of old and new proposals. For instance, Mr. Kumar proposed building a multilevel parking facility at Khan Market, for which the NDMC had bought land in 2011. Among the new proposals were a bicycle sharing scheme that would have 500 cycles for rent and the use of electric vehicles for last-mile connectivity. These electric vehicles will first be rolled out first in Connaught Place, which is set to become vehicle-free from February.
SDMC focuses on sanitation, parks STAFF REPORTER NEW DELHI: With just a few
months to go for the municipal elections, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s budget for 2017-2018 looks to focus on improving sanitation services and neighbourhood parks. 25 new parking facilities While the budget is yet to be finalised, SDMC Standing Committee chairperson Shailender Singh on Friday proposed to boost sanitation services, improve parks and build 25 new parking facilities at busy spots. Mr. Singh also proposed the setting-up of two LED screens to “make citizens aware about the achievements and new
initiatives” of the corporation. To improve maintenance of its public toilets, the SDMC plans to deploy 300 sanitation workers, said Mr. Singh. 400 outdoor gyms To make its parks better, the SDMC would set up 400 outdoor gyms and 80 gazebos. At present, SDMC parks have 121 open gyms. The SDMC will also set up a diabetes centre in each of its four zones, said Mr. Singh. While the Commissioner had proposed a hike in property tax rates, Mr. Singh rejected this in keeping with the practice adopted by BJP leaders of the corporation since 2012.
NGT rap for EDMC over garbage mess
Anti-polythene drive in Gurugram
NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal on Friday rapped the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and asked why the people should sufer for its “ill-planning”. Slamming the EDMC for its “apathy” towards the garbage mess, the NGT directed the civic body to submit details of its income along with money given by the Delhi government to ascertain the reason behind the delay in payment of salaries to sanitation workers. “Why don’t you (municipal bodies) apply your mind before doing things? Why didn’t you protect the money allotted to you for payment of salaries? You can’t make people sufer because of your ill-planning,” said a Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.
GURUGRAM: The Municipal
Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) will launch a special drive against polythene bags on Monday, besides creating awareness about the use of cloth bags. Surprise checks Sudhir Kumar, sanitary inspector (Zone 3), said that surprise checks would be conducted at shops in the area with challans being issued against those using polythene bags. Violators will be fined anywhere between ₨500 and ₨25,000, depending on the weight of the seizure, said Mr. Kumar. The checks will be carried out in Sectors 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 51, 52, 53 and 54, among others. “So far, the MCG teams were issuing challans for open
Starting from Monday, violators may be fined anywhere between ₨500 and ₨25,000 dumping and burning of waste. Now, we will launch a campaign against the use of po Shopkeepers warned lythene bags,” he added. On Friday, the MCG teams conducted surprise checks at the Vyapar Kendra and DLF Qutab Plaza Market. While no challans were issued, shopkeepers were warned against using polythene bags. The campaign against polythene bags was launched over a year ago at the behest of MCG Commissioner T.L.
Satyaprakash. Ever since, several self-help groups and inmates at the Bhondsi district jail have been engaged in making cloth bags. School children, too, have been sensitised as part of the campaign to encourage use of cloth bags. ‘Not very successful’ The MCG has now set a target of supplying 10 lakh cloth bags in the next three months. Shopkeepers, however, said that the campaign was not very successful as customers did not carry their own bags and were not willing to pay extra for the cloth bags they supplied. “The campaign is successful only in malls where people are ready to pay for cloth bags,” said a shopkeeper in the Sector 15 (Part-II) market. ND-ND
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
DDA asks oicial to rejoin ‘if he wishes’ Agency came under criticism for relieving Director of Public Relations on grounds of disability
Nursery admission: schools can invite applications in their format AKANKSHA JAIN
BINDU SHAJAN PERAPPADAN
I have been in service for more than 22 years. But never has my disability affected my performance
NEW DELHI: Facing flak over
“relieving” an oicial as the Director of Public Relations on the grounds of his “disability”, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Friday ofered him to rejoin duty within 15 days “if he so wishes”. Rishi Raj Bhati, who was working in the Public Relations (PR) Department of the Delhi Transco Limited (DTL), had taken charge as the Director (PR) of DDA on January 10. Sent back within 48 hours However, he was repatriated to his parent department within 48 hours of his joining allegedly because of his disability. Reacting to the incident, Dr. Bhati said: “After joining DDA, I met a few senior oicials. During the interaction, however, nobody seemed happy. Within two hours, I was told that I would be relieved of my duties.’’ The relieving letter handed over to him on January 11 read “continuance of Rishi Raj Bhati to the post may put him in probable in-
FIGHTING AGAINST ODDS: Dr.Rishi Raj Bhati was denied DDA post because it involved field work. PHOTO: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT convenience and may not be in the interest of the DDA also [sic]”. “The post of Director (PR) in DDA involves field work, in which the oicer may have to be present at various sites of DDA like demolition sites, parks, sports complex, biodiversity parks etc. This involves extensive outdoor activities duties in-
cluding physical work/ movement of the oicer in various situations [sic],” the letter added. However, on January 13, the DDA had in a letter to Dr. Bhati, said “the decision to go back to his parent department was a mutual one -since the post involved field work -- and that it wasn’t the department’s intent to hurt
his feelings [sic]”. Reacting to this, Dr.Bhati said, “They [DDA] are now adding insult to injury by saying that the decision to relieve me of the post was taken with my consent. This is wrong.” He added that he wanted punitive action against the oicial responsible for the humiliation and discrimination he experienced. Later, he expressed his anguish on social media. “I have been in service for more than 22 years. But never have I faced any diiculty or has my disability afected my performance,’’ said Dr. Bhati. The incident, meanwhile, has drawn sharp criticism from disability rights’ organisations. Javed Abidi, convenor, Disabled Rights Group (DRG), said: “The incident
Jain meets L-G after he returns DTC bus fare file STAFF REPORTER NEW DELHI: Lieutenant-Gov-
ernor Anil Baijal returned the file related to the Delhi government’s proposal to slash fares of DTC and cluster buses by 75 per cent, prompting Transport Minister Satyendar Jain to meet him on Friday. At the meeting, Mr. Jain is believed to have apprised the L-G as to why the government was in favour of the steep reduction in bus
Traders promised registration in one day JATIN ANAND NEW DELHI: Even as the contours of the GST remain fluid, the Delhi government has eased the procedure for grant of registration to fresh applicants to encourage more traders to contribute towards its kitty of Value Added Tax (VAT).
Guidelines eased In a circular issued on Friday, the Department of Trade and Taxes said that applicant dealers would be granted registration within a day of applying through a mobile platform, even as it eased guidelines around the provision of bank details for the purpose. “The provision of providing bank account details at the time of applying for registration under the DVAT and CST Act has been made optional, which will encourage more traders to register,” said Brijesh Goyal, convenor, AAP Trade Wing.
Nakshatra Vatika to open today STAFF REPORTER NEW DELHI: A garden along the banks of the Yamuna that represents various aspects of astrology will be opened on Saturday, the Delhi Jal Board said on Friday. The Nakshatra Vatika, which has one part representing the nine planets as per Indian astrology, will be inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, DJB chairperson Kapil Mishra said. Spread over a two-acre area at Geeta Ghat, the park has 27 types of plants that represent 27 stars as per astrology. The park, which was set up by the DJB’s Horticulture Department, also has a garden of medicinal plants, including traditional herbs used in Ayurveda.
Development plan This project was announced by Mr. Mishra in October 2016 and was part of a larger plan to develop a 5km stretch of the Yamuna bank. CM YK
fares, which former L-G predecessor Najeeb Jung had proposed last year. For greater good The AAP government had announced reduction in fares of DTC and cluster buses last month in a bid to encourage people to use public transport. The file was recently sent to the L-G for his approval. Objections raised “The L-G has returned
the file to the government asking it to reconsider its proposal after Finance Department raised some objections,” an oicial said. Had Mr. Baijal given his nod, the bus fares would have come down to ₨5 in non-AC DTC and cluster buses and ₨10 in air-conditioned buses for one month on a trial basis. Monetary woes According to the oicial, the Finance Department
had raised objections to the proposal, citing poor financial condition of the DTC. “The government gives financial assistance in crores of rupees to DTC and if it faces loss, the government will definitely help the State bus agency,” another oicial said. This is the first proposal which has been objected by the new L-G and sent back to the Aam Aadmi Party government for reconsideration.
amounts to gross violation of human rights. What is more unfortunate is that the incident took place within a few days after the enactment of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016, which seeks to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.” ’ Slamming DDA vicechairman Udai Pratap Singh, Mr. Abidi said, “He [Mr. Singh] is completely unworthy of the high oice that he holds. He must be asked to quit with immediate efect.” Protest on January 16 He added that DRG members would a dharna outside the DDA oice on January 16 and would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the issue. Disability rights activist Dr. Satendra Singh said: “This is ridiculous. I can relate to it. Despite being on a permanent post at the University College of Medical Sciences, UPSC rejected my application for the same post twice. A battle unlocked 1,600 posts not only for me but also for doctors with disabilities.’’
NEW DELHI: For now, parents can fill forms for nursery admissions without any hassle with the Delhi High Court on Friday allowing the private schools to invite applications on their own criteria and in their own format. The forms will also ask the parents to specify if they live within one kilometre or three to five kilometres or farther from the school, in keeping with the January 7 guidelines of the Delhi government making “distance” a primary criterion for admissions. The scrutiny of the application forms will, however, be subject to the final order of the court.
Avoiding ambiguity “To avoid any ambiguity, it is directed that the parents fill the form in the prescribed format and the criteria mentioned therein by the respective schools. The format of the form shall also contain criteria mentioned in the impugned notification
dated January 7, 2017, regarding the neighbourhood. It is clarified that the scrutiny of the form is subject to passing of the order by this court,” ordered Justice Manmohan. The Bench passed the order on petition moved by Action Committee of Unaided Recognised Private Schools, comprising over 290 private, unaided schools of Delhi which have challenged the December 19, 2016 and January 7 notification of the government making it mandatory for private schools on public land to admit 75 per cent students using the neighbourhood criterion. Advocate Kamal Gupta, who has filed the petition on behalf of Action Committee, said, “Accepting the request of the private schools, the High Court passed an absolutely balanced and equitable order.” The schools contended that “the January 7 notification of the Delhi government takes away the fundamental rights of the parents and the
children to choose schools at the cost of their own resources as good schools ate not evenly distributed across Delhi. It also puts the personality profile of a school at risk”. The schools had also urged that the existing application forms be allowed to be filled to ensure that the schedule of the admission process is not disturbed. The matter will now be heard on January 19. Judge recuses from case In the morning, the petitions filed by the private schools were listed before Justice V. Kameshwar Rao. However, Justice Rao recused himself from the hearing saying, “I have a school-going son and the matter involves all private schools of Delhi.” The Delhi government and the schools requested Justice Rao to hear the matter saying they have full faith in the Bench but he ordered that the petitions to be listed before another appropriate Bench after lunch.
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
drought: Kerala Order on rooster fights is clear: SC Surviving imposes curbs on water use ‘No obligation to further spell out orders’
LEGAL CORRESPONDENT NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to clarify to the Andhra Pradesh administration that it has not completely stayed the State High Court ban on rooster fights but only modified the blanket power bestowed on inspection teams to barge into “any premises” and seize roosters primed for fights. A Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar said the January 6 order of the court was clear in itself. There was no obligation on the part of the court to further spell out its orders for oicials’ sake. The Animal Welfare Board
BLOOD SPORT: Punters engaged in betting during a rooster fight in West Godavari district on Friday. — PHOTO: A.V.G. PRASAD of India, represented by senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, had made an urgent mention that oicials in the State were under the impression that the apex court had lifted the ban on rooster fights. It alleged that prepar-
ations for the fights were on in full swing in the run-up to Pongal/Sankranthi celebrations. The Board sought a direction to the State oicialdom to crack down on the violators. On January 6, a Bench of
Chief Justice Khehar and Justices N.V. Ramana and D.Y. Chandrachud had, on a writ petition filed by industrialist Kanumuru Raghu Ramakrishna Rao against the December 26, 2016 order of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the State of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, stayed the High Courtgiven authority of police inspection teams to enter any premises and seize roosters. The SC had further issued notice to the State government, the AWBI and the Director General of Police of Andhra Pradesh, among others, on Mr. Rao’s petition. The Supreme Court had directed them to file their counter-aidavits in four weeks. The petition, filed through advocate Sateesh Galla, contended that the roosters were bred indigenously by farmers as a means of livelihood.
Ban does not deter punters K.N. MURALI SANKAR KAKINADA: Despite being banned by the High Court, rooster fights were organised in about 200 venues in the East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. No organiser missed the ‘muhurtam.’ Local representatives attended the events as chief guests. Neither the court’s directive nor demonetisation seemed to deter the organisers and punters.
Faced with a worsening drought situation, the Kerala government has imposed curbs on the use of water in reservoirs. It has also stepped up the review and monitoring system at the district levels. District Collectors have been directed to stop the release of water through canals for irrigation, and keep a close tab on the water level in reservoirs. The assessment of the water situation in terms of Litres Per Capita per Day (LPCD) is being reported to the government on a regular basis. “The focus is on ensuring the availability of drinking water up to the onset of the southwest monsoon in June,” said Sekhar L. Kuriakose, member-secretary,
Trim your fat, get favourite posting, SP tells cops Policemen shedding 5 kg by April can choose their station in Chikkamagaluru SATISH G.T.
Devotees at the Ayyappa Temple on Friday.– PHOTO: LEJU KAMAL
Sabarimala sees heavy rush for Makarajyoti RADHAKRISHNAN KUTTOOR SABARIMALA: The sacred grove of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala is set for the Makaravilakku festival on Saturday. Ayyappa devotees are camping at the Sannidhanam and the surrounding hills to worship the Makaravilakku ‘deeparadhana,’ to be performed at Ponnambalamedu. Almost all vantage points have been occupied by the
devotees. Pilgrims have been camping in makeshift tents at Paandithavalom, Appachimedu, Marakkoottom, Urakkuzhy, Malikappuram temple, the copra drying yard, and near the Forest Department oice at the Sannidhanam for two days. The celestial star, Makarajyoti, will be sighted in the eastern horizon of the Sannidhanam on the Makaravilakku day.
CHIKKAMAGALURU: A district police chief in Karnataka has come up with a unique incentive to make his force leaner. The constables and head constables of Chikkamagaluru district have been ofered a posting to the police station of their choice by Superintendent of Police K. Annamalai, if they can reduce by five kilogrammes by April. The SP has thrown open ‘registrations,’ and installed a weighing scale in his oice. “All those willing to avail of this opportunity can register their names along with their current body weight by the end of this week,” Mr. Annamalai said. He will compile the
ILLUSTRATION: DEEPAK HARICHANDAN
number of registrations by Monday for all stations in his jurisdiction. While some constables are mulling the ofer, one
said it would be a tough challenge to burn calories so fast. The SP said he usually keeps a weighing scale in his chamber, wherever he is posted to assess the health of the constabulary. “The staf has four months to reduce weight. I don’t know what they will do, some may go for yoga and others may prefer jogging or swimming,” he said. Under Departmental transfer rules, Superintendents enjoy powers over the transfer of oicials up to the level of ASIs. The ‘weight loss’ ofer applies only to constables and head constables. The guidelines issued by the department state that a staf member should not continue in one
place for more than three years and should not be posted to his place of origin. Besides, in most cases, letters from people’s representatives or recommendations from senior oicers play a major role in police transfers, a senior oicial said. “I have taken up this initiative in good faith. If some staf members feel enthused and work to lose their weight, it is a good thing. Whether he gets a transfer or not, he will continue to maintain fitness even afterwards. There is no violation of any rule. Many private companies follow this system, where weight reduction is encouraged through an incentive,” said Mr. Annamalai.
State Disaster Management Authority. Eforts are on to establish drinking water kiosks in all wards. The project is expected to achieve momentum with the finalisation of the rate contract for installation of tanks by the Joint Commissioner, Land Revenue. The government is also mon-
itoring the utilisation of groundwater. The impact of drought on tourism, industry and power sectors is being closely observed. It would be included in the State’s memorandum to the Centre. Isolated showers during the current dry spell are not expected to improve the water situation.
Smog disrupts flights across south India SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT CHENNAI: Flights were disrup-
ted across south India on Friday morning as smog and fog considerably reduced visibility. At the Chennai airport, arrival and departure of flights were afected between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. as smog, caused by the burning of discarded items on the occasion of Bhogi festival, enveloped the runway. Sources said 10 incoming flights from various destinations, including Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, were diverted to Bengaluru. Simultaneously, as many as 25 departures to destinations including Bengaluru, Mumbai, Madurai, Coimbatore and Delhi were delayed. Operations gradually resumed as visibility improved after
10 a.m. At Visakhapatnam International Airport, both incoming and outgoing flights were delayed as a fog virtually enveloped the city. The IndiGo BengaluruVizag, IndiGo HyderabadVizag-Delhi, Air India Dubai-Hyderabad-Vizag and IndiGo Delhi-Vizag flights were unable to land and were diverted to Hyderabad. As in Chennai, operations resumed after weather conditions and visibility improved. In Bengaluru, intermittent fog has disrupted flights at the Kempegowda International Airport for the past one month. Flight operations have been disrupted at least on four occasions at the runway. (With inputs from and Bengaluru Visakhapatnam)
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
Selfie bid on train claims Odisha student’s life SAMBALPUR (ODISHA): A 20-year-
old engineering student died on Friday after coming in contact with a high-tension wire while taking a selfie atop a stationary goods train at Baljori area in Odisha’s Jharsuguda town, police said. His friend also sustained injuries in the incident. The deceased, identified as Rajpal Gourav Patra of Koraput, was a second year Diploma student in civil engineering at the Jharsuguda Engineering School. The injured student has been identified as Lokesh Das of Balangir, Patra’s batchmate. Tragic adventure Police said both had gone to Baljori on Friday morning. A goods train, which was transporting oil, had stopped on the railway tracks at Bal-
jori area and was waiting for signal. Rajpal climbed on the static train to take a selfie, but came in contact with the high-tension live wire overhead and died on the spot while his friend sustained injuries, the police said. On receiving information, Government Railway Police (GRP) oicers reached the spot and recovered the body. Injured rushed to hospital The injured student was rushed to Jharsuguda District Headquarter hospital, where his condition was stated to be stable. “Inquiry into the incident is in progress. We are in the process of recording the statement of the injured student who is undergoing treatment,” said Assistant Sub-Inspector of Government Railway Police Station, Ramesh Bhainsal. — PTI
Crisis in AMU’s Murshidabad campus ‘Lack of funds will destabilise the functioning of the off-campus centre inaugurated by President’ SUVOJIT BAGCHI KOLKATA: Faced If the fund marked for Murshidabad campus of the Aligarh Muslim University [AMU] is not disbursed by the end of March, it may jeopardise the career of more than 500 students studying in the campus. The director of the campus, which is oicially called the Murshidabad Centre, said the allotted fund would lapse on March 31, “shattering dreams” of many. The campus, located in the erstwhile constituency of President Pranab Mukherjee in Jangipur, was inaugurated in 2014 by the President. The campus received Rs. 60 crore of the Rs. 107.80 crore marked for the institution in August 2013. However, the director of the University, Dr. Badaruddoza, has
HARD TIMES: A view of the Murshidabad campus of the Aligarh Muslim University. — FILE PHOTO
to Finance Ministry’s earlier circular. The oicials of Murshidabad Centre said lack of funds would completely destabilise the functioning of the of-campus Centre of the AMU as the authority may not be in a position to pay salaries of about 30 faculty members and 27 nonteaching staf. Following non-payment, if the teachers leave, it would afect the students, predominantly from the minority community, studying in three departments. About 180 students are studying BA [LLB] in a five-year integrated course, about 80 studying Education while 300, including 80 girls, are in the MBA course at the Murshidabad Centre. “We are under huge pressure as the guardians of the
students are upset with us. They are asking if we could not run it why we started it,” he said. A reply from Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Human Resource Development Ministry, is awaited. The Centre is built on a 288-acre campus in Jangipur, a constituency that had earlier elected Mr. Mukherjee and later his son Abhijit. The present MP has huge plans to expand the centre which is located in the Muslim-majority district of Murshidabad. “As these areas [Muslimmajority districts] have little or no access to good quality education, the Campus was set up here. We also had plans to start BA and MA in social welfare and computer applications,” said Dr. Badaruddoza.
no idea if they will receive the rest of the fund by March 31 this year. “The fund was given under the 12th Five-Year Plan. If the rest of the amount [Rs.
47.80 crore] does not reach us by March 31, it would lapse,” he said. Five-Year Plans will come to an end with the conclusion of 12th Plan on March 31, according
Mumbai police, BMC say ‘no’ to David Guetta’s show
J. Banumathi not part of Jallikattu Bench, says SC
Cost of Ken-Betwa project now goes up to ₨18,000 crore
MUMBAI: Thousands of fans looking forward to a performance by David Guetta, a two-time Grammy awardwinning DJ, were left disappointed, with the Mumbai Police denying permission to the organisers, Sunburn, to hold the event at the Bandra Kurla Complex on Friday. The venue of the event, first scheduled to be held at the Mahalaxmi Race course, had to be shifted after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation refused permission. On Thursday, the French DJ’s show in Bengaluru too was cancelled after the police denied permission. Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Ashok Dudhe said permission was denied as the organisers had failed to fulfil the requisite criteria.
DELHI: The Supreme Court issued a clarification on Friday that Justice R. Banumathi is not part of any Bench hearing the Jallikattu cases in the apex court. The Supreme Court registry was compelled to clear the air after reports by several media outlets gave such an impression. Trouble started when a group of lawyers approached a Bench led by Justice Misra on Thursday with an urgent oral plea to pronounce the Jallikattu judgment on January 13, before Pongal commenced on Saturday. It had so happened that Justice Banumathi was, at the time, accompanying Justice Misra on the Bench when the lawyers made their request. The mentioning was directed solely at Justice Misra. In fact, the Jallikattu case, concerning the legality of a January 7, 2016 government notification, was heard by a Bench of Justices Misra and Nariman. The case was reserved for judgment on December 7, 2016. On Thursday, Justice Misra had said the request made by the lawyers in the mentioning to pronounce the judgement overnight was “unfair”.
NEW DELHI: The cost of the National Democratic Alliance government’s marquee river interlinking project to transfer water from the Ken to the Betwa river has now reached Rs. 18,000 crore, or nearly double the estimate used by the National Board for Wildlife to accord clearances to the project last year. Because it disturbs the habitat of resident wildlife and requires the diversion of forest land in Madhya Pradesh, the project required a wildlife, forest and environmental clearance by separate, independent committees. Going by publicly-available records, all committees, except for the environment clearance (EC) committee, relied on documents that estimated the project cost to be about Rs. 9,393 crore. “The current projected
‘Very short notice’ “The organisers approached us at a very short notice and did not furnish any details about the event, its security and their arrangements for traic management. Our deployment and other measures for any event are dependent on the measures undertaken by the organisers. It was not possible for us to deploy bandobast at such a short notice,”
A police officer asks the crowd to leave the venue where the French DJ was scheduled to perform in Mumbai. — PHOTO: AP
‘Performance in Hyderabad is on’ can rest assured; David Guetta is set to rock the city on Saturday evening at Hitex. “The show is on,” that’s the message of the organisers of Sunburn event in Hyderabad. “We have absolute
support from the government of Telangana as such events add to the soft power of the city. Telangana wants to ramp up its presence and act like a magnet for events like Sunburn, Sensation, Tomorrowland, NH7 etc.,” said Vijay Amritraj, local partner for the event.
said Mr. Dudhe. The organisers, he added, did not provide the requisite NoCs from other departments, or visa details of the foreigners performing at the concert. BMC oicials said they denied permission for the Mahalaxmi Race course event for similar reasons.
“The organisers had not obtained permission from the fire department.” A spokesperson for the event said: “The concert has been cancelled due to issues with traic regulations. We’re trying to work it out for tomorrow but nothing can be confirmed just yet.”
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT HYDERABAD: Patrons in Hyderabad
cost of the project is about Rs. 18,000 crore,” said Amarjit Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, at the sidelines of a conference on water-related issues here. The ECrecords that an additional Rs. 5,037 crore would be required as part of the project’s environmental protection plan. Re-evaluation The main feature of the project is a 230-km long canal and a series of barrages and dams connecting the Ken and Betwa rivers that will irrigate 3.5 lakh hectares in Madhya Pradesh and 14,000 hectares of land in Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand. The key projects are the Makodia and Dhaudhan dams, the latter expected to be 77 metres high and responsible for submerging 5,803 hectares of tiger habitat in the Panna Tiger Reserve.
Oicials involved with the project said that re-evaluations of the cost of resettlement and rehabilitation of families resident in the area, and re-estimating the cost of the value of the forests that would be lost to the dam, as well as inflation, have led to the escalated costs. “The Rs. 9,000-crore figure was as of 2008-09 and was being used in project documents but several calculations have changed,” said Masood Hussain, Chairman, National Water Development Agency, which is tasked with implementing the project. “The ministry’s techno-appraisal committee has cleared [an estimate of] about Rs. 18,000 crore two months ago.” Funding the project has now emerged as the next big hurdle which, according to Union Minister Uma Bharti, would take about seven years to be ready.
ICSE reschedules Class X, XII exams NEW DELHI: The ICSE and ISC examinations for Classes X and XII have been rescheduled in view of the Assembly elections in five States. The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISEC), which conducts the examinations, said on Friday that the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) Class X exam, earlier scheduled to begin on February 27 and end on March 31, will now commence on March 10 and conclude on April 21. Similarly, the Indian School Certificate (ISC) examination for Class XII, scheduled to begin on February 6 and conclude on April 5, will now begin on January 30 and conclude on April 26. — PTI
Seven held for murder at Trinamool office KOLKATA: The West Bengal police on Friday arrested seven persons in connection with the murder of local don Srinu Naidu inside a Trinamool Congress (TMC) party office at Kharagpur town on Wednesday. Bharati Ghosh, Superintendent of Police, Paschim Medinipur, said the murder was aimed at creating a law and order situation in Kharagpur town so that other goons could take advantage of it and seize control. Those arrested had a history of enmity with Srinu Naidu, he said. — Special Correspondent
Charges framed against Abu Jundal NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Friday framed charges against Lashkar-E-Taiba (LeT) operative Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal who was part of the terrorist outfit’s control room in Karachi during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Ansari was deported from Saudi Arabia in 2012, where he had fled to after the Mumbai attacks. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had registered a case against Ansari for conspiring to organise terrorist activities in various parts of India and for “recruiting Muslim youths for jihad.” — Special Correspondent
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
Obama’s act of departure Barack Obama’s farewell speech was an ode to democracy, a playing out of a ritual faith in the Constitution and in the people of the U.S. When a leader and the people renew their faith, democracy comes alive democracy demands perpetual participation. The ritual of citizens’ participation is the only perpetual machine that keeps democracy as faith and action alive. Living democracy and dreaming democracy helps recreate democracy. The renewal of faith and the reinvention of citizenship are continuous in a functioning democracy. The power of his narrative was moving. It was as if he had the vision of the founding fathers in his blood. The audience was touched, even moved to tears as acclamation became a ritual of solidarity. The impact was charismatic, folksy, everyday and one sensed that no demagogue or dictator could achieve this music of democracy which one calls trust. The American dream has moved migrants, refugees, pioneers, slaves, women to organise.
S AT U R D AY , J A N U A R Y 1 4 , 2 0 1 7
Pay heed to Urjit Patel
eserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel’s emphasis on the vital importance of protecting domestic macroeconomic stability could not have come at a more crucial juncture. With the Centre in the process of finalising the Union Budget, Dr. Patel has stressed the need to ensure that it does not stray from the path of fiscal consolidation, at a time when the external environment is already adverse and likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. That the clamour for a sizeable fiscal stimulus is likely to grow louder as budget day nears is a certainty, given the signs that an incipient demand slowdown may have been exacerbated by the cash crunch caused by the withdrawal of high-value banknotes. Within the government too, the temptation to loosen the purse strings to assuage adverse reaction to the demonetisation decision is likely to be high. It is in this context that the RBI chief’s reminder to the Centre that “borrowing even more and pre-empting resources from future generations” cannot be a short cut to achieving durable long-term “higher growth” is significant. With the general government deficit among the highest in the G-20 economies, Dr. Patel reiterated what several of his predecessors including Y.V. Reddy have harped on: high levels of government borrowing tend to crowd out private investment and paper over the urgent need for more abiding reforms. Specifically, the RBI chief has suggested that government expenditure be ideally reoriented towards creating more public infrastructure such as expanded railway networks and urban mass transit systems that would help boost productivity even as it leads to reductions in the oil import bill and provides the collateral benefit of improved air quality. And in what could be seen as an expression of assertion of the RBI’s independence of thought, Dr. Patel spoke of the risks that policy interventions in the form of government guarantees and interest rate subventions pose. While not directly alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcements last month, which included a doubling in credit guarantees for micro, small and medium enterprises, the RBI chief said that “large credit guarantees also impede optimal allocation of financial resources and increase moral hazard.” With such guarantees only adding to the government’s liabilities and raising the risk premium on its borrowing, the better solution, he suggested, would be to resolve constraints such as transaction costs related to clearances and the taxation bureaucracy. As Dr. Patel said, “it is easy and quick to fritter away gains regarding macroeconomic stability”. But, as he added, it would be “hard and slow to regain them”.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s farewell address in Chicago this week was an epic event, a drama in political dialogue which people sensed as a terrific performance. Mr Obama’s farewell address was more than an act of departure. It was an act of renewal. Being a talented speaker, he could combine many messages and performances to create a memorable moment. Through his speech he created a magical space, an epiphany on the power of the people and people in power. In this way, an act of departure became an act of healing, of community, of solidarity, a ritual which recharged the U.S.’s faith in democracy. It was an eloquent moment enacted with a full sense of almost operatic power. From President to citizen In his body language, there was an ease about being in power and there was also an ease about his giving up power. A farewell is a ritual where a president becomes citizen again. Mr. Obama was clear that for all the facts of empire and nationhood, the real hero of American democracy is the citizen. There was humour in the act where he referred to his lame duck status. He began his speech easily and informally. His relationship with the American people was not one of demagogic distance or charismatic power but possessed the homeliness and the humility of a conversation. He claimed that his conversation with the American people kept him honest and made him “a better president” and “a better man”. A moment of departure is a moment of remembrance. As applause punctuated literally every sentence, Mr. Obama recollected that he began his career in Chicago working with church groups “in the shadow of closed
The sincerity and the authenticity of the speech made one wonder how this same America became a post-truth society, allowing a Trump to become president steel mills”. He enacted his biography as the biography of all migrants, renewing America’s openness to all oppressed people. For him, two magic words sustain the miracle called America: people and change, both working through the institutions of democracy. For Mr. Obama, democracy is the force of alchemy which sustains both individual dreams while creating a notion of the common good. Yet democracy, he claimed, for all its vitality can never be taken for granted. An act of indiference is an act of betrayal because
A path to renewal Mr. Obama recognised that democracy is not a flawless machine, yet it works. He talked of the achievements of his own terms and shared his achievements with the people. There was and is a shared pride in the achievements of the Obama era. The sincerity, the authenticity made one wonder how this same America became a post-truth society, allowing someone such as Donald Trump to become president. The context nibbles at the text but the message sustains itself. A democracy that believes in itself renews itself. People’s faith recreates people’s power. In fact, Mr. Obama showed that even the transition of power is a moment to be proud of, emphasising the power of institution over the idiosyncrasy of individuals. It is democracy that renews America. Democracy, he explained, like an easy preacher, does not require uniformity. It creates solidarity through diference. He emphasised that solidarity and uniformity created two diferent worlds of unity. Mr. Obama spelt out the challenges to democracy — a sense of economic opportun-
Rhetoric hides the cracks There is power and simplicity to the act because there is a faith which binds drama and everydayness. Watching it one knew that no Vladimir Putin, Jacob Zuma, Narendra Modi or Theresa May could have pulled this of. There was a magic to it that one responded to. For a few moments an old-fashioned America came alive and Mr. Trump and paranoid fears of the new society receded. Mr. Obama, as Canute, had reversed the tides so that America could once again believe in democracy. Yet, one must remember that moments of renewal are moments of erasure. The power of the performance, the easy rhetoric hides the cracks in the regime, the crevices through which Mr. Trump broke in. Rituals of farewell require rites of critique, and if America is a vital democracy, these will follow soon. Acclamation and solidarity in a moment of cultural crisis strike an odd note but a presidential farewell is a true American melodrama. One wishes the efect would continue but a farewell is a closure, the end of an era. The storyteller waits anxiously for the new to unfold.
Pakistan’s vanishing voices
ver the past few days, five Pakistani activists including the poet Salman Haider have gone missing. The incidents have left the rights groups, already under pressure from the military and extremist outfits, alarmed. Nobody has claimed responsibility, and the family members haven’t got any ransom calls. The government says it will find them, but the investigation that started after Haider’s disappearance on January 6 seems to have reached nowhere; since then four more have gone missing. Although the full facts are not available, the perception that the disappearances are somehow linked has gained credence. They were all active social media-based campaigners for human rights and critical of the military and its support for militancy. They challenged the extremist narrative propagated by the fundamentalist groups and promoted the idea of a modern, inclusive Pakistan, largely through Facebook posts and blogs. Haider was known for his strong stand on rights violations in Balochistan. This is not the first time activists and writers critical of the military-terror complex have come under attack in Pakistan. For years both the security apparatus and militant groups have used force to silence critics. Liberal activist and author Raza Rumi, who had criticised state support for militants, was attacked by an extremist outfit in March 2014. A year later, activist Sabeen Mahmud was shot dead in Karachi after she hosted a debate on Balochistan. This time the victims are social media activists, and it is not hard to see the pattern. In Pakistan where television faces censorship and the print media is under pressure, social media platforms are a thriving space where people express views without fear. Whoever is behind the disappearances is targeting such free debates. This should be a wake-up call to the Pakistani state. Some commentators have already implicated the state, citing the pattern in the disappearances and the military’s track record in dealing with dissent. The Interior Minister has said the government “is not in the business of disappearing people”, but he has the responsibility to find out what happened to the activists. For decades Pakistan tolerated a culture of violence within its society for political and strategic benefits, but this has backfired. Liberal space is shrinking in the wake of challenges from the extremists that benefited from the state’s tolerance of violence. The government has to take bold measures to check these groups and promote free and fearless thinking if it wants the already vulnerable democratic dynamics to survive. CM YK
ity, a sense that economics is not a zero-sum game. Yet, the changes in technology now threaten this solidarity. Politics has to create a new social compact to meet new needs. Mr. Obama did not hide the dangers to democracy, be it race or terror. Yet he emphasised the need to avoid paranoia, and insisted on empathy, where one cannot frame every issue as a struggle between a hardworking middle class and an undeserving minority. He cited Harper Lee’s great character Atticus Finch, who claimed that you never understand a man till you get into his skin, and demanded that the immigrant empathises with the white American whose world is capsizing through economic change. It was a powerful plea for empathy, where citizenship demands that we take on the role of the other. A democracy which does not empathise with the other becomes a world of stereotypes, which seeks comfort in sameness. There was a magic to the narrative as the audience responded to the pedagogy of the ideals. He added that democracy is a battle of ideas, but ideas which explore diference on the basis of reason. This demanded the concession that even an opponent might be making a valid point. Mr. Obama moved to a poetic sense of the American faith in change, in innovation, hailing what he called the spirit of the Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral. It is a spirit of innovation based on a rule of law and a faith in human rights. He warned that this faith is being challenged. But the only answer to this was a renewal of the American spirit of democracy. A threat to democracy demands more democracy. It is a battle which democracy has extended abroad challenging the Islamic State in every front. Yet he realised that terror must be fought legally otherwise terror turns us into monsters. Mr. Obama’s speech was an ode to democracy, a playing out of a ritual faith in the Constitution, in the people. It was moving, poignant and yet easy in its diction. A leader and a people renew faith, and in the very act of renewal democracy comes alive.
Shiv Visvanathan is director, Centre for the Study of Knowledge Systems, Jindal Global Law School, and the writer of Theatres of Democracy.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Letters emailed to [email protected] must carry the full postal address and the full name or the name with initials.
Jallikattu and culture At a time when most people are still experiencing the after-efects of demonetisation and farmers are reeling under drought, is jallikattu that essential a sport to be fought for? It may be called a bull-taming sport but from what I have seen, it is only the participants who get tamed by the bulls. Where is the valour in this sport? Are they fighting with bulls face to face? People run behind and hang onto a bull for some distance. If they are able to do this for a while, they are labelled as heroes. Many are also injured in the process, gored and even trampled upon. When there are so many burning issues for political parties to tackle, why harp on this (“Jallikattu ban to stay as Supreme Court refuses to be hurried into judgment”, Jan.13)? D. Sethuraman, Chennai
Almost all political parties in Tamil Nadu have raised the pitch on the subject. The reasons being given by those who want the ban to be lifted are deeply unconvincing. Just because it is a traditional sport, why should this sport of torture be encouraged in the 21st century? Can taming an animal by a human being be called a sport of valour? Man claiming victory over animal is not heroism or valour. It is barbarism. Bull taming is synonymous with torture, bloodshed and death. Albert P’Rayan, Chennai
It is to be remembered that the ban afects the traditions and sentiments of people. Such races are held in North India including Punjab. With vigil on the Internet in this era of communication, one cannot miss any act of cruelty being inflicted on animals. Jallikattu can be termed a safe rural sport. There is no need to
have any misgivings about animals being treated in a cruel manner. A.V. Narayanan, Tiruchi
Jallikattu is not a social evil to be fought against tooth and nail but a rural sport associated with the annual harvest festival of Pongal since the Sangam Age. It is entertaining as participants display grit, determination, will, strength, and even presence of mind. It is an exaggeration to say that animals are tortured. As a photojournalist, I have covered this sport for nearly 16 years at Alanganallur and Palamedu in Madurai district in Tamil Nadu and have a stock of about 500 transparencies and negatives. In no frame that I have shot can I find animals to have been treated in a cruel way. In fact jallikattu results in injuries to participants, which they take in their stride. R. Krishnamurthy, Coimbatore
A transfer of loyalty Tamil Nadu has been sailing through a stormy period with most of us watching helplessly as V.K. Sasikala, a close personal aide of Jayalalithaa, has moved on to become the AIADMK’s general secretary (“Transfer of loyalty”, Jan.13). Most of us do not know what role she played in politics or whether she has solutions to Tamil Nadu’s problems. A situation where there has been no regard for the consensus of the people or even its party cadres is unfortunate. Aribalaji, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu
Ms. Sasikala, who has pledged to follow in the footsteps of Jayalalithaa to ensure discipline and unity in the AIADMK party, must avoid assuming the role of Chief Minister
of Tamil Nadu. One would expect that Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam is given enough time to function before he is judged. The government will lose its credibility if his constitutional position as Chief Minister is continually challenged by party sycophants who are keen to curry favour with Ms. Sasikala who has held no position in the party or public life. With a shroud of secrecy surrounding Jayalalithaa’s medical treatment and the disproportionate assets case hanging like a sword of Damocles over her head, Ms. Sasikala would be well advised not to assume an additional role as chief minister. Kangayam R. Narasimhan, Chennai
Vision for urbanscapes As a resident of Delhi, I can completely relate to the writer when he says that our vision of making urbanscapes better is doomed if our leaders give direct amnesty to people who construct illegal buildings (“The city’s bleak future”, Jan.13). Delhi has a number of such settlements; some are being run as commercial spaces. As such constructions are illegal, a legal electricity connection is ruled out which results in the practice of stealing electricity from power lines and junction boxes. There is also the lack of a common collective culture in our cities. A visit to any Indian city will have you witness people breaking queues, violating traic rules, using roads as public conveniences and generally making it a nightmare. Despite eforts by the government to make things easy, people still turn a blind eye. The Delhi Metro is a case in point. People do their own thing despite announcements every few seconds about platform and escalator etiquette.
When the citizenry of a country does not have any sense of belonging and believes that subverting the infrastructure is the best survival strategy, then the government is not the only institution to be blamed. Things will not change unless fear is induced among Indian citizens by strictly penalising and punishing them for such behaviour. Ritvik Chaturvedi, New Delhi
We must stop looking at cities as the “engines of growth” because these engines are adding to pollution at unmanageable rates. The government must ponder over what former President Abdul Kalam said: “The developed India will not be a nation of cities. It will be a network of prosperous villages empowered by telemedicine, tele-education, and e-commerce....” R. Swarnalatha, Chennai
New chief At a time when the dust has yet to settle over the ouster of Cyrus Mistry and the battle is still being fought at many levels, choosing N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of TCS, as the new head of Tata Sons is surprising (“TCS veteran picked to head Tata Sons”, Jan.13). The tea-tosoftware conglomerate has still failed to give specific and convincing arguments for Mr. Mistry’s removal across all Tata subsidiaries in a transparent manner except stating that the group under his leadership deviated from its core values. R. Prabhu Raj, Bengaluru
A jawan’s grievance After the BSF jawan’s video clip on the “poor quality of food” being
served to jawans emerged, there have been a few more that have surfaced (“What’s cooking in the BSF?”, Jan.13). The intervention by the Prime Minister’s Oice should not result in a cover-up. The move to give the whole issue a political hue is unwarranted and the claim that more attention is being paid to the plight of jawans is laughable. Mobile apps in the hands of jawans should not be misused at a time when India has a tense relationship with neighbouring countries. N. Nagarajan, Secunderabad
Happenings in the armed forces continue to make news for all the wrong reasons. Most prominent have been unappeased veterans protesting and demanding pay parity through OROP, the controversial appointment of the Army Chief, and now, a case that shows the dismal condition of our jawans. The government should ensure the well-being of those who ensure the security of the nation. Prerna Singh, New Delhi
Doormat row The thoughtless act by the online e-retailer giant in marketing doormats bearing the Indian tricolour, and their subsequent withdrawal, raises an issue about how such a retailer of repute can even think of doing such things. Come what may, promoting/ marketing products that involve sensitivities is not only injudicious but inexcusable. The faux pas has only brought disrepute to the firm. But how is the government going to trace and take action against small traders who peddle similar marketing ideas? E.S. Chandrasekaran, Chennai ND-ND
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
The hyena has the last laugh The wildlife conservation story notches another high at Visakhapatnam’s Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, where a striped hyena was born through captive breeding. As two-month-old Ayush prances around, Nikhila Henry recounts the painstaking efort that went into keeping him alive
His play is always a frenzy; his gait a bit awkward. The puppy fat envelops his body, but the stripes are unmistakeable. All of two months, he is ever hungry, frequently growling for milk or minced chicken. As he holds the half-a-dozen hospital staf hostage with his demands, the realisation slowly dawns: this prima-donna act is justified, after all. Of a wait spanning over 90 days, Ayush is all that survives. The striped hyena cub made it, unlike his two siblings. Ayush is a living, thriving testimony to captive breeding, only the third success of its kind in India and the first for 40-yearold Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Visakhapatnam. The zoo’s four-roomed veterinary hospital that also has a rescue shelter for animals has been Ayush’s home for over two months ever since he was born. There he walks around, sure of safety, rarely sticking to the 4x4 feet cage meant for him. On his tender shoulders lies the burden of survival of his species. Striped hyenas or Hyaena hyaena, a mammal of the Carnivora order and Hyaenidae family, were commonly found in the wild and bushy semi-arid pastoral lands of India, Central Asia, North and East Africa, West Asia and Turkey till two decades ago. One of the three varieties of hyenas in the world, it is now just one step away from being endangered, two steps away from being critically endangered and three from being extinct in the wild going by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ (IUCN) Red List published in 2016. To be precise, Ayush’s kind is “near threatened” on the extinction charts, numbering between 5,000 and 14,000 globally in 1998 — and given that the “near threatened” categorisation was efected in 2008 from a “lower risk, near threatened” status in 2000, striped hyenas could be closer to 5,000 than 14,000 in number now. In India, they were mercilessly hunted down over the years for foraging into graves due to lack of a food source in their habitat. Which makes the only cub who survived out of a litter of three born to Samrat and Swathi at the Vizag zoological park a success story like no other. A miracle is bred Swathi and Samrat were the first striped hyenas in Vizag zoo brought from Kanpur Zoological Park in February 2015. Though she had conceived twice before giving birth to the latest litter in the Vizag zoo, lack of her natural environs, where a hyena yearns to live in seclusion during the gestation period, had got the better of her, forcing Swathi to kill the cubs born each time. The zoo has a footfall of 300 per day, making her irritable, anxious and more shy than she usually is. This time too, it was a tough pregnancy for her. But the zoo staf were not ready to let history repeat. As Ayush goofs around, unaware of the miracle of his own existence, the zoo staf narrate the painstaking efort it took to help him survive, right from the date of mating, June 21 (which is noted in the zoo logbook), through the days of Swathi’s three-month gestation period, the delivery on November 4, and the two months since. G. Peddanna Tata, the 50-year-old animal caretaker who has spent half his lifetime in the zoological park, was the
It was impossible to leave the little one. You get worried when you are away only to come back to check on him. - S. RAVI BABU, resident zoologist and wildlife conservation enthusiast only one to whose voice Swathi and Samrat responded, and hence he was instrumental in the early days of gestation. A small burrow inside the hyena moat, which did not face the walkway for visitors, became Swathi’s home as she carried the cubs in her belly for 90 days. “She would go into the burrow and rest her belly on the lining of sand strewn there for cushioning,” says Tata as he stands near the moat and glances at Swathi-Samrat. Doctors at the zoo had given Swathi regular doses of amino acid and vitamins over and above an increase in food supply of one kilogram of beef per day. She was comfortable, but that was not enough to keep her away from stress for long. “I saw three cubs soon after they were born. But after a few hours only two were around. She ate the third,” he says. On November 5, the zoo staf was forced to remove the other two cubs including Ayush from the mother and secure them in the veterinary hospital, located half a kilometre away from the moat. Separation from the mother brought in other challenges for the cubs. Their immune system turned weak as they could not feed on the mother’s milk. “The immune system of cubs is at risk and 90 to 95 per cent of the time they die of infection. It was a tightrope walk,” says Dr. K. Pavane, a young veterinary doctor at the hospital. This, despite the fact that a sterile envir-
onment was maintained in the hospital to prevent infection. “We used to cover our mouths with sterilised masks and pick up the cubs only with gloved hands for a month,” she says. The extreme caution and sanitised setting couldn’t prevent another casualty: Ayush’s brother died after 24 days. The cub had developed a urinary tract infection and was unable to pass urine. “In the ultra-sonogram we could see that his bladder was full. After sufering a lot of pain for two days, he died on November 28,” Pavane recollects. But Ayush was a fighter. Ever since he was brought to the hospital he showed a zest for life, the staf remember. “He used to show healthy signs as he had more milk than his brother and responded to medication and touch easily,” says S. Ravi Babu, resident zoologist and wildlife conservation enthusiast. Loving care Experts at the zoo sufered a few scares through the ex-situ (outside the natural habitat) captive-breeding process. “After his brother died, Ayush refused to eat for two days. We were worried,” says Pavane. But Babu had a plan which worked. The staf placed a puppy-shaped toy in Ayush’s cage and he took a liking for it. Perhaps, the hole left by his sibling’s absence was filled, albeit temporarily. But the joy did not last long as Pavane diagnosed a digestive tract infection in Ayush’s system. He was administered anti-diarrhoeal drugs at once and an anxious wait followed.
Modern techniques in conservation such as captive breeding have in the past saved animal species from near-extinction
Pavane, who resides three kilometres away from the zoo, would come every night to check on the cub; the other zoo staf practically lived in the hospital. “It was impossible to leave the little one. You get worried when you are away only to come back to check on him,” Babu reminisces. Ayush responded positively to all the love showered on him. “The cub which died was dull but Ayush was up and about in no time and he was always hungry,” says Pavane, as the now twomonth-plus hyena tugs at her palazzo pants. From drinking 10 to 20 ml of artificial milk per day during the first week of his stay in the hospital, he graduated to drinking 20 to 30 ml daily soon. Deprived of Swathi’s milk, its substitute for Ayush came at an exorbitant price. Royal Canin, which he drank four times a day during the first three weeks, cost about Rs.1,400 per 400 gm packet of the powdered milk. As the brand went of the shelves in Vizag, the staf shifted him to Beaphar Lactol, priced at Rs.670 for a 200-gm pack. The zoological park’s annual budget of Rs.50 lakh came in handy. Now, Ayush eats chicken at noon along with his milk. The staf started feeding him solid food soon after he turned two months on January 4. A blow for captive breeding Wildlife experts look at Ayush’s survival as not just a victory for the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park but for animal conservation globally. Though experts generally prefer long-term conservation measures such as preserving the natural habitat, modern techniques such as captive breeding have in the past saved animal and bird species across the globe from near-extinction. The most well-known case comes from China, of the Pere David’s deer (Elaphurus davidianus). Now extinct in the wild according to the IUCN’s Red List, the species survives because of a timely and successful captive-breeding exercise. From being hunted down to just 120 in China in 1993, the deer’s numbers went up steadily to 2,000 by 2008. The success stories extend to the world of birds. The pink pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri) of Mauritius, attractive for its pinkish grey beak and dark brown back, was brought back from “critically endangered” in 1994 to the less lethal “endangered” status in 2013 through captive breeding. Its numbers have gone up from a mere 10 in 1990 to 50 in 1993, 300 in 2000 and 370-380 individuals in 2011, the Red List indicates. Closer home, pygmy hog (Porcula salvania), the smallest wild hog in the world which is found mostly in northern West Bengal and north-western Assam, has bounced back from its “critically endangered” status in 1996 only by dint of captive breeding. Up to 75 such hogs have been bred in Assam by 2015, according to IUCN data. In a similar exsitu exercise, Chennai’s Madras Crocodile Bank Trust & Centre for Herpetology has been breeding gharials (Gavialis gangeticus), a fish-eating variety of crocodiles found in India, since 1989. The in-situ (in habitat) breeding of olive ridley turtles
A SURVIVOR’S TALE: “Wildlife experts look at Ayush’s survival as not just a victory for the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park but for animal conservation globally.” (Clockwise from top) Ayush; Dr. K.Pavane, veterinary doctor, with the young hyena; Swathi and Samrat, Ayush’s mother and father, at the Zoological Park. PHOTOS: K.R. DEEPAK (Lepidochelys olivacea) on the country’s southern and eastern shores has also been well documented. The conservation debate For conservationists, however, the best captive-breeding experiment (ex or in situ) is one that allows acclimatisation of beasts to the wild, a process not many, including the Vizag zoological park, undertake. “The wild is where they belong. So the captive breeder should first soft-introduce the being to a cordoned-of wildlife space which can be monitored, and then breach the cordon to allow the animal to drift into the wild on its own. Maintaining or increasing the population in the wild should be a breeder’s ultimate aim,” says Farida Tampal, World Wide Fund for NatureIndia’s State director for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Others, however, deem ex-situ breeding as not a viable option for wildlife conservation. “The gene pool of animals which are captive-bred become less diverse, reducing the chances of survival of their species. It also takes a long
time for an outside-the-site captivebred animal to adjust to the wild. The soft introduction itself might not suit the animals and there is over a 50 per cent chance that they will not make it in the wild. Conservation in the longer run can be about a strict monitoring of flora and fauna in the wild. Modern techniques, including drone tracking, could be employed for it,” says Sumit Banerjee of Indian Wildlife Club. While Ayush will not be let into the wild, the Vizag zoological park authorities are hopeful of turning things around going ahead. “We are aiming at releasing animals into the wild. It might take time but this is on the cards,” says B. Vijaya Kumar, the curator. As Ayush gets ready for his evening nap, the attention shifts to Kumari, a white tigress at the fag end of her gestation period. Indira Gandhi Zoological Park is bracing for another ex-situ battle. Will Kumari add to the population of two male and three female white tigers currently residing in the zoological park? Maybe. Maybe not. But it’s the efort that counts. ND-ND
FROM PAGE ONE
SC: What’s the big deal in advancing Budget? The court adjourned the hearing till Friday next, giving Mr. Sharma an opportunity to research his case and tidy up his arguments. The court had recently refused to grant an urgent hearing in the case, saying that it would come up for hearing in due course.
The petition has also sought a direction to strip the BJP of its ‘lotus’ party symbol on the ground that it violated the model code of conduct by presenting the Budget after the declaration of the dates for the Assembly elections in the five States.
PAC not to summon Prime Minister According to the MP, Mr. Somaiyya also objected to Mr. Thomas talking of summoning oicials of the Finance Ministry with just days to go for the presentation of the Union Budget. Senior BJP MPs Bhupendra Yadav and Nishikant Dubey also raised objections on the same lines. In response, Mr. Thomas reportedly said that he had meant that if there was consensus in the committee then it could summon the Prime Minister. He also asked ruling party MPs to be cautious about attempts to “kill the institution” of the PAC. As things got heated up, Bhratruhari Mahtab of the BJD and P. Venugopal of the AIADMK intervened and said the committee should just clarify the rules on the issue and issue a press release. This was agreed to by all sides, a source said. Referring to the Speaker’s directions related to
the rules overseeing financial committees and those concerning calling Prime Minister/Ministers, the committee said in a release, “Ministers shall not be called before the Committee either to give evidence or consultation in connection with the examination of estimates of accounts.” Opposition parties continued to claim victory on account of the second part of the clarification that states, “however, [the] chairperson, when [it is] considered necessary but after its [committee’s] deliberations are concluded, may have an informal interaction with the Minister.” According to one Opposition MP present at Friday’s meeting, “the chairperson’s position has been validated, whereas earlier Mr. Thomas spoke of a unanimous decision, here the chair was empowered to meet ministers on his/her own discretion.”
Demonetisation has hit Nepal hard: Envoy The envoy said Nepalis treated higher value Indian notes as the standard currency for saving purposes, and the sudden disappearance of the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes had caused hardships. Mr. Upadhyay said India had not shown adequate readiness to do the needful since the November 8 note ban. “It is already late because any remedial measure by India will require at least
three weeks to help the people and the government of Nepal, but still, they should try to address the concerns as it is afecting a very large part of Nepal as well as the government,” he said. The envoy said Nepal’s diiculties are far more extensive than some of the other countries, who have complained about the note ban impact on their diplomatic missions.
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
Modi mocked for imitating Gandhi’s pose PM invites wrath for his photo on KVIC calendar SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT NEW DELHI: Opposition parties,
including the Congress, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Janata Dal-United (JDU), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM), slammed and mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, asking him whether he thought he could replace the Father of the Nation. This comes in the wake of the Prime Minister’s photograph appearing in this year’s Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) calendar and diary, seated in the iconic pose associated with Mahatma Gandhi spinning khadi on the charkha. These parties also took the Modi government to task for defending the photograph: if
MHA report to PMO refutes BSF jawan’s complaint NEW DELHI: The Home Min-
istry said in a report to the Prime Minister’s Oice on Friday that it found no substance in a complaint by a BSF jawan that poor quality rations were given to security personnel posted along the border. The report asserted “there was no widespread discontent” over food. According to the report there was no shortage of rations at any post in the paramilitary forces and quality check was being conducted regularly. Fresh guidelines issued A video by BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav complaining about the quality of food had gone viral, triggering a flurry of reactions, with the PMO seeking a detailed report. The BSF has also come out with fresh guidelines to maintain quality of food for its personnel. The PMO has been told that “there is no discontent over food in any paramilitary force.” — PTI
an oicial press release said that in the past too, there have been years in which Gandhi’s photograph has not appeared in the KVIC calendar, KVIC chairman V.K. Saxena said there is “no rule or tradition” that only Mahatma Gandhi's picture can be published on these items. Gandhi can’t be replaced Responding to these comments, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi pointed out that while that might be true, with pictures just of the charkha or ordinary people occasionally gracing KVIC calendars, “Gandhi’s photo had never in the past been replaced by a photo of the Prime Minister or President of the day.” Pointing out that “Gandhiji is too great to be replaced by any one,” he pointed out the irony of “a former RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) pracharak” replacing Gandhi on the KVIC calendar, given that it was “RSS ideology that had killed the Father of
Tyagi, too, commented on the issue, stressing it was a “big shame” that Gandhi’s picture has been removed from the KVIC calendar in a year when the country was celebrating the centenary anniversary of his first Satyagraha movement in Champaran in Bihar. He demanded that the KVIC chairman should be sacked for the “tuglakhi” decision.
Supporters of the Nationalist Congress Party stage a protest in Mumbai on Friday against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo on the calendar. — PHOTO: VIVEK BENDRE the Nation”. “Modiji first likened himself to Sardar Patel, now he considers himself to be Gandhiji. Because he (Modi) has criticised this one person, Modiji has not likened himself to him — that is Nehruji”. “The Mangalayaan efect,”
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tweeted, a reference to Mr. Modi seeking to take credit for the promotion of khadi just as he had done after India’s spacecraft Mangalayaan landed on Mars. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also
EC reserves its order on Samajwadi symbol SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Friday reserved its order on the Samajwadi Party symbol dispute following an over four-hour-long hearing of the two factions. Mulayam Singh said there was no split in the party and so, the Commission lacked the jurisdiction to decide on the issue, while the Akhilesh group argued that the majority in the party’s organisational and legislative structures was with the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. Represented by senior lawyers Rajeev Dhavan and Kapil Sibal, the Akhilesh faction submitted that whichever group had the numerical majority would have the party symbol, as also upheld by the Supreme Court, and that the Chief Minister had the support of a majority of the party’s legislators and delegates. Speaking to the media, after the hearing concluded,
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh leaving for the Election Commission in New Delhi on Friday. — PHOTO: V. SUDERSHAN Mr. Dhavan said neither side argued about, or wanted, freezing of the symbol. The Akhilesh faction has urged the EC to settle the issue at the earliest, as the nomination process in Uttar Pradesh starts on January 17. The Commission may issue an interim order in case the matter is not decided soon. Post-lunch, the Commission heard the arguments of Mr. Mulayam Singh, who was
present along with his brother Shivpal Yadav, and represented by senior advocate and former Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran. Mr. Parasaran argued that the Election Commission lacked jurisdiction to allocate the symbol to one of the factions as there was no split in the party such as SP (Mulayam) and SP (Akhilesh) and there was no splinter group.
plunged in, tweeting, “The great symbol of ‘charkha’ [wheel] and Mahatma Gandhi now gets replaced by Modi Babu. In the calendar… of Khadi (KVIC) 2017, Modi replaced Mahatma Gandhiji. Gandhiji is the Father of the Nation. Modiji what???” JD(U) spokesperson K.C.
‘Stature of PM’ Aam Aadmi Party leader Dilip Pandey said, “It won't be surprising if Gandhi’s image is replaced with that of Modi’s on currency notes. The whole thing… brings down the stature of a prime minister... He has reduced himself to a megalomaniac.” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted, “As we enter the 70th year of the Mahatma's assassination by a fanatic, Modi replaces the Mahatma’s image on a calendar. #SpinningYarns”, while quoting a Tushar Gandhi tweet on someone stealing Gandhi’s charkha.
AI software purchase under CBI scanner SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against unknown oicials of Air India, German company SAP AG and IBM, for alleged irregularities in the purchase of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software worth ₨225 crore for the national carrier in 2011. The case was filed following a recommendation by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), which found “serious procedural and other irregularities in the procurement as well as the amount paid and the extent of services rendered.” The CVC has asked the agency to determine whether any undue benefit had been caused to SAP and IBM, and whether any of the persons who dealt with the issue in IBM and other concerned got any financial or other benefit. The issue of alleged irregularities in validation of the product by the Directorate General of Supplies and Dis-
CVC found “serious procedural and other irregularities” in purchase order worth ₨225 crore posal (DGS&D) will also be probed. In the self-contained note, the CVC said it received a complaint alleging irregularities in the tendering procedure for procurement of the software by Air India. The airline found that it had selected the software, the largest ERP provider in the world, without justifying the need, since there was already an ERP of Oracle in place. It was alleged that the said Oracle system had some diiculties, but no eforts have apparently been made to either address them or upgrade the existing system, nor was there any efort to opt for an open tender system for the new ERP. Instead, the contract was awarded to SAP and IBM on nomination basis, it is alleged.
We reserve right to retaliate Kandahar Governor to on Pak. actions: Army chief be be treated in India SC stays deportation DINAKAR PERI NEW DELHI: Army chief Bipin Rawat on Friday said India awaited Pakistan’s response on maintaining peace in Jammu and Kashmir but cautioned that in case “they act wrongly, we reserve the right to retaliate.” Blaming Pakistan for disturbing the secular fabric of the country through continued proxy war, Gen. Rawat said the Army was willing to go the extra mile to ensure safety of people and their properties. “We should see that Jammu & Kashmir reverses to pre-1989 with everyone there living in harmony,” he observed at his first media interaction. To ensure peace and tranquillity on the border, Gen. Rawat said, “We are making this ofer of peace to the adversary.”
‘It’s for women to take call on combat role’ NEW DELHI: Women are unlikely to be inducted into combat units any time soon if one were to go by the statement of Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat. Speaking on Friday, Gen. Rawat said it was for women to decide if they could play an equal
On comments by Eastern Army Commander Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi that there was a conspiracy to prevent him from becoming Army chief, Gen. Rawat said if he [Lt. Gen. Bakshi] puts forward his concerns they would be looked into.
role in the tasks that are necessitated. “If women are willing to move out in that environment… It is for women themselves to take the call… ,” he said, adding that once women take a decision, the issue can be addressed. — Special Correspondent “We have reached out to each other...If there is anything that needs to be investigated, if it is brought to my notice, we will look into it,” Gen. Rawat stated. He added: “Lt. Gen. Bakshi has been supportive of me and I will be supportive of him.”
KALLOL BHATTACHERJEE NEW DELHI: India has airlifted a prominent Afghan oicial for treatment after he was seriously injured in a Taliban attack on January 10 that killed 11 persons, including five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates. Oicial sources told The Hindu that the governor of Kandahar, Dr. Humayun Azizi, was evacuated to India following the attack which targeted his oicial residence where he was meeting a high-level delegation from the UAE that included the Ambassador of UAE to Afghanistan. Mr. Azizi who was appointed to his post in 2015, is at present undergoing treatment at an undisclosed location in India. According to Afghan media reports, Mr. Azizi, who sufered burn in-
juries in the attack, was in a stable condition. India had condemned the attack as “dastardly” and “heinous” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pledged support to President Ashraf Ghani to counter terror strikes from Taliban. “This dastardly terrorist attack is all the more condemnable as the UAE ambassador was in Kandahar on a humanitarian mission to lay foundation stone for the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan centre for orphans,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of External Afairs on Thursday. India has provided medical support to a number of terror-attack victims from conflict zones in recent years. Soldiers from Iraq fighting the IS in Mosul have been receiving treatment in a prominent hospital in Delhi.
of Sudanese students Khehar said. Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the students, said they faced threat of persecution if they are sent back to Sudan which is facing a civil war.
LEGAL CORRESPONDENT NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the deportation of two Sudanese students, lodged at a detention centre here, back to their strife-torn homeland for violating visa guidelines. A Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, however, took strong exception to the way the two foreign nationals had violated local laws by “vanishing without giving addresses.” Amir Ahmed and Khames Ahmed, studying in Benglaluru for almost three years, were required to intimate the authorities in advance if they proposed to leave the Karnataka capital. They are presently lodged at Lampur detention centre here and are on the verge of
being deported to Sudan. “In our country, you do not listen to the law. We are asked to listen to more of those who do not listen to our law. We are accommodating them and they cannot breach the rules. They must stay at a fixed place. You [lawyer] just close your eyes and think if somebody does the same in the US, what will happen?” Chief Justice
Centre’s response sought The Bench sought a response from the Centre, represented by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh and fixed the plea for further hearing on January 20. The court reflected how tough it is to get the criminals, who are Indian citizens, deported from of-shore destinations. “We ask for our criminals in other countries and they don't even return them. Why should we be so magnanimous when they don’t bother?” Chief Justice Khehar observed orally.
From success stories to politics, New Year calendars say it all in the Valley Zakir Naik’s NGO moves HC against ban J&K Bank, Hurriyat and Association of Persons of Disappeared Persons have essayed various issues relevant to Jammu and Kashmir PEERZADA ASHIQ SRINAGAR: New Year
UP IN ARMS: Protesters burn Jammu and Kashmir Bank calendar in Srinagar on Friday. — PHOTO: NISSAR AHMAD CM YK
calendars have taken political centre stage in Kashmir Valley. While J&K Bank showcases successful youth, Association of Persons of Disappeared People (APDP) features missing persons and the Hurriyat focuses on the historic Jamia Masjid. State Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu described the J&K Bank calendar as “a move towards social upliftment.” “The bank calendar has wide reach in J&K. In a departure from the past, it focused on real life
situation of youth. This is a good move,” said Mr. Drabu. However, separatist supporters accused the bank of attempting to “mainstream the Kashmiri youth.” Pictures of netizens setting the calendar on fire went viral on social media. “I am glad that I refused to be a part of the calendar that has already courted so many controversies. A Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) qualifier becomes an icon when he really has public service to his credit,” wrote Ruveda Salam, Assistant Commissioner, Ministry of Finance.
The APDP, a body of relatives of missing persons, featured 12 youth who allegedly went missing in the security forces’ custody in the past 27 years. More than 7,000 youth allegedly went missing since 1989. “We have featured 12 missing youth. This is an attempt to reiterate our demand that the government should let us know about their whereabouts. We do not need any compensation but want to know what happened to our boys. If they are dead where are their graves, if they are alive where are they right
now,” said APDP chairperson Parveena Ahangar, whose son also went missing in 1990 from Srinagar’s Batamaloo area. Hurriyat faction chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s parent organisation Awami Action Committee (AAC) highlighted the centre of their politics: Srinagar’s traditional Jamia Masjid. “The mosque remained under siege most of the time in 2016. We were disallowed even Friday prayers. The calendar stresses the centrality of the mosque to the politics of Kashmir,” said the Mirwaiz.
AKANKSHA JAIN NEW DELHI: Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) on Friday moved the Delhi High Court challenging the immediate ban put on it by a Centre’s notification under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The IRF challenged the notification issued in November declaring it an “unlawful association” and banning it with immediate efect. It said the notification did not give any reasons and the decision was taken without any material to show any illegal activity. In a petition before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva the NGO
objected to the ban order being promulgated with immediate efect. The Centre, however, said it was “pushed” to impose immediate ban on IRF. “Youths were being radicalised. Many were in the queue for joining the Islamic State. There was probability of many youths becoming terrorists. What could have been a more urgent situation for a nation? Should we have waited for pralay [catastrophe],” Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain submitted. He also referred to five FIRs against IRF and Mr. Naik, one of which was based on a complaint from the father of a missing Kerala youth. ND-ND
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
BRIEFLY Punjab Congress replaces nominees CHANDIGARH: The Congress on
Friday released its fourth list of 10 candidates for the coming Punjab Assembly elections, replacing two of its earlier nominees. The party also announced its candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha bypoll. Punjab Congress president Capt. Amarinder Singh said the remaining tickets would also be announced at the earliest, reiterating the party’s commitment to choosing winnable candidates over other considerations and sticking to the one-familyone-ticket rule. The party has announced a total of 108 candidates for election to the 117-member Assembly. — Special Correspondent
Restrictions on jail visits ahead of polls CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Home department has issued instructions banning mulaqaats (meetings) with prisoners in all central, district and sub-jails in the State, three days prior to the polling date on February 4. The decision follows a meeting of senior State government officials with officials of the the Election Commission (EC) here, on Thursday evening. Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K.B.S. Sidhu on Friday said February 4, having been already declared a holiday for polling, would also be covered by this ban. “In case of any emergency, “mulaqaat” shall be permitted only with the prior approval of Additional Director General of Police (Prisons),” he said. — Special Correspondent
SYL is not a poll issue: Haryana CM ROHTAK (HARYANA): Haryana
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said the poll campaign in Punjab is the party’s prerogative and whoever is entrusted with this responsibility would fulfill it with complete honesty and hard work. The issue of Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal is not a poll issue and Haryana has presented its case by clarifying its stand, he said. The CM said this during a crafts exhibition as part of the 21st National Youth Festival-2017. About 5,000 artisans from different States are showcasing their talent in the festival. Notably, INLD had submitted an MoU to the Governor demanding dismissal of the Khattar government for its alleged failure in performing the constitutional responsibility. —PTI
‘Uttarakhand will lose if rebels win’ State will face instability if 10 MLAs who rebelled against him are re-elected, says Harish Rawat Having survived the political crisis sparked by the ‘rebellion’ of 10 Congress MLAs last year, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat tells Kavita Upadhyay that he has worked under very diicult circumstances over the past two years to help the State recover from the devastating 2013 floods.
What do you have to say about the 10 MLAs who rebelled against you, last year, and joined the BJP? I have no malice against anyone, but the truth is that if the 10 turncoats win, then Uttarakhand will lose. Their victory would mean instability for Uttarakhand politics for the next five to 10 years. If they win, it would mean that the public accepts the kind of politicians who,
if they are unhappy with the functioning of their party, rebel against it and join some other party, even if this leads to the imposition of President’s Rule. However, if they lose, then Uttarakhand will win. Hence, it is imperative that they must lose. I think the people of Uttarakhand also understand this.
Is the pre-poll situation in Uttarakhand a repeat of what it was during the President’s Rule? Does it continue to be Harish Rawat versus the BJP’s central leadership? It is the BJP and not the Congress that practises the politics of personal animosity. Our struggle is only towards achieving a better Uttarakhand.
The BJP has been raising allegations that your government was playing into the hands of sand mining, liquor and land mafia. You are also under
LUCKNOW: Since the imposition of the Model Code of Conduct in Uttar Pradesh on January 4, the State police has seized more than 1,750 illegal weapons, 39 crude bombs and 1,800 cartridges, and shut down 40 small factories manufacturing these banned items across the State. The single biggest haul came in the communallysensitive western U.P.’s Shamli district adjoining Muzafarnagar, on Thursday night, when police seized 203 illegal weapons (123 guns and 80 pistols) and 500 semiformed country-made pistols, and busted three factories manufacturing them. The police encountered a gang of arms suppliers near Gandarmau and arrested one of them; six escaped. “What the accused has told us is that they prepared the arms keeping in mind the
As the Uttarakhand Chief Minister for the past two years, did you get enough time to accomplish your goals for the State? No. I had to work under extremely diicult circumstances. When I took the oath of oice of Chief Minister in February, 2014, I had the task of getting the State out of the 2013 disaster [Torrential rains in June 2013 set of landslides and floods in the State, killing at least 5,000 persons including tourists]. Later, in March, 2016, I had to battle the political instability that had risen due to the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand. If the people of Uttarakhand want to see my true potential, then they must give me five more years.
BIGGEST HAUL: Police seized 203 illegal weapons in the sensitive western U.P.’s Shamli district adjoining Muzaffarnagar on Thursday. — PHOTO: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT elections. They were expecting a lot of demand. We are not ruling out the gang’s links to the recent political firing [on a BJP leader in Ghaziabad],” Shamli Superintendent of Police (SP) Ajay Pal Sharma told The Hindu. The Shamli Police’s oicial Twitter handle also
CHANDIGARH: Aam Aadmi Party
BJP Panaji candidate Siddharth Kuncolienkar with Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, before filing nomination papers in Panjim on Friday. — PHOTO: PTI
Parrikar ducks question on CM
All the allegations of corruption being raised against me are false and baseless. In fact, the people who were involved in all the corrupt activities of illegal sand mining, etc, are [the turncoats, who are now] in the BJP.
PANAJI: A day after Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said a Central leader could be appointed Chief Minister if the BJP wins the upcoming Assembly elections in Goa, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar evaded questions on the subject. Asked if he was likely to return to State politics, Mr. Parrikar, a former Chief Minister, said one could cross the bridge when one came to it. “I can only say that let us cross the bridge when it comes. Gadkariji said what we (the party) wanted to say,” Mr. Parrikar said here on Friday. Ever since he gave up the Chief Ministership and went to Delhi to take charge of the Defence Ministry in 2014, the
the CBI scanner for an alleged case of horse-trading of MLAs.
How did the Congress perform in the current term [March 2012- January 2017]? I can only speak about my [two-year] term…. People had only one expectation from us — that we help the State recuperate from the impact of the June 2013 disaster... and we managed the task well.
How important is it for the Congress to win the polls in Uttarakhand? For the sustenance of democracy, it is important that the Congress must win…. In the year 2002, the Congress’ revival at the Centre had begun with its victory in Uttarakhand. This time too, the party’s path to victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls will begin with our victory in Uttarakhand.
What are the issues that the Congress will focus on during the poll campaign? Our poll campaign is around the theme of development — Satat Vikas ka Sankalp (a promise towards sustainable development). While our fight is also for protecting democracy, which the BJP tried to murder last year, the main issue for the Congress
Illegal weapons seized across U.P.
SAD, BJP, Cong. colluding against AAP: Kejriwal
Opposition has accused Mr. Parrikar of spending more time in Goa, indulging in State politics, than in Delhi. The Opposition has also often dubbed Mr. Parrikar as ‘Super CM’ and his successor Mr. Laxmikant Parsekar a “puppet CM”. Defends Goa visits He has defended his Goa visits saying he has political roots in his home State.On Thursday, Mr. Gadkari, the BJP election in-charge of Goa, in presence of Chief Minister Parsekar said at a press conference that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah had told him that the party could appoint a Goan Central leader as a non-MLA Chief Minister if need be after the February 4 elections.
(AAP) national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that the ensuing Assembly elections in Punjab is between the AAP and the SAD-BJP-Congress combine, as “Badals” have colluded with Capt. Amarinder Singh to stop the AAP from coming into power. “I can see a tsunami in favour of the AAP, which cannot be stopped by such collusion between Akalis and Congress”, he said in Jalandhar. Mr. Kejriwal said time is ripe for Punjabis for bringing a political change in the State for the future of their wards and to end the nexus between “Badals and Amarinder”, who have tacit understanding to contest Punjab Assembly polls. “Recently, Manish Sisodia said that Kejriwal himself will ensure fulfilment of all promises made by the AAP. The Akalis and the Congress started making a hue and cry, so as that I will be the next Chief Minister.. It seems that these parties are having a Kejriwal phobia and fear me,” he said. Mr. Kejriwal reiterated that he would not be the Chief Minister of Punjab as being propagated by the SAD and the Congress. Mr. Kejriwal said that his first priority would be to eradicate drugs and cut the supply of narcotics within a month.
linked it to the polls. “Big destruction could have been caused during elections,” it tweeted. The police also recovered two cars from the gang. Similar recoveries of illegal weapons have been made over the past week in Etah, Muzafarnagar, Am-
roha and Allahabad. Apart from weapons, since January 4, the police and flying squads have seized more than ₨31.6 crore in cash and ₨87 crore in foreign currency (of 14 nations) across Uttar Pradesh. The recovery of illegal liquor, a common item distributed during elections to woo voters, was also high: 36,491 litres. During its operations, the police also recovered more than 4 kg gold, 104 kg silver, 44 silver coins and 372 mobile phones. The Additional Director General (ADG) Law and Order Daljeet Singh said the seizures of arms, cash and liquor are “unprecedented” when compared to trends in the previous elections. For the first time, the Uttar Pradesh police is also maintaining vigil and addressing complaints of violation of the election code on social media.
has always been that of development.
In the past few months while the BJP organised several election rallies addressed by central leaders, the Congress has organised only one Rahul Gandhi rally. Why is that? Our workers are striving hard. Besides, I have faith in my work and I have faith in the people of my State. They [the people] are with me, I believe.
Were you sitting on fast in New Delhi, on January 5, to protest against the Bhagirathi Eco-sensitive Zone (ESZ) notification, or for hydropower projects to come up in the Bhagirathi Valley? A very wrong impression is being created that I was on fast for hydropower projects. The protest was against the Centre’s injustice towards Uttarakhand. We had submitted a Zonal Master Plan (ZMP) to the Centre so that few developmental activities, which the Centre has allowed in the ESZ notifications of States including Himachal Pradesh, can progress in the Bhagirathi Valley too. However, the Centre rejected our ZMP outright. The protest was to ask the Centre to reconsider the ZMP so that developmental activities can take place in the Valley.
Secular parties failed to stop Modi: Owaisi STAFF REPORTER MEERUT: All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Mulsimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday hit out at the “brigade of secular parties” for calling him communal and said that “had they been sincere, Narendra Modi would not have become the Prime Minister”. “Had you been competent, and had you wanted and had you had some planning then the BJP would not have got so many seats. But you were only bothered about power,” he said. While addressing people in Kairana which was in controversy due to alleged forced exodus, he alleged that more than 12,000 major and minor communal incidents took place during Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s tenure.
In parents’ footsteps, son to rise in Manipur CM father paves way for leadership succession IBOYAIMA LAITHANGBAM IMPHAL: A son is set to rise in the politics of poll-bound Manipur, following in the footsteps of his parents. Manipur’s Congress Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has paved the way for his only son Okram Surjakumar (29), to take a possible leadership position. The district unit of the Congress in the Khangabok Assembly constituency has declared the London-educated, polo-playing ‘scion’ as the party candidate in place of Okram Landhoni, his mother and sitting MLA. Ms. Landhoni, who is known to have entered the fray reluctantly a decade ago, had won the election to the Assembly twice from the Khangabok constituency. Khangabok used to be Mr. Ibobi’s home constituency. Ten years ago he moved to Thoubal, leaving Khangabok to his wife. In Thoubal some politicians had objected to his candidature, terming him an “outsider”. However he won the election with a comfortable margin. In the case of some politicians who tried their electoral luck in constituencies other than their home constituencies, voters did not even permit them to enter the constituency for electioneering. Mr. Ibobi Singh is the first Chief Minister of Manipur to complete a five-year term and has been in oice for three consecutive terms. He was first elected to the State Assembly in 1985. In the last elections some insurgent groups had “banned” the Congress and the party’s candidates could not do electioneering for security concerns. Mr. Ibobi Singh, who has Z-plus security cover, decided not to go to his constituency for routine electioneering. He said he was more concerned about the safety of the voters who would be
‘It is in accordance with the wishes of the party and people that I am joining electoral politics’ made accountable for challenging the boycott call. Mr. Surjakumar graduated in economics in 2008 from London. He stayed back there for a year to work in a private company. Then, after a period of stay in Delhi in 2010, he returned to Manipur in time for the 2012 election campaign. He said his dream is to establish a number of residential schools so “students would not miss classes even during the frequent strikes and blockades” in the State. Evidently seeking to preempt any criticism of his dynastic-style entry into politics, Mr. Surjakumar said: “I have been a loyal soldier of the Congress and it is in accordance with the wishes of the party and people that I am joining electoral politics.” Mr. Ibobi’s nephew Okram Henry is also likely to contest from the Wangkhei constituency. Elections to the 60-member Manipur Assembly are scheduled to be held from March 4 to 8.
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
‘U.S. worried over Pak. missiles’ Obama’s decision to impose trade curbs on Pakistan entities came out of missile concerns VARGHESE K. GEORGE WASHINGTON: The U.S. is in-
creasingly worried over the rising range and variety of Pakistan’s missile capability and that the recent decision of the Obama administration to impose trade restrictions on seven Pakistan entities came out of this concern, a source familiar with the developments told The Hindu. The oicial announcement of the decision did not detail the reasons, but said there was “reasonable cause to believe, based on specific and articulable facts”, that these entities “have been involved in actions contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States”. All the entities are linked to Pakistan’s missile programme. With the addition of these seven, there are 47 Pakistani entities that are under strict watch of U.S. agencies. What has triggered the alarm bells in Washington is Shaheen-III, which has a range of 2,750 km. Pakistan has oicially explained its longest-range missile to date, tested for the first time in 2015, as a capability to strike the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the farthest Indian territory from its shores. But the missile also has Israel in its range, along with several European countries — something that the U.S. strategic community finds unnerving. The entities put under trade restrictions by the U.S. include the Islamabad-based National Engineering and Scientific Commission, and its subsidiaries, Air Weapons Complex, Maritime Technology Complex and New Auto Engineering. Speaking at an event on nuclear security, Vice-President Joe Biden alluded to this concern on Wednesday. “Not just North Korea, but Russia, Pakistan and others have made counterproduct-
U.S. concerned over missing Pakistani activists ISLAMABAD: The United States
has expressed concern over the disappearance of five Pakistani anti-Taliban activists and bloggers who mysteriously went missing last week. State Department spokesman Mark Toner’s remarks on Thursday came after Pakistan’s interior ministry asked police to step up efforts to find the missing men, who include Salman Haider, a university professor and rights activist. No leads so far No militant group has so far claimed abducting the activists and no government department or intelligence agency has said it detained or arrested any one of the five. Activists rallied against the disappearances in the city of Karachi late on Thursday. — AP
RABAT: Morocco’s ban on the
sale and production of burqa full-face Muslim veils beloved of Salafists has sharply divided opinions in the North African country. “The burqa is not an item of clothing just like any other... it’s an instrument of oppression, a horrific negation of women, an insult to half of humanity,” according to award-winning FrenchMoroccan novelist Leila Slimani. Ms. Slimani, in an opinion piece on news website Le360, said the burqa ban signalled that Morocco was moving “towards greater equality between the sexes”. Another vocal supporter, Nouzha Skalli, a lawmaker and former family and social development minister, said the ban constituted “an important step in the battle against religious extremism”. While there has been no oicial announcement, me-
DIVISIVE MOVE: A Moroccan woman wearing a burqa walking in front the jail of Sale, near Rabat. — PHOTO: AFP dia reports said the interior ministry order banning the burqa would take efect this week. “We have taken the step of completely banning the import, manufacture and marketing of this garment in all the cities and towns of the kingdom,” Le360 quoted a high-ranking interior ministry oicial as saying. Interior ministry oicials
called a “flagrant” attack. Explosions were heard in the capital, and residents in the southwest suburbs saw a large plume of smoke rising from the area, while video footage downloaded on social media showed flames leaping from parts of Mezzah military airport’s compound. Israel neither confirmed nor denied involvement in these strikes. — Reuters
Thailand set to amend Constitution BANGKOK: Thailand’s military-
ruled legislature on Friday approved constitutional changes desired by the newly enthroned king that would reserve more powers for him. One change made by the National Legislative Assembly allows King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun to decide whether or not to appoint a regent when he travels outside the country. Vajiralongkorn traveled frequently to Germany, CM YK
where he maintains a residence, before becoming king in December. The constitution previously stated that if no regent was appointed, the head of the Privy Council the king’s advisory body would become regent. The amendment effectively keeps royal power in the hands of the king or a trusted confidante when he is abroad. The government said the changes solely concern royal powers. — AFP
on Monday started carrying out “awareness-raising campaigns with traders to inform them of this new decision,” said another website, Media 24. Le360 said the measure appeared to be motivated by security concerns, “since bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crimes.”
Most women in Morocco, whose King Mohammed VI favours a moderate version of Islam, prefer the hijab headscarf that does not cover the face. The niqab, which leaves the area around the eyes uncovered, is also worn in Salafist circles and in more conservative regions in the north, from where thousands of jihadists have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq. Writers and intellectuals have condemned the burqa ban. “No authority in the world has the right to impose a dress code on a woman or a man for their everyday life,” wrote columnist Abdellah Tourabi, in a view widely shared on social media in Morocco. Is the burqa foreign to Moroccan culture? he asked. Sure, but “slim jeans were not the apparel of the sultans and our grandmothers were not crazy about Victoria's Secret bras”, Mr. Tourabi said. — AFP
FINAL HONOUR: U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Vice-President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington on Thursday. — PHOTO: REUTERS
U.S. ends special treatment for Cuban migrants JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS FRANCES ROBLES WASHINGTON: President
Barack Obama said Thursday that he was terminating the 22-yearold policy that has allowed Cubans who arrived on United States soil without visas to remain in the country and gain legal residency, an unexpected move long sought by the Cuban government. “Efective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for
humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with U.S. law and enforcement priorities,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “By taking this step, we are treating Cuban migrants the same way we treat migrants from other countries.” The move places a finishing touch on Mr. Obama’s eforts as President to end a halfcentury of hostility between the U,S, and Cuba and to establish normalized relations and diplomatic ties with a government U.S.
presidents have long sought to isolate. The action came through a new Department of Homeland Security regulation and a deal with the Cuban government. “What we have agreed to is that the past is past, and the future will be diferent,” said Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security secretary. “This is us repealing a policy unique to Cuba given the nature of the relationship 20 years ago, which is very diferent right now.” — New York Times News Service
Two-state solution ‘only way’ to Israeli-Palestinian peace JERUSALEM: In a strong mes-
sage to Israel and the incoming Trump administration, dozens of countries are expected this weekend to reiterate their opposition to Israeli settlements and call for the establishment of a Palestinian state as “the only way” to ensure peace in the region. France is hosting more than 70 countries on Sunday at a West Asia peace summit, in what will be a final chance for the Obama administration to lay out its positions for the region. According to a draft statement obtained by The Associated Press on Friday, the conference will urge Israel and the Palestinians “to oicially restate their commitment to the two-state solution”. It also will airm that the international community “will not recognise” changes to Israel’s pre-1967 lines
The summit in Paris this weekend will ask both sides to restate their commitment to two-state solution without agreement by both sides. The draft says that participants will airm “that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace”. Israel has settled some 600,000 of its citizens in the West Bank and east Jerusalem occupied territories claimed by the Palestinians for a future independent State. Israel captured both areas in the 1967 war. The summit comes on the heels of a U.N. Security Council resolution last month that condemned the
settlements as illegal. The resolution passed 14—0 after the U.S. declined to use its traditional veto power and instead abstained. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out a return to the 1967 lines, and many members of his nationalist coalition oppose Palestinian independence and support expanded settlements. Mr. Netanyahu has rejected the U.N. resolution and accuses the Obama administration of conspiring behind Israel’s back. Israel has refused to participate in the French conference. The Palestinians, who also are not invited to this weekend’s conference, have welcomed the French initiative. In recent years, they have campaigned for the international community to assume a greater role in resolving the conflict. —AP
Amid Shariat experiment, Indonesia’s secular face slips JON EMONT
command said on Friday that Israeli artillery fired rockets at a major military airbase outside Damascus, and warned Israel of repercussions for what it
Trump’s policy The incoming administration will continue with the existing U.S. policies towards India, Pakistan and Asia in general, Defence Secretary-designate James Mattis indicated during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Forces Committee. He complemented Pakistan for its action against terror groups that operate within the country, adding he would push for more effective targeting of groups that attack neighbouring countries. This is in line with the Obama administration’s eforts in the region. Mr. Mattis said he “hesitates to use phrases such as ‘rebalance’ or ‘pivot’ as they imply that we are turning away from our commitments elsewhere,” but added that “China’s behaviour has led countries in the region to look for stronger U.S. leadership. If confirmed, I will examine ways to strengthen our allies and partners, while taking a careful look at our own military capabilities in the region”. He also pledged to continue with the Obama policy of enhancing a long-term strategic relationship with India “based on the convergence of our interests and our shared democratic values”. “I note that the United States and India recently cemented India’s status as a major defence partner. If confirmed, I would assess what particular areas in the bilateral security relationship I should focus on, and what steps can be taken to bolster the overall defence relationship.”
Morocco bans production, sale of burqa
Israel fired rockets at airbase: Syria
AMMAN: The Syrian army
ive moves that only increase the risk that nuclear weapons could be used in a regional conflict in Europe, South Asia or East Asia. Working with Congress, the next administration will have to navigate these dangers.”
BANDA ACEH (INDONESIA): Things were hopping at Redinesh Cofee Roastery in this seaside city one recent evening. Electronic dance music blared from the cafe’s speakers as patrons, some in ripped jeans and fashionable spectacles, sat outside drinking locally sourced cofee and smoking cigarettes. But then the Muslim call to prayer sounded, and a waitress hurriedly ushered everyone back into the cafe. She turned down the music, closed the doors and covered the windows. It was the Maghrib — the second to last of the five daily calls to prayer — and outdoor socialising had to cease. Aceh province, on the northern tip of Sumatra island, stands alone in having formally established Shariat law in Indonesia, a Muslimmajority country with a relatively secular Constitution. In Aceh, women are required to dress modestly, alcohol is prohibited, and numerous ofences — from adultery to homosexuality to selling al-
cohol — are punishable by public whipping. Aceh began its experiment with Shariat in 2001, after receiving special authorisation from Indonesia’s central government, which was intent on calming separatist sentiment in the deeply conservative region. Now, Shariat police oicers roam the province, raiding everything from hotel rooms to beaches in a hunt for immoral activity. Conservative direction In the decade and a half since, Indonesia as a whole has drifted in a conservative direction, and Aceh, once an outlier, has become a model for other regions of the country seeking to impose their own Shariat-based ordinances, alarming those who worry about the nation’s drift from secularism. “Whenever Aceh issues a law, saying it’s the highest order of Shariat, it provokes others to do the same thing,” said Andy Yentriani, a former commissioner on Indonesia’s National Commission on Violence Against
was softer than that of the oft-maligned form in Saudi Arabia, because it welcomed alternative schools of Islamic thought and accepted the role of female leaders.
WORRYING TREND: A female member of the Shariat police force insists on inspecting the clothes of girls relaxing in a park in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. — FILE PHOTO: REUTERS Women, who wants the national government to repeal certain Shariat-based regulations as violations of the Indonesian Constitution. A recent study found that more than 442 Shariat-based ordinances have been passed throughout the nation since 1999, when Jakarta gave provinces and districts substantial powers to make their own laws. But for local oicials, the spread of Shariat from Aceh is a point of pride, and deleg-
ations from areas with a history of embracing conservative Islam regularly visit to see how it has been carried out. “They look at how we facilitate an atmosphere of religiosity,” said Syahrizal Abbas, head of Aceh’s Department of Shariat, who said he gives visiting delegations advice on how to incorporate Shariat teachings into law. Mr. Syahrizal, who is considered a moderate, said that Aceh’s version of Shariat
Zealous enforcer Indeed, Banda Aceh, the province’s capital, is led by Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal, the city’s first female mayor. Many activists for women’s rights say they supported her candidacy in hopes that she would be a progressive leader. Instead she has proved to be a zealous, hands-on enforcer of Aceh’s conservative moral code. Last February, Ms. Illiza, wearing a black headscarf, strode into the hall where Indonesian Model Hunt, a beauty competition, was under way, interrogating cowering models about the event as news cameras rolled. “Why aren’t you wearing a jilbab?” she asked one, referring to what Indonesians call a head scarf. Shariat police loaded the competition’s trophies into a bag and escorted models out of the
building. The imposition of Shariat came after Aceh’s decades-long struggle for independence with the central government ended in 2005. Scars remain from the war, as well as the after-efect of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people here in 2004. Today Aceh is one of Indonesia’s poorest provinces. In February, the Acehnese will go to the polls to select new leaders, but none of the candidates for mayor or governor are willing to challenge the primacy of Shariat law. Irwan Johan, a vice speaker for the Acehnese Provincial Legislature, said any real debate over Shariat was impossible, even though “a silent majority” thinks the government has gone too far. “They’re not brave enough to say anything,” he said about critics of Shariat. “Talk about issues of religion and you could be expelled, or be considered a person who isn’t really Acehnese. Everybody became a hypocrite.” — New York Times News Service ND-ND
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
The job is complex but I am sure Chandra will take the group to new heights
Ratan Tata, Interim Chairman, Tata Sons
Tour operators to be hit by new service tax norms
GOLD 27,238 27,247
RUPEE 29,450 29,250
Infosys cuts revenue outlook Company reduces upper end of full-year revenue growth forecast to 8.8%
Normalcy will return in 2-3 months: Gadkari
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT STAFF REPORTER NEW DELHI: Tour operators will
have to pay a service tax on 60 per cent of the amount they bill the customer from January 22, according to a government notification. Earlier, tour operators offering a package tour had to pay service tax on 25 per cent of the bill amount, on 10 per cent of the bill amount if the tour operator only arranged or booked accommodation for a person in relation to a tour, and on 40 per cent of the bill amount if any other tour-related services were ofered. “The government has changed the service tax applicable on tour operators,” Rajeev Dimri, Leader, Indirect Tax, BMR & Associates said. “With efect from January 22, 2017, tour operators would be required to pay service tax on 60 per cent of the total invoice value.” “The recent amendment, instead of clarifying the issue, creates more doubts for the industry, specially related to taxability of the stand-alone hotel booking transaction in the hands of tour operators,” Mr. Dimri said. “The tour and travel industry has been plagued with intense inquiries and investigations from service tax authorities with respect to services related to booking hotel accommodation.” “This amendment would be prejudicial to tour operators and may significantly impact the financial models of their business engaged in tour and travel booking,” he said. A tour operator is “any person engaged in the business of planning, scheduling, organising, arranging tours by any mode of transport, and includes any person engaged in the business of operating tours,” as per the rules.
BENGALURU: Infosys Ltd. cut the upper end of its full-year revenue growth forecast to 8.8% in constant currency terms as Indian software exporters brace for a more protectionist visa regime in the U.S., the industry’s largest market. India’s second-largest software services provider also reported net profit for the third-quarter ended December 31, 2016, rose 7% from a year earlier to ₨3,708 crore as Infosys shrugged of the impact of a major project cancellation that dented sales by about 1%. Revenue for the period climbed 8.6% to ₨17,273 crore, the Bengaluru-based company said in a statement on Friday. The Royal Bank of Scotland, one of Infosys’s top 10 clients, had scrapped a project due to the impact of Britain’s vote to exit the European Union.
Additional headwinds “Taking into account seasonal and other additional headwinds for the quarter, our Q3 revenue performance was broadly in line with our expectations,” said Vishal Sikka, CEO and MD, Infosys. “Despite the RBS impact of 1% our BFSI grew well. We expect there would be a shift in spending in the BFSI segment. It will move from more regulatory and cost-oriented to more innovation, technology and growth oriented. I am confident and very optimistic about the BFSI segment and our prospects,” said Mr. Sikka. In a seasonally weak quarter, Infosys’s profit grew 2.8% sequentially, while revenue declined by 0.2% from the preceding three-month period. On Thursday, India’s largest IT-services exporter
CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM: CEO Vishal Sikka at a press conference to announce the third quarter results. — PHOTO: G.R.N. SOMASHEKAR Tata Consultancy Services had announced a strong quarterly performance, beating market estimates with a 11% increase in net profit. Infosys revised its fullyear guidance for the third
time. While it raised the lower end of the revenue growth projection to 8.4%, it cut the upper bound. At the end of the second quarter, Infosys had projected revenue in the 12 months ending
March 2017 to expand at 8-9% in constant currency terms. IT industry body Nasscom had in November revised the industrywide growth forecast for the full year to 8-10%. “The company delivered in-line to better numbers for Q3,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note to clients. “But it has tweaked guidance, indicating a muted growth outlook for Q4.” At the end of December, the total number of employees was 1,99,763 people and the utilisation stood at 77.8%. “During the quarter, we added 77 clients and also added 2 clients in the $75 million plus revenue category, ” Chief Operating Oicer U. B. Pravin Rao said. Infosys shares fell 2.49% to ₨975.15 at the close of trade on the BSE.
‘Closely watching U.S. policy’ STAFF REPORTER BENGALURU: India’s secondlargest IT services provider Infosys is keeping a close watch on political developments in the U.S., with particular emphasis on the visa regulations that the new administration may introduce. Donald Trump, who is set to be sworn in as President on January 20, has already indicated that the government will introduce some changes in visa regulations and the immigration process. The U.S. is the largest market for India’s IT services majors including Infosys and its larger rival Tata Consultancy Servcies. For Infosys, the
North American market contributes about 62 per cent of its total revenue. Indian IT companies use short-term visas like the H1B to send its employees to the U.S. “In terms of the new administration, the President-elect himself is an entrepreneur and a business friendly and innovation-oriented person,” Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys told reporters. “So I expect that the policies of the administration are going to be friendly towards business and innovation.” Infosys, which recently conducted a survey among its customers, found no discernible pattern in their behaviour
with most customers waiting to see how any new regulations may pan out. “Of course, visa-related and immigration-related policies may change in the U.S.,” Mr. Sikka said. “We are in a watchful mode and need to wait and see how things will happen there,” he added. Asked whether tighter visa regulations and fee increases would impact Infosys, Mr. Sikka said,“It is not something that we are concerned about. We have quite a number of visas and also have increased our local hiring. Ultimately, regardless of the visa policies, the right thing to do is to have a lot of rich local talent.”
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT CHENNAI: India is going through a transition period post-demonetisation and normalcy will be restored in two to three months, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said. “Demonetisation was essential, though it is a tough one. But the gravity of problem has reduced. There are a lot of positive signs,” Mr. Gadkari said. “Within twothree months the situation will normalise,” he said at the pre-budget conclave organised by The Hindu Business Line and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). “We are marching towards a cashless economy and converting with the latest technology. Even now 10% of toll collection is digital and in the next three months this will go up to 50%,” he said. Banks are flush with deposits after the demonetisation, Mr. Gadkari said. “A reduction in interest rates would help everyone and in the coming months thrust would be given to lending at low interest rates.” To generate more employment, the Centre came out with ‘Housing for all 2022 mission’ and also announced interest incentives to boost low-cost housing, he said. The Centre accorded the highest priority for rural infrastructure and was working on ways to increase growth rates in agriculture and the rural economy and to increase employment potential, he said. “There is no doubt (that) India is the fastest-growing economy. In the present situation, there are a lot of problems faced by industries. This is a transition period. I think within the next two months, it will come to normal levels.”
FOR THE YOUTH : CEO Kenichi Ayukawa, left, at the unveiling of the IGNIS. — PHOTO: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA
Maruti unveils IGNIS hatchback for millennials SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT NEW DELHI: Maruti Suzuki, the
country’s largest carmaker, unveiled its premium urban compact vehicle IGNIS targeted at ‘millennials’, priced between ₨4.59 lakh and ₨7.8 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The carmaker, which is also among the oldest auto manufacturers in the country, introduced the new model at a concert featuring Swedish DJ Axwell as it looks to woo the youth, particularly those born after 1988. The company’s managing director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said Maruti Suzuki is ready to “demolish traditional categories and think afresh” to be ready for the future. “We are aware that the life and priorities of our customers are fast evolving. If we have to keep pace, we must demolish traditional categories and think afresh. Just like the customer is thinking,” he said. Stating that it is often asked if Maruti Suzuki is shifting focus from its core segments towards the premium category, Mr. Ayukawa said, “My response to this question is...the challenging spirit at Maruti Suzuki.
We have taken this challenge to create newer segments to fulfil the wishes of our customers.” The premium hatchback, IGNIS, will come in both petrol and diesel variants with the option of auto gear shift feature. While the petrol version will be powered by a 1.2 litre engine and priced between ₨4.59 lakh and ₨6.69 lakh, the diesel one will come with a 1.3 litre engine in the price range of ₨6.39 lakh to ₨7.8 lakh. (All prices are ex-showroom Delhi). With this price bracket, the car may face competition from Hyundai Grand i10, Mahindra KUV 100 and Maruti Suzuki’s own popular model Swift. “IGNIS is built on a new generation rigid platform embodying Suzuki Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) for occupant protection,” the company said, adding that it, along with its suppliers, had invested more than ₨950 crore towards development of the vehicle, which is 98.5% localised. The new model will be retailed through the company's premium retail chain Nexa. For safety, the car comes with dual airbags, seatbelts with pre-tensioner force limiter and ABS.
16 | SNIPPETS NITI Aayog to soon set up panel on poverty line NEW DELHI: NITI Aayog, the government’s premier think-tank, will soon
set up an expert committee to arrive at a new poverty line, according to an official. “We have said that we needed an expert committee to look at poverty line as most states are not much in sync with each other. We have not formed an expert committee yet but soon we will set up an expert committee to look at poverty line,” said a senior government official. Pursuant to the decision taken at the first meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 8, 2015, a Task Force on Elimination of Poverty in India was set up by NITI Aayog on March 16, 2015. — PTI
Omega Healthcare to raise headcount by 3,000 CHENNAI: Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt. Ltd., an offshore
provider of healthcare outsourcing services, plans to increase its headcount by 3,000 in the next 24 months.The Chennai-based firm has operating centres in Tiruchirapalli, Bengaluru, Chennai, Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh and Philippines employing more than 11,000 people. It provides services covering medical billing, coding and revenue cycle management verticals.“We have a major presence in Tamil Nadu with Chennai and Trichy operating centres accounting for 7,000 people,” said Gopi Natarajan, Co-founder and CEO, Omega Healthcare. “We are the largest providers of white collar jobs in Trichy.Our recent entry in Bhimavaram has also proved to be successful,” he said.— N Anand.
Intellect Design to raise ₨200 crore via rights issue CHENNAI: Arun Jain-led Intellect Design Arena Limited, a product
development company operating in the sphere of financial technology for banking, insurance and other financial services, will soon come out with a rights issue to raise ₨200 crore. The board of directors had given its approval. The company is set to initiate the process of securing SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) approval for the issue. According to S. Swaminathan, Chief Financial Officer, the firm was still working out the modalities of the rights issue and indicated that details could be out soon. The shareholders, he said, had given their consent to raise ₨300 crore. — K.T. Jagannathan
BSE to open ₨1,500 cr. IPO on Jan. 23, list on NSE NEW DELHI: Asia’s oldest bourse BSE will open its much-awaited ₨1,500
crore initial public offering (IPO) on January 23.The shares are expected to list on rival National Stock Exchange (NSE) on or around February 3.The IPO, which would open on January 23, closes on January 25, according to the Red Herring Prospectus (RHP) filed by BSE with markets regulator SEBI. The public offer of BSE will see sale of 1.54 crore shares by the existing shareholders through the offer for sale (OFS) route. This works out to close to 30 per cent of the total holding. Among the existing shareholders are Bajaj Holdings Investment, Caldwell India Holdings and Acacia Banyan Partners and Singapore Exchange. — PTI
RBI may cut repo rate by 25 bps in Feb.: HSBC MUMBAI: With uncertanity over implementation of GST, rising crude oil
prices and the challenging 4 per cent CPI in medium term, Reserve Bank may cut repo rate for the final time by a 25 basis points in the February policy, says a report. “We hold on to our expectation of a 25 basis points rate cut in February but caution that this would likely bring the easing cycle to an end, given the pressures in the horizon — implementation of the GST bill, rising oil prices, implementation of government employees housing allowance, and the challenging 4 per cent CPI target for the medium term,” HSBC said. RBI has set a target of achieving consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 5 per cent by the Q3 of FY ‘17 — PTI
Number of unemployed in India to climb: ILO Jobless numbers to increase to 18 million by 2018 SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT NEW DELHI: The number of unemployed people in India is expected to rise by 1 lakh in 2017 and another 2 lakh in 2018, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The ILO predicted that the number of jobless will increase from 17.7 million in 2016 to 18 million by 2018 even though the country’s unemployment rate is expected to go down from 3.5 per cent to 3.4 per cent in 2017. Globally, the ILO reckons that the number of jobless people will increase by 3.4 million in 2017, in its report on World Employment and Social Outlook for 2017 released late Thursday, with projections based on econometric modelling carried out in November 2016. The global unemployment rate is expected to rise modestly from 5.7 to 5.8 per cent in 2017 as the pace of labour force growth outstrips job creation. “Economic growth continues to disappoint and underperform – both in terms of levels and the degree of inclusion. This paints a worrisome picture for the global economy and its ability to
JOB LOSS: The rising number of people without employment paints a worrisome picture for the global economy — PHOTO: AP generate enough jobs, let alone quality jobs,” said ILO Director General Guy Ryder. Vulnerable forms Vulnerable forms of employment, which include contributing family workers and own account workers, are expected to stay above 42 per cent of total employment. About 1.4 billion people are likely to be engaged in such employment in 2017, with the number rising by 11 million per year, with Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa being the most affected. “In fact, almost one in two workers in emerging countries are in vulnerable forms
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT MUMBAI: The association rep-
resenting employees and officers of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has written to governor Urjit Patel to uphold the central bank’s autonomy amid allegations that government is undermining it. The union cited the example of the incident that a joint secretary of the finance ministry was man-
dated by the government to ‘co-ordinate RBI cash operations’, which it described as ‘most unfortunate’. “Our attention has been drawn to a recent news item that Finance Ministry has sent a joint secretary to coordinate RBI cash ops. If true, this is most unfortunate and we take strong exception to this measure of the government as impinging on RBI’s autonomy and its stat-
Note ban positive for real estate There is no desperation to either buy or sell. A sort of waiting game is being played in the real estate sector due to demonetisation, says Srinivas Acharya, Managing Director, Sundaram BNP Paribas Home Finance. Excerpts of an interview:
• How is the real estate market playing out in the wake of demonetisation? Currently, not too many deals are happening. The general perception is that there will be a significant price drop in the real estate space. People’s expectation of a price drop has heightened so much that they are waiting for the
Exchange Rates Indicative direct rates in rupees a unit except yen at 4 p.m on January 13
Currencies U.S. Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Jap Yen (100 Units) Chinese Yuan Swiss Franc Singapore Dollar Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swedish Kroner Danish Kroner New Zealand Dollar Hongkong Dollar Malaysian Ringgit Kuwaiti Dinar UAE Dirham Bahraini Dinar Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal Omani Riyal
Bullion Rates January 13 rates in rupees with previous rates in brackets
Chennai Bar Silver (1 kg) Retail (1 g) 24 ct gold (10 g) 22 ct gold (1 g) Delhi Silver Standard Gold Sovereign
41,230 44.10 29,260 2,796
(41,370) (44.30) (29,350) (2,804)
40,950 (41,250) 29,450 (29,250) 24,300 (24,300)
(prices to) drop. But I don’t see the likelihood of a 20– 25 per cent drop in prices unless the seller is desperate for immediate money. I haven’t seen that kind of desperation in the sellers at the moment. The owners, too, are playing a waiting game.
• What will be the long-term impact of demonetisation? This is expected to be positive for real estate sector as only the well-organised would survive. The role of black money will come down drastically as more and more organised builders play a larger role.
• What are the prospects of a demand pick-up in the real estate sector?
The demand has to pick up again. It could happen this year itself, if the government allows unlimited withdrawal of money deposited post-demonetisation. Release of locked up money could be a driver for recovery in the real estate sector. We remain cautiously positive as the government has to deal with the availability of land and development of city/town infrastructure to connect afordable housing colonies to the places of employment.
have come outside RBI action. They have come about due to surplus liquidity arising out of demonetisation. We have a very cautious outlook as withdrawal of cash deposited into banks post-demonetisation could leave very little leeway for banks to cut rates further and we could see rates moving up.
• Do you think that home loan rates would head further down? The recent ratereduction announcements
Hero MotoCorp enters Argentina with ‘New Glamour’ PIYUSH PANDEY BUENOS AIRES: Pawan Munjal led Hero MotoCorp, India’s largest two wheeler maker entered the Argentine market with its 125 cc bike ‘New Glamour’ — the first ever global introduction of the company’s product outside the country. In a bid to increase its global footprint and match rival Bajaj Auto, the company has drawn up plans to be present in 50 global markets by 2020. It is already operating from 35 nations. Pawan Munjal, chairman and managing director, Hero MotoCorp said: “Mexico is the next market we are targeting to grow our presence in the region. The idea is to be in Brazil as well but it will take some time.” Hero is targeting to capture most of Latin American, African and South East Asian markets by 2020 before entering the matured U.S. and European markets. Hero is the market leader in 125cc motorcycle segment
Less than $3.10 a day The number of workers earning less than $3.10 per day is even expected to increase by more than 5 million over the next two years in developing countries. Global uncertainty and the lack of decent jobs are, among other factors, underpinning social unrest and migration in many parts of the world.
RBI union exhorts Patel on autonomy
INTERVIEW SRINIVAS ACHARYA
of employment, rising to more than four in five workers in developing countries,” said Steven Tobin, ILO senior economist and lead author of the report. The report has clubbed India in the category of emerging nations.
GOING GLOBAL: Pawan Munjal, MD & CEO, Hero MotoCorp, unveiling the motorcycle in Buenos Aires. — PHOTO: KAMAL NARANG in India and with the introduction of the ‘New Glamour’, the company aims to strategically expand its presence in the segment globally as the product will be available in 19 countries. “The past five years have seen brand Hero evolve into a major global player,” Mr. Munjal said. “Our first global launch of a new motorcycle here is reflective of the importance of Argentina and Latin America for us on our global map. South America is an important market for us, a fact borne out by our first over-
seas manufacturing facility in Colombia.” The company has roped in former Argentine soccer player Diego Simeone as its brand ambassador to push its products in Argentina. Simone is the second global sports icon to be signed by Hero after Tiger Woods. After parting from Honda in 2010, Hero plans to achieve 10 per cent of its sales from global markets and a turnover of ₨60,000 crore by 2020. (The correspondent was in Buenos Aires at the invitation of Hero MotoCorp.)
utory as well as operational jurisdiction,” the United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees said in a mail to Mr. Patel. The union said that it assumed RBI did not ask for the deployment of the joint secretary in its functions; rather that it was the finance ministry which had imposed itself on RBI which it said was ‘absolutely unacceptable and deplorable’.
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
Trade deficit narrows in December NEW DELHI: India’s trade deficit narrowed to $10.36 billion in December 2016 — the lowest in the last three months — as exports expanded yearon-year for the fourth consecutive month and outpaced imports, government data showed. Exports in December 2016 posted a 5.72% yearon-year growth to $23.88 billion thanks to a low base of (-) 14.40 % growth in December 2015, according to data released by the Commerce Ministry on Friday. Eighteen of the 30 major segments, including petroleum products, drugs and pharma, gems and jewellery, recorded a growth in December 2016. The 5.72% growth in December 2016 was up from 2.26% in November 2016 but slower than
8.22% in October 2016. Imports rose by just 0.46 % to $34.25 billion in December 2016. Gold imports shrunk (-) 48.5 % to $1.96 billion after having risen in the previous two months. In terms of growth, this was the lowest since (-) 77.44 % in August 2016, while in value terms it was the lowest since $1.94 billion in September 2016. Imports stable Japanese financial major Nomura had said last month that “import volumes have been relatively stable, but we believe a slowdown is likely in the coming months as gold imports and domestic demand weaken further.” Petroleum & crude imports rose 14.61 % to $7.6 billion in December
2016 while electrical & non-electrical machinery jumped 7.55 % during the month to $2.62 billion. Non-oil imports during December 2016 shrunk 2.98 % to $26.6 billion. Non-petroleum exports in December 2016 were up 5.4 % to $21.11 billion, while petroleum exports rose 8.22 % to $2.76 billion. T S Bhasin, the chairman of the apex engineering exporters body EEPC India, said that a “revival in exports in a large number of key sectors like engineering in December is due to an improvement in demand for industrial commodities such as metals and iron ore.” The signs of an uptick in the U.S. economy augured well for exports, Mr. Bhasin said.
Gopinathan at helm likely to trigger exit of seniors: Analysts LALATENDU MISHRA K. BHARAT KUMAR MUMBAI/CHENNAI: The elevation of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) CFO Rajesh Gopinathan as CEO & MD, to succeed N. Chandrasekaran, could lead to attrition in senior management at the company, said some analysts. “The change comes at a time when TCS’s business model is undergoing structural changes and the industry faces increased risk of protectionism,” Kotak Institutional Equities analysts Kawaljeet Saluja and Jaykumar Doshi wrote in a note to clients. “TCS has opted for the right structure for transition. The company’s collaborative culture and choice of personnel to take on the top role can aid in making the transition a success. Would watch for attrition in senior
Rajesh Gopinathan management, a common event after a change of guard,” they wrote. TCS’s stock slumped 3.9% to ₨2,252 on Friday. ‘Right choice’ S. Mahalingam, the first CFO at TCS who was Mr. Gopinathan’s predecessor, said that the change augured well for the company. “Rajesh has experience
across functions: strategy, project delivery, marketing overseas… He led the e-Business unit when we wanted a new direction for the company after Y2K.” According to Mr. Mahalingam, “You need a CEO with experience in the corporate oice, while not ignoring the field, with experience in strategy and in protecting the interests of all stakeholders. He now leads a team of highly competent people and knows how to take them along.” Sagar Rastogi and Sudheer Guntupalli, analysts at Ambit Capital, said that attrition at the senior levels was unlikely. “Since Mr. Gopinathan is an insider and the TCS senior management team has stuck together for decades, there is lesser likelihood of exits of valuable employees,” they wrote.
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
Telecast schedule (Saturday)
NBA: Sony Six & Sony Six HD, 4.30 a.m. (Sunday); Ranji Trophy final: Gujarat vs Mumbai, STAR Sports 4 & HD 4, 9.30 a.m.; South Africa vs Sri Lanka: 3rd Test, TEN 3 & TEN 1 HD, 1.30 p.m.; I-League: TEN 2, 7 p.m.; PBL: STAR Sports 1, 3 & HD 1, 3, 7 p.m.; PWL: Sony ESPN, 7 p.m.
We may have to play ugly to score runs and take wickets. Touring there tests you physically and mentally. It puts every area of your skill and resilience under the microscope. To stand up and play well in India is to announce yourself as a world class team and that is what we want to do.
Telecast schedule (Sunday)
— Nathan Lyon on the forthcoming tour of India
Split captaincy doesn’t really work: Dhoni CRICKET / ‘What’s brilliant about my relationship with Virat is he’s comfortable saying no to my ideas’
Suspense continues on Azhar’s candidature SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT HYDERABAD: The suspense over the
validity of Mohd. Azharuddin’s nomination for the president’s post in the Hyderabad Cricket Association continued as the returning officer, it is learnt, decided to put up the candidates’ list only on Saturday morning. This was conveyed by him to some of the members of the HCA and also the ruling group officebearers who were seeking quite a few clarifications on Friday. One group in the HCA has reportedly raised an objection to Azhar’s nomination on the grounds that he is not an eligible voter yet, as the HCA has not completed the formalities to that effect. But, it was clear that the ongoing election process would be completed in spite of Justice Lodha’s clarifications on related issues on Thursday. Meanwhile, Vidyuth Jaisimha, son of late M.L. Jaisimha, has emerged as a contestant for the top post, along with Dr. G. Vivekanand. If Azhar’s nomination is declared valid, then there will be a three-cornered contest.
I think the wicketkeeper is always vice-captain, whether he is announced vicecaptain or not
GOT YOUR BACK: M.S. Dhoni says he will keep a close eye on what Virat Kohli wants as skipper and offer him suggestions ‘as and when required’. — PHOTO: PTI gestions as possible to Virat as and when required. The field positioning is something I have to keep a close eye on. I can’t just say ‘you go left, you go right’. I will have to consult him and tell him, because if it is strategically positioned in a particular place I can become a bit of a problem if I start moving around, but it’s not some-
G. VISWANATH 앫 Anurag Thakur’s name has INDORE: The Committee of Ad-
ministrators (COA), likely to come into existence on January 19, will have the right to nominate a person for the International Cricket Council (ICC) quarterly meetings to be held in Dubai in the first week of February. According to an oicial familiar with ICC meetings, the COA, which would be deemed to have replaced the BCCI, can nominate one of its members, any other person or even BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, who has attended two Chief Executive meetings of the ICC. No longer the BCCI president, Anurag Thakur’s name has not been removed from the ICC website as India’s representative in the ICC, IDI and IBC Board of Directors. Sharad Pawar’s name also figures as an alternate director. Ousted secretary Ajay Shirke’s name is also still on the website. The quarterly meeting was allotted to Mumbai, but not wanting another disturbance
ander and Kagiso Rabada plunged Sri Lanka into familiar trouble when they both took two wickets on the second day of the third and final Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday. Sri Lanka was 80 for four when bad light ended play for the day, still 346 behind South Africa’s total of 426. Although Dimuth Karunaratne was caught behind of Vernon Philander without scoring of the fourth ball of
because of the presence of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) delegates, the ICC shifted the venue to Dubai. Last year Shiv Sena activists prevented a meeting between the then BCCI president Shashank Manohar and the PCB representatives, Shahryar Khan and Najam Sethi. The ICC’s board would consider constitutional changes and also the revised model of distribution of ICC revenues to its members. An independent working group has proposed changes to the ICC constitution for good governance. There have been proposals to bring down India’s share from 22 to 15 per cent over an eight-year cycle (2016 to 2023). It is to be seen if the ICC will stick to the method followed when N. Srinivasan was the ICC chairman.
JOHANNESBURG: Vernon Phil-
homme delivery behind square for his 30th boundary, then surpassed Tamim’s record score of 206 with a push for a single to mid-of. — Reuters
not yet been removed from the ICC website as India’s representative
was somebody who always wanted to improve in whatever chances he got. He wanted to do well in those games. And that is the reason why he is so successful right now… What’s brilliant is if I go up with 100 ideas to him, he is comfortable saying no to all of them because that’s his responsibility — to pick and choose what he’s really convinced about. I think that kind of relationship is very important because I shouldn’t feel ‘okay, if I am saying something, that should happen’ and he shouldn’t feel as if whatever is coming from my side has to be implemented. Did you feel the burden of leadership was holding you back as a batsman? The team is more important than the individual. I could’ve got maybe a few more runs than I have right now, but it is about winning. Cricket, I always felt, was more of a mental game. At times I found individuals can be very rigid.
Will India’s approach change under Kohli’s leadership?
Tamim Iqbal lbw b Boult 56, Imrul Kayes c Boult b Southee 1, Mominul Haque c Watling b Southee 64, Mahmudullah c Watling b Wagner 26, Shakib Al Hasan b Wagner 217, Mushfiqur Rahim c Watling b Boult 159, Sabbir Rahman (batting) 10, Mehedi Hasan c Southee b Wagner 0; Extras (b-2, lb-6, nb-1): 9; Total (for seven wkts. in 136 overs): 542. Fall of wickets : 1-16, 2-60, 3-145, 4-160, 5-519, 6-536, 7-542. New Zealand bowling : Boult 314-121-2, Southee 31-5-144-2, de Grandhomme 20-2-65-0, Wagner 36-6-124-3, Santner 15-2-60-0, Williamson 3-0-20-0.
When you’re supposed to shift your batting slot, at times it is very diicult to adjust to that new mindset or change the game to the way it needs to be played. I thought I was somebody who could do that and I was willing to do that for the team. It is the same as of now, if I am supposed to bat at 4, 5, 6, 7 whatever the demand is for the team’s betterment, I am ready to bat there. What aspects of captaincy gave you fulfilment? The main job of the captain is to make sure that whatever is the potential of the player, he is performing to a 100 per cent. If you can achieve something between 90 to 110 per cent, you know you’ve done really well. You can’t really get 150 per cent performance from a player who is 80 per cent. That’s where you have to be very practical, very honest. You should know ways as to how to handle each and every individual. There are diferent ways to handle everyone — for some it is a kind word, for some it is a harsh word. For some it may be just an expression with your eyes. You have to figure out what really works the best, at times it is maybe the false confidence you give the guy because that is what is really needed at that point. You have to be clever enough to evaluate what is needed.
PUNE: The first big festival of
2017 will be followed by India’s first international cricket match of the year. While much of the focus during India’s series-opening ODI against England will be on M.S. Dhoni, who, for the first time in more than nine years, will feature in an ODI only as a wicketkeeper-batsman and not as the captain, Sunday could also provide a hint on whether Virat Kohli would want to adopt a diferent strategy to that of his predecessor for the ODIs. It will be interesting to see if the team at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium includes three specialist pacers — in addition to Hardik Pandya as all-rounder — and either R. Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja or if both the specialist spinners are played at the expense of one of the quicks. If Kohli sticks to the former option, there would be little to choose between his style of captaincy in the blue jersey and that of Dhoni. But if he decides to play both spinners, it would mean that Kohli, along with the management, would expect Pandya to pitch in handily, with Yuvraj Singh and Kedar Jadhav — if picked ahead of Manish Pandey — to fill in the fifth bowler quota. The teams (from): India: Virat Kohli (capt), K.L. Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, M.S. Dhoni (wk), Manish
G. VISWANATH INDORE: There is a sense among some in the BCCI and State associations that the Lodha Committee’s clarification pertaining to the tenure of managing committee members is unfair on oice-bearers. Addressing a question on whether managing committee members, who have not been oice-bearers, were subject to
the nine-year disqualification period, the Committee had said, “Such an individual is eligible to contest an oicebearer post, unless the constitution or bye-laws of the association defines oice-bearers to include the governing body / managing committee / working committee members.” A Mumbai Cricket Association oice-bearer took exception to this. “The FAQ ex-
plainer is very clear: oice-bearers who complete nine years have no more place, but those who have completed nine years as managing committee members can contest. “This is not fair to us. This anomaly needs to be addressed by the Lodha Committee. “Even the managing committee members have to be given a maximum of nine
Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav. England: Eoin Morgan (capt),
years with cooling-of breaks.” One State body to take a clear line on the issue is the Vidarbha Cricket Association. While incorporating the Lodha Committee recommendations last September, it amended its by-laws in such a way that anyone elected as office-bearers or managing committee members will not have more than three terms of three years each.
Blame it on Srinivasan, says Bindra VIJAY LOKAPALLY NEW DELHI: Former BCCI pres-
ident I.S. Bindra is disappointed at the current state of affairs in the Board, following the sweeping reforms recommended by the Lodha Committee. Seed of destruction “The seed of the Board’s destruction as a sports body lay in the decision of N. Srinivasan to defy the judiciary,” Bindra told The Hindu. “Along with Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke, I had advised him to step down from his post of president at the AGM in
the innings, Kaushal Silva and Kusal Mendis put on 47 for the second wicket. But, Rabada struck soon after tea when he produced a sharp lifting delivery which Silva had to play at and only managed to edge to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock. The first half of the day belonged largely to the visitors as their bowlers claimed South Africa’s remaining seven wickets for 88. Nuwan Pradeep took four wickets to finish with four for 78. — AFP
I.S. Bindra. — FILE PHOTO Chennai (in 2013). But we were isolated because Srinivasan found support from five other Board oicials who chose to stay back in Delhi. He stepped
aside but only aggravated the problems for the Board,” said Bindra. Bindra was critical of the Board’s decision to challenge the judiciary. “It was an ill-advised move. You can fight the Government but not the judiciary. Their word is the law. There is a way of putting your diferences across, but it is silly if you think you can take on the Supreme Court, The Board should have complied with the reforms and later approached the Court to look at the issues,” said Bindra. In Bindra’s opinion, the Board made a blunder by floating the idea that the Interna-
SCOREBOARD South Africa — 1st innings: S. Cook lbw b Mathews 10, D. Elgar c Karunaratne b Kumara 27, H. Amla c Chandimal b Pradeep 134, J. Duminy c Mendis b Kumara 155, D. Olivier c Chandimal b Mathews 3, Faf du Plessis c Mendis b Pradeep 16, T. Bavuma c Silva b Pradeep 0, Q. de Kock c de Silva b Kumara 34, V. Philander c Chandimal b Pradeep 0, W. Parnell c Tharanga b Kumara 23, K. Rabada (not out) 0; Extras (b-11, lb-8, nb-1, w-4): 24; Total (in 124.1 overs): 426. Fall of wickets: 1-45, 2-45, 3-337, 4-346, 5-364, 6-364, 7-367, 8-378, 9-425. Sri Lanka bowling: Lakmal 30-8-
81-0, Pradeep 27-8-78-4, Mathews 20-6-52-2, Kumara 25.1-2-107-4, Herath 14-0-67-0, de Silva 8-1-22-0. Sri Lanka — 1st innings: D. Karunaratne c de Kock b Philander 0, K. Silva c de Kock b Rabada 13, K. Mendis c Duminy b Rabada 41, Dhananjaya de Silva c Bavuma b Philander 10, A. Mathews (batting) 11, D. Chandimal (batting) 3; Extras (lb-2): 2; Total (for four wkts. in 28.4 overs): 80. Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-47, 3-62, 4-70. South Africa bowling: Philander 9-3-23-2, Parnell 6.4-1-16-0, Olivier 6-2-13-0, Rabada 7-2-26-2.
Wade, Faulkner script Australia’s win BRISBANE: Australia’s Matthew
Wade struck his maiden oneday century to help secure a 92-run victory over a disjointed Pakistan in the first OneDay International here on Friday. Pakistan began well by reducing Australia to 78 for five in the 17th over at the Gabba. Wade’s unbeaten run-a-ball 100, brought up of the final delivery of the innings, and Glenn Maxwell’s brisk 60 helped the host to recover, however, and post 268 for nine. Pakistan got of to a decent start but there was no significant partnership in its innings and Azhar Ali’s side was dismissed for 176 in the 43rd over. Azhar and Sharjeel Khan put on 38 runs in their opening
IN CHARGE: It will be interesting to see whether Virat Kohli, the new India skipper in the shorter versions, continues in his typically aggressive mode. — PHOTO: PTI
Why the disparity, ask embattled oice-bearers
Sri Lanka in trouble
PILING IT ON: Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim added 359 for the fifth wicket, batting their side into a position of strength. — PHOTO: AFP stroked the highest individual score for Bangladesh and combined with Mushfiqur Rahim in a record partnership on the second day of the first Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve on Friday. Shakib (217) and captain Mushfiqur (159) stubbornly denied New Zealand in perfect conditions as they produced a 359-run fifth-wicket partnership and batted their side into a position where it is unlikely to lose the game. The previous highest partnership for any wicket for Bangladesh was the 312 by Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes against Pakistan at Khulna in April, 2015. Shakib brought up his double century, just the third by a Bangladeshi, when he punched a Colin de Grand-
thing that’s a big trouble to cope with. Can you talk about your bond with Virat? We have been very close, right from the start. You know, in Indian cricket, when cricketers get five games, and if they are out of the side, they’re always worried about the two games they didn’t get. Virat
COA can nominate BCCI representative for ICC meetings
Shakib gets a double in record stand
WELLINGTON: Shakib Al Hasan
Australia vs Pakistan: 2nd ODI: STAR Sports 2 & HD 2, 8.50 a.m.; India vs England: 1st ODI: STAR Sports 1, 3 & HD 1 & 3, 1.30 p.m.; South Africa vs Sri Lanka: 3rd Test, TEN 3 & TEN 1 HD, 1.30 p.m.; I- League: TEN 2, 4.30 p.m.; PWL: Sony ESPN, 7 p.m.; NBA: Sony ESPN, 4.30 a.m. (Monday); Australian Open: Sony Six, Sony Six HD, 5.30 a.m. (Monday)
AMOL KARHADKAR PUNE: In what was his first media interaction — and possibly the last before he hangs up his boots, whenever he does — on the sidelines of a series, Mahendra Singh Dhoni elaborated on various aspects of his captaincy. Excerpts: What prompted you to step down? I am somebody who believes that in our set-up, split captaincy doesn’t really work. With the Indian team, one player leading the players in all the formats is something that is very crucial. Now that I can’t be the Test captain, I don’t think my views should change. Virat took over the Test captaincy and I wanted him to have some time over there and get into the full captaincy role. You know, limited-overs format is not a big challenge. That’s why I finally decided to move on and give Virat the full captaincy. How difficult will it be to get captaincy out of your system? I think the wicket-keeper is always a vice-captain of the side, whether he is announced vice-captain or not. Field setting is usually given to the vice-captain or the wicketkeeper. In this scenario, I will have to keep a close eye on what the skipper really wants, his preferential field positions. I will be there to give as many sug-
Matthew Wade. — PHOTO: AFP stand before James Faulkner (four for 32) claimed the first of his four wickets by dismissing Sharjeel. To make matters worse, Azhar was forced to retire hurt and, even though he returned to bat, the match had slipped out of Pakistan’s hands by then. —Reuters
Australia : D. Warner b Amir 7, T. Head c Rizwan b Imad 39, S. Smith c Rizwan b Amir 0, C. Lynn c Rizwan b Hasan 16, M. Marsh c Rizwan b Imad 4, G. Maxwell c Hafeez b Hasan 60, M. Wade (not out) 100, J. Faulkner c Hafeez b Nawaz 5, P. Cummins run out 15, M. Starc b Hasan 10, B. Stanlake (not out) 1; Extras (lb-1, w-9, nb-1): 11; Total (for nine wkts. in 50 overs): 268. Fall of wickets : 1-13, 2-13, 3-52, 4-67, 5-78, 6-160, 7-170, 8-212, 9-235. Pakistan bowling : Amir 10-054-2, Hafeez 7-0-23-0, Hasan 9-065-3, Wahab 6-0-42-0, Imad 10-035-2, Nawaz 8-0-48-1. Pakistan : Azhar Ali c Warner b Faulkner 24, Sharjeel Khan c Maxwell b Faulkner 18, Mohammad Hafeez c
Wade b Faulkner 4, Babar Azam c Smith b Cummins 33, Umar Akmal c Head b Starc 17, Mohammad Rizwan c Marsh b Cummins 21, Imad Wasim c Warner b Marsh 29, Mohammad Nawaz b Starc 1, Mohammad Amir c Maxwell b Faulkner 8, Wahab Riaz c Starc b Cummins 6, Hasan Ali (not out) 1; Extras (b-4, lb-5, w-5): 14; Total (in 42.4 overs): 176. Fall of wickets : 1-38, 2-47, 3-79, 4-109, 5-129, 6-133, 7-158, 8-163, 9-171. Australia bowling : Starc 8-034-2, Stanlake 3-0-13-0, Faulkner 71-32-4, Cummins 8.4-0-33-3, Head 10-0-28-0, Marsh 6-0-27-1. Toss : Australia. Man-of-the-Match : Matthew Wade. Australia won by 92 runs.
tional Cricket Council (ICC), citing government intervention, would take action against it. Poor thinking “Eighty per cent of the revenue for ICC is generated from India. If the Indian Board is finished, the ICC would be finished too. Do you think ICC would have taken any action? It was poor thinking,” Bindra said. “There is no leadership. Experience has been wiped out because of self-inflicted woes. It is time they realise their follies and work to set things right,” he said.
Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jake Ball, David Willey and Chris Woakes.
Sports Ministry revokes IOA suspension SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT NEW DELHI: With the Indian
Olympic Association (IOA) claiming that the proposal to appoint Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as life presidents never passed muster, the Sports Ministry on Friday followed up on its promise of revoking its suspension of the body. “The government has decided to revoke the suspension of deemed recognition of IOA with immediate effect in the light of the corrective action taken by them in reversing its earlier decision making Shri Abhay Singh Chautala and Shri Suresh Kalmadi life presidents of IOA,” the Ministry said in a statement. Never voted upon
The IOA, in its reply to the show-cause notice from the Ministry had claimed that even though there had been a proposal from one of its members to make both the former IOA presidents life presidents at the AGM in Chennai in December, it did not follow the constitutional rules or procedure and was never voted upon. As such, the appointments were never formalised and the suspension was uncalled for.
Djokovic to meet Verdasco in opener
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber pose with their trophies. — PHOTO: SCOTT BARBOUR/GETTY IMAGES MELBOURNE: Defending champion Novak Djokovic will launch his bid for a record seventh Australian Open title with a mouth-watering first round match against Fernando Verdasco. Spaniard Verdasco knocked compatriot Rafael Nadal out in the opening round last year at Melbourne Park and had match points against Djokovic in their recent clash at the Qatar Open. Should Serb Djokovic advance, the World No. 2 could face a resurgent Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round. The Bulgarian won the Brisbane International last week and is in ominous form. World No. 1 Andy Murray will face Ukraine’s Ilya
Watch out for 앫 Verdasco v Djokovic 앫 Murray v Marchenko 앫 Wawrinka v Klizan 앫 Brown v Raonic 앫 Federer’s return from injury
Marchenko in his opener, as the Briton searches for an elusive maiden title at Melbourne Park after five trips to the final. Murray, beaten in four of them by Djokovic, including last year’s decider, faces a relatively smooth run to the quarterfinals where Kei Nishikori or Roger Federer may await. — Reuters ND-ND
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
Match poised for an intriguing final day
DDCA EC meeting today
Abhishek Nayar’s gritty innings helps Mumbai set a target of 312; Gaja scalps six for Gujarat Suryakumar Yadav, Lad and skipper Aditya Tare. The Gujarat bowlers, who had kept the Mumbai batsmen in check on the third day with a relentless outside-the-ofstump line, continued in the same vein when play began with Mumbai 108 runs up with seven wickets in hand. Skipper Parthiv Patel took the second new ball when it was due and Gaja sent back Suryakumar, caught-behind. Then a pull shot ended Lad’s stay at the crease. Lad had hooked the previous ball for a six, but paid the price for being reckless.
G. VISWANATH INDORE: A twist in the tale of the
Ranji Trophy final could be on the cards after left-hander Abhishek Nayar battled it out for four hours on Friday to enable Mumbai set Gujarat a target of 312. Opener Priyank Panchal made an unbeaten 34 and his partner Samit Gohil scored 8 as their side finished the fourth day at 47 for no loss. In a keen tussle between the two West Zone teams at the Holkar Stadium here, Gujarat met with success with the second new ball, claimed in the 81st over. Medium-pacer Chintan Gaja scalped six in 39 overs, but eventually Mumbai showed fierce determination to take its second-innings total to 411. Nayar (91, 5x4, 5x6) was determined to keep Mumbai in contention. He clouted five 6s
THE BLESSED ONE: Chintan Gaja celebrates the dismissal of Shardul Thakur on Friday. — PHOTO: K. MURALI KUMAR
with No. 11 Vijay Gohil for company after having protected Vishal Dabholkar from the strike in a stand of 44 runs. Once medium-pacer Gaja made Dabholkar chase a wide ball to edge to Gohil in the slip
cordon, Nayar struck big blows to give his team a good total.
Lad’s wicket in the pre-lunch session and set about the business of holding up one end.
Mumbai’s most successful player with the bat and ball from the quarterfinals, Nayar came in at the fall of Siddhesh
Once again he proved to be a gritty customer when the chips were down after the dismissal of overnight batsman
Sergeant At Arms favoured
Silver Ikon triumphs BENGALURU: Silver Ikon (P.P. Dhebe up) won the Karnataka Racehorse Owners’ Association Million, the chief event of the races held here on Friday (Jan. 13). The winner is owned and trained by Mr. B. Prithviraj. The results: 1. ULLAL BEACH PLATE (1,600m), rated 00 to 20: Granada (T.S. Jodha) 1, Extremelydangerous (Suraj Narredu) 2, Karod Pati (Srinath) 3 and Noble Princess (Arshad Alam) 4. 1/2, 1 and Lnk. 1m 41.97s. Rs. 84 (w), 21, 14 and 21 (p), SHP: Rs. 48, FP: Rs. 259, Q: Rs. 81, Trinella: Rs. 732 and Rs. 421, Exacta: Rs. 1,616 and Rs. 763. Favourite: Extremelydangerous. Owners: Mr. M. Sridhar, Mr. M.C. Ponnappa & Ms. R. Craig Jones. Trainer: Mahmood Khan. 2. VIBRANT PLATE (Div. II), (1,200m), rated 15 to 35: A Hearttoremember (Chetan Gowda) 1, Island Pearl (Vivek) 2, Fine Barristor (Rayan Ahmed) 3 and Skybound (Nazerual Alam) 4. 2, 2-1/2 and 1-1/4. 1m 14.75s. Rs. 584 (w), 127, 18 and 53 (p), SHP: Rs. 47, FP: Rs. 8,140, Q: Rs. 2,529, Trinella: Rs. 83,524 (carried over) and Rs. 35,796, Exacta: Rs. 1,13,520 (carried over). Favourite: Mistress Of Spice. Owner and Trainer: Mr. Warren Singh. 3. HAVERI PLATE (1,600m), rated 30 to 50: Rare Rhythm (A. Imran Khan) 1, Amazing Skill (R. Manish) 2, Raw Gold (Suraj Narredu) 3 and Tinderella (P. Trevor) 4. 2, Nk and Snk. 1m 39.61s. Rs. 50 (w), 18, 25 and 20 (p), SHP: Rs. 73,
FP: Rs. 364, Q: Rs. 187, Trinella: Rs. 1,975 and Rs. 1,393, Exacta: Rs. 13,431 and Rs. 6,332. Favourite: Cadillac Sky. Owners: M.R. Stud Farms Pvt. Ltd. rep. by Mr. N. Chandrashekar Rai & Mr. K. Manoj Kumar. Trainer: Prasanna Kumar. 4. SHIVANASAMUDRA CUP (1,800m), rated 45 to 65: Mystic Music (S. John) 1, Afore (Arshad Alam) 2, Legacy Dream (Suraj Narredu) 3 and Sagrada (David Allan) 4. 1/2, 2-1/4 and 2-1/2. 1m 51.56s. Rs. 171 (w), 44, 78 and 15 (p), SHP: Rs. 250, FP: Rs. 2,277, Q: Rs. 1,854, Trinella: Rs. 6,154 and Rs. 2,434, Exacta: Rs. 18,629 and Rs.10,645. Favourite: Sagrada. Owners: Mr. Vivek N. Rao, Mr. Vittal Belandor & Mr. N.S. Srivatsa. Trainer: Arjun Mangalorkar. 5. KARNATAKA RACEHORSE OWNERS’ ASSOCIATION MILLION (1,200m), 3-y-o, (Terms): Silver Ikon (P.P. Dheb) 1, Land Of Liberty (Arshad Alam) 2, Habanero (P. Trevor) 3 and Air Of Distinction (P.S. Chouhan) 4. Not run: Apache Sunrise and Spot Light. 10-1/4, 1 and 2-1/4. 1m 13.23s. Rs. 25 (w), 11, 19 and 16 (p), SHP: Rs. 67, FP: Rs. 79, Q: Rs. 64, Trinella: Rs. 216 and Rs. 83, Exacta: Rs. 389 and Rs. 163. Favourite: Silver Ikon. Owner and Trainer: Mr. B. Prithviraj. 6. MERCARA PLATE (1,200m), rated 30 to 50, 5-y-o & over: Private Paradise (A. Imran Khan) 1, Massive Dynamics (Srinath) 2, Soviet Union (Vivek) 3 and Manta Ray (Rayan Ahmed) 4.
Hockey HIM reigns SPORTS REPORTER RAMANATHAPURAM: Hockey HIM
defeated Hockey Bhopal 6-1 to win the B-division of the seventh National sub-junior hockey tournament for women here on Friday. Hockey HIM took the lead in the 13th minute through a field goal from Jyoti. From there on, it was Ankita Dahiya show all the way. Back-to-back goals in the 14th and 18th minute helped Hockey HIM go into half-time 3-0. Ankita ’tricks Ankita’s hat-trick in the 41st minute almost sealed the game for Hockey HIM. She added one more to make it 5-0. Jyoti then rounded it of with a goal in the dying moments.
For Hockey Bhopal, Priyanka Dogra scored a consolation goal. The results: B-division: Final: Hockey HIM 6 (Ankita Dahiya 4, Jyoti 2) bt Hockey Bhopal 1 (Priyanka Dogra). Third place play-off: Hockey Coorg 3 (Richika Thimmaiah, Padmavathy S. Madli, G.S. Kavya) bt Hockey Madhya Bharath 1 (Divya Soni). A-division: Uttar Pradesh Hockey 3 (Yogita Bora 2, Mumtaz Khan) bt SAI 1 (Lalchenbi Chanu Khundrakpam); Hockey Jharkhand 6 (Beauty Dungdung 6) bt Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy 4 (Yogita Verma, Sadhana Sengar, Divya Yadav, Sneha Singh); Hockey Haryana 4 (Amandeep Kaur 2, Reet, Deepika) bt Hockey Gangpur Odisha 2 (Jiwan Kishor Toppo); Hockey Odisha 4 (Neha Lakra, Bimla Barwa, Komal, Soni) bt Hockey Punjab 0.
Tare’s knock Tare, who had escaped on 18 when Gaja overstepped, went on to make an invaluable halfcentury before falling leg-before to Hardik Patel. After his exit, Mumbai’s innings revolved around Nayar’s individual enterprise, with Balwinder Singh Sandhu Jr. playing a cameo role. Mumbai lost a couple of wickets thereafter and this dashed its hopes of scoring at a brisk pace. It was a tough day, but Gu-
jarat had the satisfaction of seeing its openers return unbeaten. The scores: Mumbai — 1st innings: 228. Gujarat — 1st innings: 328. Mumbai — 2nd innings: Akhil Herwadkar c Gohil b Gaja 16, Prithvi Shaw c Parthiv b Gaja 44, Shreyas Iyer c Parthiv b Gaja 82, Suryakumar Yadav c Parthiv b Kalaria 49, Aditya Tare lbw b Hardik Patel 69, Siddhesh Lad c Gandhi b R.P. Singh 15, Abhishek Nayar lbw b R.P. Singh 91, Balwinder Singh Sandhu Jr. c Juneja b Gaja 20, Shardul Thakur c Karan Patel sub b Gaja 1, Vishal Dabholkar c Gohil b Gaja 12, Vijay Gohil (not out) 0; Extras (nb-5, w-7): 12; Total (in 137.1 overs): 411. Fall of wickets: 1-54, 2-66, 3-193, 4-238, 5-270, 6-297, 7-323, 8-326, 9-370. Gujarat bowling: R.P. Singh 29.18-83-2, Rush Kalaria 25-11-63-1, Chintan Gaja 39-10-10-121-6, Bhargav Merai 6-3-16-0, Hardik Patel 282-89-1, Rujul Bhatt 10-0-39-0. Gujarat — 2nd innings: Samit Gohil (batting) 8, Priyank Panchal (batting) 34; Extras (lb-5): 5; Total (for no loss in 13.2 overs): 47. Mumbai bowling: Shardul Thakur 5.2-1-17-0, B.S. Sandhu Jr. 5-119-0, Vijay Gohil 2-1-2-0, Abhishek Nayar 1-0-4-0.
MUMBAI: Sergeant At Arms, who 3-3/4, 1-1/4 and Lnk. 1m 14.08s. Rs. 33 (w), 16, 13 and 94 (p), SHP: Rs. 40, FP: Rs. 86, Q: Rs. 31, Trinella: Rs. 1,423 and Rs. 691, Exacta: Rs. 3,122 and Rs. 1,620. Favourite: Massive Dynamics. Owner: M.R. Stud Farms Pvt. Ltd. rep. by Mr. N. Chandrashekar Rai. Trainer: Prasanna Kumar. 7. FLASHING STAR PLATE (1,400m), rated 15 to 35, 5-y-o & over: Firing Line (Nazerul Alam) 1, Opening Act (R. Marshall) 2, Moher (Arshad Alam) 3 and Indian Fury (P.P. Dhebe) 4. Snk, 1-3/4 and 1/2. 1m 27.75s. Rs. 73 (w), 24, 27 and 31 (p), SHP: Rs. 79, FP: Rs. 661, Q: Rs. 293, Trinella: Rs. 7,118 and Rs. 3,051, Exacta: Rs. 1,05,288. Favourite: Hurrah. Owners: Mr. S.N. Prasad & Mr. T.S. Preetham. Trainer: Hidayat Khan. 8. VIBRANT PLATE (Div. I), (1,200m), rated 15 to 35: Day Flower (David Allan) 1, Jayadratha (I. Chisty) 2, Heaven And Earth (Srinath) 3 and Santorini Secret (A. Imran Khan) 4. Not run: Thundersquall. 4, Nose and 2-1/2. 1m 14.42s. Rs. 22 (w), 14, 23 and 27 (p), SHP: Rs. 62, FP: Rs. 151, Q: Rs. 98, Trinella: Rs. 557 and Rs. 161, Exacta: Rs. 1,900 and Rs. 1,384. Favourite: Day Flower. Owners: Rohan Bloodstock Pvt Ltd rep by. Mr. Haresh N. Mehta and Mr. Manav H. Mehta. Trainer: S. Padmanabhan. Jackpot: Rs. 7,627 (73 tkts.); Runner-up: Rs. 2,209 (108 tkts.); Treble (i): Rs. 1,453 (14 tkts.); (ii): Rs. 423 (84 tkts.).
maintains his winning form since his last victory in the Indian 2000 Guineas, should not find it diicult to take the Ramniwas Ramnarain Ruia Gold Cup (Gr. 2), the stellar attraction of the evening races here on Sunday (Jan. 15). Rails will be placed 7 metres away from 1400m to 1200m and 13 metres away from 800m up to the winning post. 1 YAWAR RASHID TROPHY (1,400m), Cl. II, rated 60 to 86, 4.30 p.m: 1. Mountbatten (4) Vishal 61, 2. Star Councillor (2) P.S. Chouhan 55, 3. Shadowfax (1) Trevor 54.5, 4. Korol (6) C.S. Jodha 54, 5. Celtic Prince (5) A.Gaikwad 53, 6. Charging Tigress (7) S. Amit 52.5 and 7. Artistic (3) Sandesh 51. 1. Star Councillor, 2. Artistic 2 RAMNIWAS RAMNARAIN RUIA GOLD CUP (Gr. 2) (2000m), 4-y-o only, 4.55: 1. Highland Breeze (1) P.S. Chouhan 57, 2. Sergeant At Arms (3) Sandesh 57 and 3. St. Andrews (2) Suraj Narredu 57. 1. Sergeant At Arms 3 LACHMAN K. ADVANI & MAYA L. ADVANI TROPHY (1,600m), Cl. IV, rated 20 to 46, 5.25: 1. Zoom Zoom (3) Vishal 59.5, 2. Sumaaq (6) C.S. Jodha 57.5, 3. Glorious Eyes (13) Zervan 56.5, 4. Marvel (11) Ajinkya 56.5, 5. She’s An Ace (4) Roushan 56, 6. Simon Says (8) J. Chinoy 54, 7. Prince Of Heart (10) Neeraj 52.5, 8. Nelsons Blood (9) K. Kadam 52, 9. Othello (5) Parmar 51.5, 10. Flashing Hon-
our (1) P.S. Chouhan 50.5, 11. Nightfall (2) Merchant 50.5, 12. Ridgewood Star (12) S.J. Sunil 50.5 and 13. Elsa (7) S. Kamble 50. 1. Glorious Eyes, 2. Othello, 3. Sumaaq 4 FORBES INDIA CUP (2,000m), Cl. III, rated 40 to 66, 5.50: 1. Pugnacious (2) Neeraj 60, 2. Uncle Scrooge (3) Trevor 58.5, 3. Multiglory (5) Dashrath 54.5, 4. June (1) J. Chinoy 52, 5. Sherlock (6) Zervan 51 and 6. Frivolous (4) Sandesh 50. 1. Frivolous, 2. Sherlock 5 SIR H.M. MEHTA TROPHY (1,200m), Cl. III, rated 40 to 66, 6.15: 1. Ladislaus (1) Trevor 59, 2. Stardom Calling (6) Neeraj 59, 3. Alishas Pet (5) A. Imran Khan 58.5, 4. Benezeer (12) C.S. Jodha 58.5, 5. Magical Dancer (2) S. Amit 57, 6. Dancing Prince (8) Yash Narredu 55.5, 7. Jimbo (10) Parmar 54.5, 8. Quixotic (11) J. Chinoy 54.5, 9. Maduro (7) Zervan 53, 10. Magical Memory (3) Suraj Narredu 53, 11. Wings Of Glory (9) S.S. Baria 53 and 12. Irish Bailey (4) P.S. Chouhan 51.5. 1. Maduro, 2. Irish Bailey, 3. Alishas Pet 6 RADHESHYAM JHUNJHUNWALA MILLION (1,400m), 4-y-o & over, 6.45: 1. Dancing Prances (7) A. Imran Khan 59, 2. Holy Smoke (5) Suraj Narredu 56, 3. Brahmachari (2) C.S. Jodha 55, 4. Critics Choice (4) Sandesh 55, 5. Congressional (3) P.S. Chouhan 54.5, 6. Airco (6) Zervan 53 and 7. Renee (1) Trevor 51.5. 1. Critics Choice, 2.
United braces for Liverpool crunch LONDON: Manchester United
has a golden opportunity to haul itself into the Premier League title race at the expense of bitter-rival Liverpool this weekend, while leader Chelsea will look to steady its nerves at Leicester.
United goes into the Old Traford showdown in fine fettle after beating Hull in the League Cup semifinal first leg in midweek to extend its winning streak in all competitions to nine matches. Jose Mourinho’s sixthplaced side still trails Chelsea
by 10 points and lag five behind second-placed Liverpool. But victory on Sunday, with Mourinho calling for United fans to raise the roof, would be a significant statement of intent. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been a key figure in United’s recent surge and despite his team’s current position the Swedish striker has set his sights on adding a Premier League medal to the league titles he won in Spain, Italy, France and Holland. “I’m chasing the head trophy, the Premier League, that is my aim,” said Ibrahimovic, who has 13 league goals this season. “I try to help the team and do what I’m best at — scoring goals, playing good and creat-
ing chances for my teammates.” In contrast to United, Liverpool — after emerging as title contender thanks to a fourmatch winning run in December —has sufered a dip. A draw at Sunderland in the league was followed by an FA Cup stalemate against fourthtier Plymouth and a 1-0 defeat in the League Cup semifinal first leg at Southampton. Coutinho returns Manager Jurgen Klopp will hope the return against Southampton of Brazil forward Philippe Coutinho after seven weeks out with an ankle injury provides a timely boost for his team, which was held to a 0-0 draw by United in October. — AFP
Congressional. 7 FIGHT HUNGER FOUNDATION TROPHY (1,200m), Maiden, 3-y-o only 7.15: 1. Art O War (1) Dashrath 55, 2. Pathan (8) S. Sunil 55, 3. Timeless (4) Trevor 55, 4. Emotionless (2) Sandesh 53.5, 5. La Magnifique (3) Neeraj 53.5, 6. Powerhaus (5) C.S. Jodha 53.5, 7. Stunner (6) J. Chinoy 53.5 and 8. Windsor Forest (7) Suraj Narredu 53.5.
NEW DELHI: The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has conveyed an emergent meeting of its Executive Committee on Saturday to pick the oice-bearers for conducting the afairs of the association. DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda has submitted a list of 17 members, including some who had come in for criticism in the past for their way of functioning. The members will vote to pick the president, vice-president, treasurer, general secretary and joint-secretary. Manchanda is part of the list along with Salil Seth,
Siddharth Sahib Singh and Vikas Katyal, who had come in for praise from Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal for assisting him during his stint as the Delhi High Court-appointed administrator at the DDCA. “At the said meeting, we shall also resolve and undertake to implement the Lodha Committee recommendations and do everything possible to implement the same. “We shall also immediately circulate the minutes of the meeting after it is formally approved,” said Manchanda in a communication to the Lodha panel. — Special Correspondent
Three Chinese lifters stripped of Olympic golds BERLIN: China faces a one-
year ban from international weightlifting competitions after three of its athletes were stripped of their 2008 Olympic gold medals on Thursday after re-tests of samples from the Beijing Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it had disqualified
weightlifting gold medallists Cao Lei (75kg), Chen Xiexia (48 kg) and Liu Chunhong (69kg) after they tested positive for prohibited substances. Lifters from Taiwan, Russia and Kazakhstan could be upgraded to the gold medals, but it is unclear whether they too failed tests. — Reuters
Three records take a beating; Kumar shines
1. La Magnifique, 2. Timeless, 3. Art O War. 8 MOHAMMED RASHEED BEG & RAHAT BEG TROPHY (1,000m), Cl. IV, rated 20 to 46, 7.45: 1. Desert Rage (1) Ajinkya 59.5, 2. Backstreet Bay (10) Merchant 58.5, 3. Furiosa (7) C.S. Jodha 57.5, 4. Gran Paradiso (13) Parmar 57.5, 5. Alpine Express (6) S. Amit 54.5, 6. Irish Boss (4) Shubham 54, 7. Impossible Dream (3) Yash Narredu 53.5, 8. Adams Beginning (5) Parbat 52.5, 9. Gloriana (9) Santosh 52.5, 10. Royston Rock (2) S.S. Baria 52.5, 11. Sarah (11) A. Gaikwad 52.5, 12. Headlines (12) S.K. Jadhav 51.5 and 13. Symphonic (8) Altaf Sayyed 49. 1. Impossible Dream, 2. Gran Paradiso, 3. Gloriana Eyes
— PHOTO: M. PERIASAMY
Day’s Best: Star Councillor Double: Glorious Frivolous
LEAPING TO GLORY: Nayana James of University of Kerala sails comfortably to the women’s long jump gold on Friday.
Women’s T20: it’s Delhi vs Baroda NEW DELHI: Delhi will meet
Baroda in the final of the senior women’s T20 league in Nagpur on January 15. In the semifinals on Friday, Delhi defeated Karnataka by eight wickets and Baroda beat Vidarbha by a similarly big margin of seven wickets. The scores: Karnataka 104 for nine in 20 overs (G. Divya 31, Reema Malhotra three for 11) lost to Delhi 105 for two in 18.4 overs (Latika Kumari 59 n.o.). Vidarbha 92 for seven in 20 overs (D.D. Kasat 31) lost to Baroda 93 for three in 19.3 overs. — Special Correspondent
Three records took a tumble on the third day of the 77th all-India inter-university athletics meet, organised by Anna University (Chennai), at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday. Two of the records came in the women’s section while Mohan Kumar of University of Madras, the lone record breaker in the men’s section, was easily the best performer of the day. Kumar, who was part of the 4x400 relay squad at the Rio Games, was fast out of the blocks and, midway through, left behind the rest of the field for the gold and a new record in the men’s 400m. His timing of 46.55s bettered 47.01s set by Lalit Mathur of University of Delhi in 2015. Sanjivini Jadhav of Savitribai Phule University (Pune) completed a sweet double by winning the women’s 10,000m. Jinu Maria Manuel of Mahatma Gandhi University (Kottayam) cleared a new height of 1.79m for the women’s high jump gold.
Sajan (Kerala) 47.52, 3. K. Muhammed Lubaib (MG, Kottayam) 47.62. Javelin: 1. Ashish Singh (Mangalore) 74.74m, Arun Baby (MG, Kottayam) 70.03, 3. Arvind Kumar Patel (VBSPU, Jaunpur) 69.47. Pole vault: 1. Sonu Saini (Punjabi, Patiala) 4.85m, 2. A. Ranjith (Periyar) 4.80, 3. Siva (Madras) 4.80m. Women: 400m: 1. Laxman G. Sari (Veer Narmad) 54.85s, 2. Tinkle Chaudhury (Punjabi, Patiala) 54.89, 3. Jerin Joseph (MG, Kottayam) 55.77. 10,000m: 1. Sanjivini Jadhav (Savithiribai Phule, Pune) 33:33.97s (NMR ), 2. Meenu (Mangalore) 34:55.47, 3. Phulan Pal (DDU, Gorakhpur) 36:27.43. Long jump: 1. Nayana James (Kerala) 6.07m, 2. G. Karthika (Bharathidasan) 5.96, 3. M. Uma Maheswari (Madurai Kamaraj) 5.82. High jump: 1. Jinu Maria Manuel (MG, Kottayam) 1.79m (NMR ), 2. Jyoti (Punjabi, Patiala) 1.73, 3. Angel P. Devasia (MG, Kottayam) 1.71. Pole vault: 1. Reshma Raveendran (MG, Kottayam) 3.40m, 2. Sinju Prakash (MG, Kottayam) 3.30; 3. Manjuka (Madras) 3.30. Shot put: 1. Kachnar Choudhary (Rajasthan) 14.27m, 2. Meghana Devanga (Mysore) 13.73, 3. Ruby (Barkathullah, Bhopal) 13.33.
It’s Shrikrishna vs Sparsh Pherwani
Sindhu upstages Saina; Smashers in final
To meet Rockets after the Mumbai team stuns Hyderabad Hunters
PUNE: The defending champion
and top seed from Tamil Nadu, S. Shrikrishna, and Mumbai’s Sparsh Pherwani will clash in the sub-junior final of the Manisha National Billiards and Snooker Championship at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana. The results: Sub-junior: Boys: Semifinals: S. Shrikrishna (TN) bt Kreishh Gurbaxani (Mah) 406-203, Sprash Pherwani (Mah) bt Digvijay Kadian (Har) 274-155. Quarterfinals: Shrikrishna bt Rayaan Razmi (Mah) 406 (95, 99)– 167, Gurbaxani bt K. Vibhas (Tel) 289-133, Kadian bt Dhruv Chawla (Pun) 235-140, Pherwani bt Mehul Saini (Har) 199-113.
RAKESH RAO NEW DELHI: More than the out-
Top juniors for ITF event SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT KOLKATA: Some top Indian juni-
ors, including two-time National champion Nitin Sinha and Parikshit Somani, will feature in the ITF juniors event to be held on the clay courts of the Dakshin Kalikata Sansad here. Among the girls, Akansha Bhan and Rhea Verma are the well-known names from the host country in the absence of Zeel Desai and Mahak Jain, who will give the grade-3 event a miss for the junior Australian Open. Players from 14 countries, including India, will be seen in action in boys and girls’ singles and doubles competitions for the under-18 age group. The qualifiers will be played on Saturday and Sunday, while the main event will be held from Monday to Saturday. There will be 24 direct entries apart from four wild cards and four qualifiers in each of the singles draws of 32 each, said Bengal Tennis Association president Hiranmoy Chatterjee at a press conference here on Friday.
STAR SKIRMISH: Chennai Smashers’s P.V. Sindhu got the better of Saina Nehwal of Awadhe Warriors. — PHOTO: R.V. MOORTHY
come of the ‘war’ between Chennai Smashers and Awadhe Warriors for a place in the final of the Premier Badminton League (PBL), it was the ‘battle’ involving P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal that held everyone’s interest at the Siri Fort Stadium and on television screens. In just 27 minutes, Sindhu justified the expectations based on form and fitness. Even before the first shuttle was stroked, Sindhu showed the confidence by opting to play Trump against her more illustrious rival. No doubt, it was a grudge match, and Sindhu handled the pressure better to come out stronger. For the record, Chennai won 4-1 and will take on Mumbai Rockets in the final. Rockets caused a sensation, taking an unsurpassable 3 to minus 1 lead after winning the two Trump contests. Sung Ji Hyun upstaged World and Olympic champion Carolina Marin,
Dufy double does it for Bagan AMITABHA DAS SHARMA KOLKATA: Darryl Dufy’s brace
helped former champion Mohun Bagan down Shillong Lajong FC 2-0 and secure its second successive win of the Hero I-League at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on Friday. Dufy, who had skipped practice on the eve of the match after being down with fever, scored once in each half as Bagan netted full points to move to the top of the standings. Bagan, which beat Churchill Brothers 1-0 in its first outing, looked far from convincing as it lacked cohesion. It was actually the youthful Shillong side
that created more opportunities, but failed to capitalise on them. The visitors enjoyed long periods of possession in both halves, but the strikers failed to utilise the numerous chances that came the side’s way. On the other hand, the hosts cashed in on Dufy’s opportunism. In the 21st minute, he made the most of a cross from Kingshuk Debnath, who moved up from defence to find the Scot unmarked in the Lajong territory. Lajong pressed for the equaliser after change of ends, but Fabio Pena and Asier Dipanda failed to capitalise. It was Dufy who scored the in-
Duffy, who skipped pre-match practice with fever, scored in the 21st and 77th minutes surance goal for the Mariners in the 77th minute as substitute Pronay Halder sent a long pass to Balwant Singh. The latter passed the ball to the onrushing Dufy, who scored past Vishal Kaith in the Lajong goal. Bagan has six points, while Lajong remains at the bottom with two successive loses. The result: Mohun Bagan 2 (Duffy 21 & 77) bt Shillong Lajong FC 0.
Telangana dethrones Railways, meets Kerala K. KEERTHIVASAN The women’s semifinal matches held the attention of one and all in the 67th senior National basketball championships here on Friday. Between the two exciting matches, it was the one between Telangana and Indian Railways that took the cake. Playing only its third Nationals, Telangana played with a lot of heart to upstage the defending champion 74-56 and set up a clash with Kerala, which pipped Chhattisgarh 72-70. In the men’s semifinals, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu scripted facile wins. While Uttarakhand dismantled Punjab’s defence in its 78-53 win, Tamil Nadu put Rajasthan in its place with a 108-77 victory. Interestingly, it was learnt, Telangana’s Ramya, Anusha Anto and Gayathri were “unfairly ignored” for selection into the Railways’ team. And as one from the Telangana’s team stated, “Railways loss has been Telangana’s gain.” Ramya, with her shooting prowess, has been a huge strength to Telangana, while
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
STELLAR SHOW: Gayathri, who impressed with her drive-ins and lay-ups for Telangana, tries to get past a Railways player. — PHOTO: S.S. KUMAR
Gayathri has been tireless with her drive-ins and lay-ups. And the two were the key to the victory over the 27-time champion. This is only the second instance in last three decades that the Railways’ women’s team has not reached the final; the last time being the Bhilwara Nationals in 2014-15. The other semifinal went to the wire. The Kerala girls were quicker and each one contrib-
uted in conversion of baskets. Chhattisgarh’s reliance on Poonam Chaturvedi came a cropper and though the 6’11” hoopster did her best, Kerala stymied her eforts. Looking for its third title, the Uttarakhand men were never tested. With Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Trideep Rai scoring regularly and Amritpal Singh standing as a ‘tower' during ofensive and defensive rebounds, the team sailed
along smoothly. Barring the first quarter which was close (17-14), Uttarakhand had a handy lead in the other three. Though Punjab’s Talwinderjit Singh scored with his drive-ins and lay-ups, he didn’t get support support from others. It was veteran Pratham Singh’s brilliant performance in the first quarter that set the stage for Tamil Nadu’s win. His two-three pointers, followed by few drive-ins, gave the team a load of confidence. Vineeth Revi Mathew, Rikin Pethani and the youngsters also came up with laudable performances. The results (semifinals): Men: Uttarakhand 78 (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 20, Trideep Rai 15, Amritpal Singh 12) bt Punjab 53 (Talwinderjit Singh Sahi 14). Tamil Nadu 108 (Rikin Pethani 20, Jeevanantham 24, Vineet Revi Mathew 10, Pratham Singh 11, Muinbek 10) bt Rajasthan 77 (B. Singh 17, Sharath Dadich 21, V. Kumar 15). Women: Telangana 74 (Gayathri 24, Ramya 17, Suganya 17) bt Indian Railways 56 (Sruthi Menon 14). Kerala 72 (P.G. Anjana 20, P.S. Jeena 20, Pooja Mol 12) bt Chhattisgarh 70 (Poonam Chaturvedi 36, Aakansha Singh 15).
while H.S. Prannoy maintained his winning run beating Sameer Verma 11-8, 15-13 to seal the tie. Saina, who said over the past week that she was only about “60 per cent fit” following her recovery from a knee surgery, showed no signs of any great discomfort. She moved well and often got into positions to execute some well-measured half-smashes and cross-courts. The rallies — going up to 48, 32 or 28 strokes — were a true indication that Saina’s fitness did not have a big impact on the outcome. Even Sindhu felt that the players’ fitness was “not a factor” in the match-up. Sindhu won the match’s longest rally — 48 strokes — to lead 7-5 immediately after the interval in the second game. After Saina produced an aweinspiring cross-court smash to make it 8-9, Sindhu returned the compliment to keep her nose ahead. Though Saina never led in
the second game, she did threaten Sindhu’s dominance by taking three straight points to bridge the gap to 8-9. However, her rival’s two forehand cross-court returns settled the contest. “Saina has been moving well and I don’t think her fitness was a factor. We both couldn’t take a single point easily. Knowing that she is so good at the net, I tried to keep her away from there. Luckily, the shuttle-speed was consistent and ‘drift’ was not an issue. I was confident of doing well and when the team wanted me to play the Trump match, I readily agreed,” said Sindhu. After all, Sindhu’s match became a must-win encounter for Chennai since it trailed 1-2 before the fourth rubber. On her part, Saina pointed to Sindhu’s fitness and said, “Of course, Sindhu has had a great 2016 and is very, very fit. I’ve just had two weeks on court. My movements were sluggish. Once I go back [to Bengaluru],
Mesut Ozil won’t base his contract talks with Arsenal solely on the uncertain future of the Gunners manager. Wenger’s current deal only runs until the end of the season and he has yet to reveal whether he will extend his 20year reign at the Premier League club. With Wenger’s future still to be decided, Ozil this week said he wants to know whether the 67-year-old will still be at the helm if he agrees a new contract. Ozil and Arsenal teammate Alexis Sanchez both have 18 months left on their present deals and are reportedly seeking parity with the Premier League’s top earners if they are to remain at the Emirates Stadium beyond 2018. — AFP
I’ll be working a lot on it.” Their mega-clash pushed into the background the straight-game victories of Sindhu’s teammate P. Kashyap over Wing Ki Vincent Wong and Awadhe Warriors’s K. Srikanth over Tommy Sugiarto. In fact, there was a serious setback for Chennai when its previously undefeated mixed doubles pair of Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock lost the opener to the higher-ranked Savitree Amitrapal and Bodin Isara. The results (semifinals): Chennai Smashers bt Awadhe Warriors 4-1 [Chris Adcock & Gabrielle Adcock lost to Savitree Amitrapal & Bodin Isara 11-9, 8-11, 5-11; P. Kashyap bt Wing Ki Vincent Wong 11-4, 11-6; Tommy Sugiarto lost to K. Srikanth 12-14, 7-11; (T) P. V. Sindhu bt Saina Nehwal 11-7, 11-8; Chris Adcock & Mads Pieler Kolding bt (T) V. Shem Goh & Markis Kido 11-3, 12-10]. Mumbai Rockets bt Hyderabad Hunters 3 to -1 (Sung Ji Hyun bt Carolina Marin (T) 6-11, 11-6, 11-5; H.S. Prannoy (T) bt Sameer Verma 11-8, 15-13).
NEW DELHI: Second seed Mahak
Jain sustained her good work and outplayed Kuan Yi Lee of Chinese Taipei 6-3, 6-2 to set up a title clash against top seed Zeel Desai in the ITF grade-2 junior tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Friday. After a good start, the Taipei girl was unable to match the precision and consistency of 15-year-old Mahak and gave up, quite exasperated. On the other hand, the 17year-old Zeel hardly faced any challenge from compatriot Akanksha Bhan, who had the game but not the conviction in her ability, to compete against an opponent ranked No. 37 in the world. It will be a repeat of last year’s final at the same venue between Zeel and Mahak. Zeel has won the two matches against Mahak in the ITF junior circuit, the first being the
NEW DELHI: Delhi entered the fi-
nal of the Cooch Behar Trophy (under-19) tournament with a nine-wicket victory over host Himachal Pradesh at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium in Amter on Friday. In the other semifinal, Bengal defeated Assam, also by nine wickets, at the Bengal Cricket Academy Ground in Kalyani. The scores: Himachal Pradesh 225 in 86.5 overs (M.Z. Khan 95, R.V. Kashyap 47, Harsh Tyagi five for 48, Syed Saqlain Haider four for 47) & 155 in 50.2 overs (Tyagi five for 42, Haider three for 34) lost to Delhi 276 in 65.1 overs (Mayank Rawat 86, Jonty Sidhu 57, Anuj Rawat 36) & 109 for one in 23.1 overs (Manoj Kalra 64 not out, Ankur Kaushik 39). Assam 179 in 106.4 overs (Akash Sengupta 37, Jitumoni Kalita 33, Erik Roy 30, Kanishk Seth six for 48) & 122 in 43 overs (Erik Roy 51, S.S. Jaiswal three for 21, Ishan Porel three for 28) lost to Bengal 225 in 89.3 overs (Ankur Paul 85, Mohammad Irfan Ansari 37, Arif Ansari 31, Aravinda Biswas three for 45, Mukhtar Hussain three for 64) & 79 for one in 15.1 overs (Ankur Paul 53 n.o.). — Sports Bureau
Konta’s fairytale finish in Sydney SYDNEY: Britain’s World No. 10
Johanna Konta beat thirdranked Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-2 to win the Sydney International WTA final on Friday. In doubles, top seeds Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova, playing together for the first time, came up short against the unseeded combination of Timea Babos and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the final. Mirza and Strycova lost to their unseeded opponents 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 12 minutes. In the men’s section, Gilles Muller ended Viktor Troicki’s two-year unbeaten run with a fighting 6-3, 7-6(6) victory to reach the final. Muller, after two years coming up short in the semifinals, will face Britain’s Daniel Evans. Evans, who upset Austrian top seed Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals, accounted for Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
FIGHTING DISPLAY: Gilles Muller played some combative tennis en route to dethroning Viktor Troicki in the Apia International on Friday. — PHOTO: AP The results: At Sydney: ATP/ WTA Apia International: Women: Final: Johanna Konta bt Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-2. Doubles: Final:
Zeel to meet Mahak in title round SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
It’s Delhi vs Bengal
one in 2014 in Pakistan. Kuan Yi Pee combined well with Mananchaya Saangaew of Thailand to cinch the doubles title with a 10-4 victory in the super tie-break against Yasmina Karimjanova of Uzbekistan and Mahak. In line for a double In the boys’ section, top seed Uisung Park of Korea put himself in line for a double as he won the doubles title with Hua-Chen Yu of Chinese Taipei. In an entertaining contest, Uisung Park tamed Jack Draper of Britain. He will play the tall and strongly built Len Schouten of the Netherlands who fought past Hazem Naow of Syria. The results: Boys: Semifinals: Uisung Park
(Kor) bt Jack Draper (GBR) 6-1, 7-6 (4); Len Schouten (Ned) bt Hazem Naow (Syr) 6-2, 7-6(8). Quarterfinals: Uisung Park bt Parikshit Somani 6-1, 6-2; Jack Draper bt Palaphoon Kovapitukted (Tha) 6-2,
poured in 31 points in just three quarters of play, and four of San Antonio Spurs’ starters scored in double figures as the team demolished Los Angeles Lakers 134-94 at the AT&T Center on Thursday. Spurs’s total was a seasonhigh, as were the 72 points scored by it in the first half and the 40-point margin of victory. Pau Gasol added 22 points for Spurs, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker added 13 each, all in just three quarters of the lopsided game. The results : Golden State Warriors 127 bt Detroit Pistons 107; Dallas Mavericks 113 bt Phoenix Suns 108; San Antonio Spurs 134 bt Los Angeles Lakers 94; New York Knicks 104 bt Chicago Bulls 89; New Orleans Pelicans 104 bt Brooklyn Nets 95; Denver Nuggets 140 bt Indiana Pacers 112. — Reuters
Mumbai confirms semifinal spot
Amonatov snaps Karthikeyan’s run Kheta Ram targets personal best at SCMM
UTHRA GANESAN NEW DELHI: A bleeding captain Erica Wiebe kept her unbeaten record in the competition intact and ensured Mumbai Maharathi stayed the course and booked a semifinal spot with a 4-3 win over Delhi Sultans in the Pro Wrestling League here on Friday. Having finished its league engagements, Mumbai will now have to wait for the other ties to get over to know its opponent in the knockouts. Delhi, meanwhile, lost its fourth tie on the trot and, along with UP, is now out of competition, making their last tie — against each other — of academic interest. With her team trailing in the tie, Erica managed just one takedown of Alina Makhynia in the 75kg but that was enough for a 3-0 victory that pulled her team level. Ukrainian Pavlo Oliynik came back from a three-point deficit to comprehensively win 8-3 against Satyavrat Kadian in the 97kg in the final bout of the day. Erica twice took a medical break, battling with a cotton swab in her nose all through
but neither that nor the reopened cut above her eye could stop the reigning Olympic champion from Canada from winning her fifth bout in as many games. Good start Delhi, though, had its best start in the competition so far after David Tlashadze pinned Pritam in the 70kg to win in five minute 40 seconds while leading 6-2. Multiple Olympic medallist Mariya Stadnik bettered him, ending the contest against Carolina Castillo in just two minutes 42 seconds to double the lead and a struggling Sakshi managed to edge past a defensive Sarita 1-3 with not a single takedown in the entire bout to put Delhi ahead 3-1. The team, however, sufered due to the absence of Bajrang Punia, the highestpaid wrestler in the competition — who fought just one bout and lost — aas his replacement Surjeet was pinned by an aggressive Vikas in just over five minutes while leading 15-8. Vikas almost got pinned himself before using all his strength to push away Surjeet,
turn him around and pin him instead to the mat. Mumbai’s Jabrayil Hasanov beat Parveen Rana 7-0 in the 74kg to remain unbeaten. With the tie hinging on the final bout, Kadian went ahead 0-3 at the beginning of the second round. But Oliynik, a former European champion, changed his strategy. Rewarded Instead of going for the big points, he kept pushing Kadian out of the competition area and was rewarded with three quick points to equalise before getting behind him successfully to take a 6-3 lead. Another takedown in the last 10 seconds sealed the matter in Mumbai’s favour. The results: Delhi beat Mumbai 4-3 (Women: 48kg: Carolina Castillo (Mum) lost to Mariya Stadnik (Del) by fall; 58kg:
Sarita (Mum) lost to Sakshi Malik (Del) 1-3; 75kg: Erica Wiebe (Mum) bt Alina Makhynia (Del) 3-0. Men: 65kg: Vikas (Mum) bt Surjeet Grewal (Del) by fall; 70kg: Pritam (Mum) lost to David Tlashadze (Del) by fall; 74kg: Jabrayil Hasanov (Mum) bt Parveen Rana (Del) 7-0; 97kg: Pavlo Oliynik (Mum) bt Satyavrat Kadian (Del) 8-3).
NEW DELHI: It needed something
READY FOR THE FRAY: Indian marathoners (from left) Tsetan Dolkar, Jigmet Dolma, Jyoti Gavate, Mohammad Yunus, Elem Singh and Kheta Ram in Mumbai on Friday. — PHOTO: VIVEK BENDRE SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT MUMBAI: Kheta Ram is the only
male marathoner from Rio 2016 in the fray at the 14th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2017 (SCMM). The Olympian is hoping to bank on experience to overcome shortage of preparation for Sunday’s event. “I trained for a month and want to make that efort count. After the Rio Games, I took a
two-month break and hence could not prepare as extensively as I did last year,” said the Army Sports Institute runner. He finished 26th in the Rio marathon, clocking a personal best 2:15:26s. The ASI athlete from Rajasthan is the name to watch among Indian men at the SCMM on Sunday. Two others who ran with him at Rio, Thanachkal Gopi and Nitendra Rawat have not entered the Mumbai race.
special from top seed Farrukh Amonatov to end the winning streak of overnight leader M. Karthikeyan and surge ahead after the seventh round of the Delhi International Open chess tournament here on Friday. The victory took Amonatov to 6.5 points and kept him half a point away from the trio of Karthikeyan, third seed Diptayan Ghosh and Ukrainian Vitaly Sivuk. Three rounds remain. Playing with white pieces, Amanatov grabbed a pawn on the queenside on the 24th move after his king was dislodged from its home square on the 16th turn. This happened after Karthikeyan went ahead with a sequence of tactics that didn’t amount to much. The Indian teenager also chose not to castle and soon thereafter, with the rooks of the boards, the outcome of the result depended on the minor piece-play. After 55 moves, the Tajikistan player had the last laugh. Ghosh got the better of
FOCUSED: Farrukh Amonatov (left) produced something special to beat M. Karthikeyan in the seventh round of the Delhi International Open chess tournament. young N.R. Visakh in 53 moves on the second board while Sivuk overpowered compatriot Valeriy Neverov in 45 moves. The results (Indians unless stated): Seventh round: Farrukh Amontov (Tjk, 6.5) bt M. Karthikeyan (6); Diptayan Ghosh (6) bt N.R. Visakh (5.5); Vitaly Sivuk (Ukr, 6) bt Valeriy Neverov (Ukr, 5); Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy (Vie, 5.5) drew with Adam Horvath (Hun, 5.5); Niranjan Navalgund (5.5) drew with Swayams
Mishra (5.5); David Alberto (Ita, 5.5) bt S. Nitin (5); Sayantan Das (4.5) lost to S. L. Naryanan (5.5); Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (5) drew with Adam Tukhaev (Ukr, 5); Andrei Deviatkin (Rus, 5) drew with Rakesh Kumar Jena (5); Attila Czebe Attila (Hun, 5.5) bt Arjun Erigaisi (4.5); Sahaj Grover (5.5) bt Sidhant Mohapatra (4.5); Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb, 5.5) bt Rahul Sangma (4.5); Niaz Murshed (Ban, 5.5) bt Spencer Masango (Zim, 4.5); Anup Deshmukh (4.5) lost to Saptarshi Roy (5.5); Pranav Shetty (5) drew with S. Ravi Teja (5.5). ND-ND
THE HINDU SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
WhatsApp vulnerable to snooping: Report
Oscar-winning Exorcist author dies at 89
Nintendo reboots with Switch game console
The Facebook-owned mobile messaging service WhatsApp is vulnerable to interception, The Guardian newspaper reported on Friday.
William Peter Blatty, the author of the 1971 horror novel The Exorcist and writer of its Oscar-winning big-screen adaptation, has died aged 89.
Nintendo on Friday unveiled its new Switch game console, which works both at home and on-the-go, as it looks to offset disappointing Wii U sales.
Indian pepper may be a cancer fighter HOUSTON: The Indian long
pepper, widely popular for spicing up food, may soon be used as a potential cancer treatment drug, according to a new study. The Indian long pepper contains a chemical that could stop your body from producing an enzyme that is commonly found in tumours in large numbers, according to the study in Journal of Biological Chemistry. UT Southwestern Medical Enter scientists have uncovered the chemical process behind anti-cancer properties of a spicy Indian pepper plant called the long pepper, whose suspected medicinal properties date back thousands of years. The secret lies in a chemical called Piperlongumine (PL), which has shown activity against many cancers including prostate, breast, lung,
colon, lymphoma, leukaemia, primary brain tumours and gastric cancer. Detoxification enzyme Using X-ray crystallography, researchers were able to create molecular structures that show how the chemical is transformed after being ingested. PL converts to hPL, an active drug that silences a gene called GSTP1. The GSTP1 gene produces a detoxification enzyme that is often overly abundant in tumours, the study said. “We are hopeful that our structure will enable additional drug development eforts in order to improve the potency of PL for its use in a wide range of cancer therapies,” said Dr. Kenneth Westover, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Radiation Oncology. — PTI
Bush daughters advise Obamas on life after White House B
Nawazuddin charged ₨1 for Haraamkhor
Teenagers Malia and Sasha Obama received praise from the 35-year-old twins WASHINGTON: A week before
their dad leaves the White House, Malia and Sasha Obama received praise and advice from the daughters of former U.S. President George W. Bush as they exit the public spotlight. “Eight years ago on a cold November day, we greeted you on the steps of the White House. We saw both the light and wariness in your eyes as you gazed at your new home,” 35-year-old twins Jenna and Barbara Bush said in an co-written article posted late Thursday on Time magazine’s website. ‘Another rarefied club’ “In eight years, you have done so much. Seen so much,” the Bush daughters wrote. “We have watched you
reason the first family have given for remaining in Washington after Mr. Obama hands over to Presidentelect Donald Trump.
SISTER ACT: Former U.S. President George W. Bush’s daughters Jenna (left) and Barbara at the White House. — FILE PHOTO: AP grow from girls to impressive young women with grace and ease... Now you are about to join another rarefied club, one of former First Children.” Malia Obama (18) is taking
a gap year after graduating high school, before she enrols next year at Harvard College. Younger sister Sasha (15) has another couple of years of high school ahead, which is the
‘Make mistakes’ The Bush twins ofered words of encouragement and advice as the Obama girls prepare to leave White House. “Enjoy college. As most of the world knows, we did,” the Bush twins wrote, in a joking reference to news accounts of the minor scandals that erupted over their alcohol use while in college. “Explore your passions. Learn who you are. Make mistakes — you are allowed to. Continue to surround yourself with loyal friends who know you, adore you and will fiercely protect you,” they wrote. — AFP
In Praise of Air, a poem that ‘cleans’ your environment
SHARP IMPACT: Icicles hang from a house in south Kashmir on Friday. The cold wave continued unabated in Kashmir, with Srinagar experiencing its coldest January night in the past five years on Thursday. Water supply lines remain frozen. — PHOTO: NISSAR AHMAD
LONDON: A revolutionary aircleansing poem has removed more than two tonnes of pollution from the environment in the U.K. as part of a project that could be used to fight pollution in cities across the world, a leading British University claimed on Friday. In Praise of Air, the world’s first air-cleansing poem, was produced by scientists and writers at the University of Sheield in the U.K. The catalytic poem by award-winning writer Simon Armitage, Professor of Poetry in the University’s School of English, has been printed on specially treated material developed by sci-
Boy ‘pulls gun’ on classmate for chicken nugget
A new computer method to tell namesakes apart
NEW YORK: A 12-year-old New York City boy has been accused of pulling a gun on a classmate, demanding that she gave him her chicken nugget. Police said the boy first approached the girl inside a McDonald’s in Harlem on Tuesday and asked her for one of her Chicken McNuggets. When the girl refused, police said, the boy followed her as she walked to a nearby subway station and pointed a gun at her head, demanding that she gave him a nugget. Police said the girl smacked the gun away and told the boy to leave her alone. The girl reported the incident to school oicials the next day and the boy was taken into police custody for attempted robbery. The gun was not found, and it remained unclear if it was real. — AP
WASHINGTON: Scientists have developed a novel machinelearning method that can differentiate between people with the same name. All individuals are unique, but millions of people share names. How to distinguish between — or disambiguate — people with common names has always perplexed researchers. This conundrum occurs in a wide range of environments, from the bibliographic to law enforcement and other areas. Now, scientists from the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in the U.S. have developed a novel machine-learning method to provide better solutions to this problem. The new method is an improvement on currently existing approaches of name disambiguation because it
It works on streaming data that enables the identification of names previously not encountered works on streaming data that enables the identification of names previously not encountered. A key aspect Existing methods can disambiguate an individual only if the person’s records are present in machine-learning training data, whereas the new method can perform non-exhaustive classification so that it can detect the fact that a new record that appears in streaming data actually belongs to a fourth person, even if the training data has records of only three diferent persons.
entists at the university that is capable of purifying its surroundings through catalytic oxidation. Nitrogen oxide removed The poem, which has been on display on the University of Sheield’s Alfred Denny building since May 2014, has now reached the end of its exhibition in Sheield, and the project team has estimated that it has removed over two tonnes of nitrogen oxide from the surrounding environment. The team now hopes the poem and its air-cleansing technology can be replicated on billboards and artwork in
towns and cities across the world. Professor Joanna Gavins, who leads the project from the University’s School of English, said: “We all know that pollution is a major problem for the world’s urban areas but so far we as a society haven’t fully adopted any long-term solutions to tackle the problem. “Scientists, such as my colleagues in Sheield, are developing technologies to help clean the environment but it’s the arts and humanities that can help raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire people to adopt pro-environmental behaviour.” he said. — PTI
ollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui charged nothing but just a token amount of one rupee for his latest release Haraamkhor. The Shlok Sharma-directed movie, which also stars Shweta Tripathi, is based on student-teacher romance. “Nawaz as well as everyone in the project worked on minimal money or no money at all. Ours is a passion project and we did everything we could to get the film made. Nawaz loved the script and insisted to work pro bono on the film understanding the limitations of the budget overall. Nawaz was sweet to only charge one rupee from us literally as a token of his efforts. His support and work made the film possible!,” Guneet Monga of Sikhya Entertainment said. Haraamkhor is jointly produced by Monga and director Anurag Kashyap. — PTI
Harrelson joins Han Solo standalone film
ctor Woody Harrelson has been confirmed to appear in Han Solo standalone movie. The announcement comes a week after he was reported to be one of the cast members. Lucasfilm and Disney haven’t revealed Harrelson’s role, though, reported Ace Showbiz. “We couldn’t be more excited to work with an artist with as much depth and range as Woody,” said directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. “His ability to find both humor and pathos, often in the same role, is truly unique. He is also very good at ping pong,” they said. Harrelson’s other movies are Now You See Me, cop drama Triple 9, LBJ and The Edge of Seventeen. He has six more films coming out this year, including War for the Planet of the Apes, which is scheduled to be released in July. The Han Solo standalone movie will focus on the event before Star Wars: A New Hope, just like blockbuster Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. — PTI
Alec Baldwin to play Trump on SNL
ctor Alec Baldwin has revealed that he would return to Saturday Night Live to portray the 45th U.S. President Donald Trump on January 21, just a day after the inauguration. The 58-year-old actor said he is also considering other venues he might pursue to further portray Trump, reported Ace Showbiz. “We’re going to play Trump the day after the inauguration. I’m doing SNL the day after the inauguration,” Baldwin said. “All of this comedy stuff we do on SNL, Trump is our head writer. Trump just hands it to us in a basket with a big bow on it everyday,” he added. The actor said in a separate interview that he was going to keep appearing on SNL. “I’m gonna do SNL as much as I can. And there’s discussions about other venues we might pursue to further express our gratitude and admiration for the Trump administration,” Baldwin told ABC News. — PTI
“Non-exhaustiveness” is an important aspect for name disambiguation because training data can never be exhaustive, as it is impossible to include records of all living individuals. “We can teach the computer to recognise names and disambiguate information accumulated from a variety of sources — Facebook, Twitter and blog posts, public records, and other documents — by collecting features such as Facebook friends and keywords from people’s posts using the identical algorithm,” said IUPUI associate professor Mohammad al Hasan. “Our proposed method is scalable and will be able to group records belonging to a unique person even if thousands of people have the same name, an extremely complicated task.” — PTI
Chinese school allows students to borrow marks from ‘grade bank’ to pass able for advanced students in the international department. One student, identified only as Gui, recently used the bank to borrow seven points in order to receive a passing grade of 60 on a physics test, the newspaper reported, but most students usually need only one or two points.
BENJAMIN HAAS HONG KONG: Many of us have been there: hopelessly unprepared for an exam, wishing we had studied more and certain of a failing mark. Now, for students at one school in China, success is guaranteed, but it comes at a price. A high school in eastern China has set up a “grade bank”, where students who would normally fail a test can borrow points to push them over the line into a passing mark. But nothing in life is free, and students must repay their borrowed grades with even higher scores on a future exam. Students can also do extra work in the form of lab experiments or public presentations to repay the bank. China’s education system is heavily dependent on just a few major exams, with entry into college almost entirely determined by one test
CREDIT BALANCE: Students must repay borrowed grades with even higher scores on a future exam. — REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO: AFP in the final year of school. Students are under so much pressure to perform, many attempt increasingly hi-tech methods of cheating. Spy cameras and radio devices have been found hidden in jewellery, spectacles, wallets, pens, rulers and underwear. “The purpose of exams are for students to evaluate, correct and improve their stud-
ies, not to make things diicult, punish, destroy a student’s enthusiasm,” Huang Kan, a director at the school, told the Yangtse Evening News. Mr. Huang also lamented the culture in China where “one test determines your life “. The ‘grade bank’ at Nanjing No. 1 High School is currently only in the pilot phase, and so far only avail-
‘Psychological impact big’ “The diference in learning between a score of 59 points and 60 points is not large, but the psychological impact on students is huge,” said Mei Hong, a physics teacher at the school. So far, about a quarter of the students in the pilot programme have borrowed from the bank. Like a real bank, borrowing marks will incur interest, and students can repay their debt in instalments. Any students still in debt at the end of the semester will get a “red mark” on their record. — The Guardian ND-ND