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Delhi

monday, march 12, 2018
monday, march 12, 2018
Rahul Gandhi says he has forgiven the killers of his father page 10

Rahul Gandhi says he has forgiven the killers of his father

page 10

Shoe thrown at former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at Pak. madrasa page 12

Shoe thrown at former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at Pak. madrasa

page 12

former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at Pak. madrasa page 12 thehindu.com facebook.com/thehindu twitter.com/the_hindu

thehindu.com

facebook.com/thehindu

twitter.com/the_hindu

House disruptions will not help us, says Venkaiah Naidu page 10

House disruptions will not help us, says Venkaiah Naidu

page 10

City Edition

28 pages  10.00

Venkaiah Naidu page 10 City Edition 28 pages  10.00 Matt Wallace wins Indian Open golf

Matt Wallace wins Indian Open golf after a playo

page 17

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Noida

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Kochi

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Vijayawada

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Mangaluru

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Tiruchirapalli

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Kolkata

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Hubballi

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cuttack

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patna

IN BRIEF

. Mumbai . Tirupati . lucknow . cuttack . patna IN BRIEF Kejriwal calls all-party meeting

Kejriwal calls all-party meeting on sealing issue

NEW DELHI

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday called for an all­party meeting at his residence on Tuesday to nd solutions to problems being faced by traders because of an ongoing sealing drive in the national Capital. Mr. Kejriwal wrote to Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party chief Manoj Tiwari and Congress leader Ajay Maken on Sunday.

DELHI METRO PAGE 1

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Two students killed as car turns turtle

NEW DELHI

Two undergraduate students were killed and three injured when their speeding car turned turtle after hitting a trac island in G.T.B. Nagar’s Hudson Lane in north­west Delhi early on Sunday, the police said.

DELHI METRO PAGE 1

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EDGE 4 PAGES DELHI METRO 6 PAGES

India commits $1.4 billion for solar energy worldwide

PM announces largest ever funding at International Solar Alliance meet

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI

India on Sunday announced one of the world’s largest in­ vestment plans in solar ener­ gy at the Founding Confe­ rence of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The $1.4 billion line of credit will cov­ er 27 projects in 15 countries and boost the much­re­ quired nancial power to the solar sector. “India will provide assis­ tance to 15 countries for $1.4 billion. I am happy to an­ nounce that to ll the gap of solar technology, India will start a solar technology mis­ sion with international fo­ cus, which will cover all go­ vernment technical and educational institutions,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, announcing the unprecedented investment.

10-point plan The Founding Conference was co­chaired by Mr. Modi and French President Em­ manuel Macron. Mr. Modi presented a 10­point action plan aimed at making solar power more aordable while raising the share of power generated. “We have to in­ crease the share of solar in the energy mix,” Mr. Modi said. The solar energy sector,

the energy mix,” Mr. Modi said. The solar energy sector, Shiny start: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Shiny start: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron before the start of the International Solar Alliance founding conference in New Delhi on Sunday.

* AP

facing a challenge of fund­ ing, received considerable support at the conference. Mr. Macron, while pointing to the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change, praised those who stayed the course to support the solar power on a global scale. France was committed to providing an additional €700 million in loans and support by 2022 to emerging economies for so­ lar energy projects, he said. “We know the hurdles. There are nancial hurdles,

regulations, capacity hur­ dles as well. We shall, there­ fore, lift every single one of them,” the French President said, adding, “It is not enough to look at what go­ vernments are doing. We need a new international deal with the private sector, the international public sec­ tor and civil society as well.” Mr Macron is heading to Mirzapur where he will in­ augurate a 100 MW solar power project on Monday. Mr. Macron identied three issues to be addressed

— the solar energy potential in each country should be be identied; mobilisation of ­ nance; and the provision of a favourable framework. He said the member countries of the ISA would ensure dis­ tribution of nance and ex­ pertise. The conference was attended by 23 heads of states and governments from all over the world, in­ cluding Mr. Modi and Mr. Macron.

WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE? PAGE 14

Limit on Xi’s tenure goes as NPC backs statute changes

President’s doctrine becomes part of Constitution

Atul Aneja

BEIJING

Chinese lawmakers on Sun­ day resoundingly endorsed changes in the Constitution, which would empower Pre­ sident Xi Jinping to weather headwinds that challenge China’s new stage of transition. Out of a total of 2,964 members of the National Pe­ ople’s Congress (NPC) who voted on constitutional amendments, only two op­ posed a proposal that re­ moves the limit on the te­ nure of the President to two consecutive ve­year terms. There were three absten­ tions to the revision oated by the Communist Party of China (CPC). With the changes in Chi­ na’s basic law, Mr. Xi can now serve as President inde­ nitely. He already wields real power as the CPC’s gen­ eral secretary — a post that has no term limit. Mr. Xi also heads the powerful Central Military Commission — the apex body that marshals the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Besides, lawmakers at the NPC, China’s parliament, al­ so included Mr. Xi’s political doctrine — ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’ — into the Constitu­

Characteristics for a New Era’ — into the Constitu­ tion. Prior to Mr. Xi, only the

tion. Prior to Mr. Xi, only the founding father of the Peo­ ple’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong, and the late para­ mount leader Deng Xiaoping have their personal ideolo­ gies engraved in the Constitution.

Foregone conclusion The constitutional change that entrenches Mr. Xi’s power was a foregone con­ clusion. But going far beyond the mandatory two­ thirds majority require­ ment, the near­unanimous vote conveys the impression of deep consensus in the es­ tablishment for backing Pre­ sident Xi. The 21 items in the

Constitution that were re­ vised include provisions for setting up a National Super­ visory Commission — an an­ ti­corruption super agency. Analysts say Sunday’s voting marks a “new point of inex­ ion” in the four­decade his­ tory of reforms pioneered by Deng. “The amendment makes the next 15 years more pred­ ictable and strengthens Chi­ na’s hand internationally,” says Beijing­based political commentator Einar Tangen in a conversation with The Hindu.

XI CAN NOW LOOK AHEAD TO CENTENARY GOALS PAGE 12

Uttar Pradesh bypolls witness a low turnout

43% in Gorakhpur, 37% in Phulpur

Omar Rashid

Amarnath Tewary

LUCKNOW/PATNA

The crucial Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha byelec­ tions in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday were marked by a poor average turnout of on­ ly 40.20%. If Gorakhpur recorded only 43% voting, the gure was even lower in Phulpur at 37.39%, as per Joint Chief Election Ocer Ramesh Chandra Rai. It is a drastic fall from 2014 when Gorakh­ pur recorded 54.67% and Phulpur 50.20%, a dip of ov­ er 11% and 12%. In neighbouring Bihar, the turnout was slightly bet­ ter — 57% in the Araria Lok Sabha constituency and 50.6% and 54.6% respec­ tively in the Jehanabad and Bhabhua Assembly consti­ tuencies. The byelections concluded with no incidents

tuencies. The byelections concluded with no incidents Yogi Adityanath after casting his vote in Gorakhpur on

Yogi Adityanath after casting his vote in Gorakhpur on Sunday.

* PTI

of violence, but an FIR was led against Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai for violating the model code of conduct by allegedly making a provo­ cative speech during cam­ paigning on Friday at Nar­ patganj in Araria. There were also reports of VVPAT machines not working at some booths in Bhabhua.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 RS CANDIDATES PAGE 10

‘Centre nalising Cauvery scheme’

Will meet six­week deadline: ocial

T. Ramakrishnan

CHENNAI

The Central government is working for nalising a scheme on the Cauvery is­ sue within six weeks, as stip­ ulated by the Supreme Court, Union Water Re­ sources Secretary U.P. Singh said on Sunday. “We had internal discus­ sions. We had consultations with States [of the Cauvery basin on Friday]. We have to see other nal points of it [the issue]. We are working for it,” Mr. Singh told The Hindu over phone, asked whether the proposed scheme would be imple­ mented within the deadline. On the controversy over the term ‘scheme’ and the constitution of an imple­ mentation mechanism, the Secretary said Section 6A of the Inter­State River Water d

lf h

scribed a scheme. While implementation mechanisms had been set up to carry out the orders of some Tribunals constituted under the Act, there was al­ so a precedent of the deci­ sion of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal–I being implemented without any mechanism, he said. (The order of this Tribunal, pop­ ularly called the Bachawat Award, was published in the gazette in May 1976). Mr. Singh explained that in the context of the Cauv­ ery, the Tribunal, in its nal order, had mentioned a two­tier structure, giving details of the composition. “What we discussed [last week] is some kind of a bo­ dy which will have full­time members and maybe part­ time members.”

#446601

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5 trekkers killed in T.N. forest re
Net result
trapped in the intense blaze
S.
Vijay Kumar
B.
Aravind Kumar
CHENNAI/theni
Tragedy struck a group of
trekkers in southern Tamil
Nadu, as forest res killed at
least ve girls and left many
others injured in Kolukkuma­
lai area close to Kurangini in
Theni district on Sunday.
The trekkers, all between
the ages of 8 and 30, were
that swept through the re­
mote forests in the Western
Ghats.
Sources in the police and
forest departments said the
identities of the deceased
could not be established.
Of the trekkers, 24 – most
of them women — were taken
on an expedition by the
Chennai Trekking Club and
13 others belonged to Tiru­
pur and Erode. The group of
37 comprised 26 women,
three children and eight
men, Theni Collector Pallavi
Baldev told journalists.
Defence Minister Nirmala
Sitharaman was coordinating
the rescue operations.
(With inputs from K.
Raju in Dindigul and
S. Sundar in Madurai)
Coming together: Villagers participating in community shing with traditional nets in the
Soneswari river at Bhogdabari in Kamrup district of Assam on Sunday.
* PTI

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DELHI

D E L H I Timings Monday, March 12 RISE 06:36 SET 18:28

Timings

Monday, March 12

RISE 06:36 SET 18:28

RISE

06:36

SET

18:28

 

RISE

03:05

SET

13:54

Tuesday, March 13

 
RISE 06:34 SET 18:28

RISE

06:34

SET

18:28

 

RISE

03:50

SET

14:45

Wednesday, March 14

RISE 06:33 SET 18:29

RISE

06:33

SET

18:29

 

RISE

04:32

SET

15:38

2 minors dead, 11 taken ill after consuming tea

Press Trust of India

Sitamarhi (Bihar)

Two children died and 11 others were taken ill after consuming tea laced with some spurious substance in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district on Sunday, the police said.

The incident occurred at Ranauli village under Bath­ naha police station limits, the police said. A wedding was scheduled to be held in a house in the village on Monday and the children had gone there to

have tea. The children com­ plained of nausea and start­ ed vomiting after drinking the tea, and two of them fainted, SHO of Sitamarhi Town police station Anil Sharma said. The two children who had

fainted died when they were taken to a sorcerer for treat­ ment, Mr. Sharma said. It is suspected that some spu­ rious substance had been mixed with tea. The other children were admitted to Si­ tamarhi Sadar Hospital.

other children were admitted to Si­ tamarhi Sadar Hospital. ‘No paradigm shift in Himachal budget’ It

‘No paradigm shift in Himachal budget’

It is a political document with false promises: CPI(M)

Staff Correspondent

SHIMLA

The Himachal Pradesh State committee of the Commu­ nist Party of India (Marxist) has termed the budget by the newly­elected BJP go­ vernment as one driven by “international nance capi­ tal” and one of a piece with budgets presented at the Centre and other State Assemblies. “It is not all dierent and there is no paradigm shift as claimed by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and his Cabinet colleagues,” said CPI(M) se­ nior leader and MLA Rakesh Singha at a press conference here this weekend. It is a continuation of the previous State budgets giving conces­ sions to the rich and burden­ ing the poor, he said. Mr. Singha termed the budget speech as a “totally political document” with “false and fake promises” and said that the Economic Survey has presented the real nancial health of the State, which is “very scary”.

nancial health of the State, which is “very scary”. Rakesh Singha * He said the growth

Rakesh Singha *

He said the growth rate of the Gross State Domestic Product has come down from 8.1% in 2015­16 to 6.9% in 2016­17 and to 6.3% in 2017­18, which was the last year of previous Virbhadra Singh­led Congress govern­ ment. Mr. Singha expressed ap­ prehension that the growth rate next year might slide to under 5%. Expressing concern on the massive decrease in the contribution of the primary sector in the economy from 21.1% in 2000­01 to around 9.4% now, the CPI(M) leader

said the majority population is still involved in this sector for its survival. Taking a dig at the new go­ vernment’s slogan of ‘mini­ mum government, maxi­ mum governance’, Mr. Singha claimed it is backing out from providing all essen­ tial services and handing them over to the private sec­ tor, and deploying heavy se­ curity to suppress anti­go­ vernment protests. The government’s move to end APL rationing and the xing of user charges on drinking water and health facilities would lead to star­ vation and abject poverty everywhere, he cautioned. The MLA also questioned how the BJP, which was crit­ icising the previous regime for a heavy debt burden, is justifying the loans taken by its government in just two months now. Instead of this it should concentrate on generating its own resources and also ask for its due share in projects such as the Bhak­ ra Nangal project, he said.

BJP MLA beats up Dalit women, makes casteist slur

Press Trust of India

Rudrapur (Uttarakhand)

An FIR was led against a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Uttarakhand for alleg­ edly beating up Dalit women and making casteist remarks here, the police said on Sunday. A video of the incident, purportedly showing Rudra­ pur MLA Rajkumar Thukral beating up the women on Friday, went viral on social media. Mr. Thukral was booked

under sections 323 and 504 of the IPC and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Preven­ tion of Atrocities) Act. Two other BJP leaders’ names are also mentioned in the FIR, a police ocer said. The BJP leader, however, has termed the allegations baseless. “It is a conspiracy to malign my image by mak­ ing false allegations,” he said. “The case was registered after a person named Ram Kishore led a complaint on

behalf of the victims,” Ud­ ham Singh Nagar SSP Sada­ nand Date said. Investigations are on in this case, he added. According to reports, a panchayat meeting was held at the MLA’s house on Friday morning over a couple’s re­ lationship. The family mem­ bers of the girl and the boy were present. After the two families got into a scue, Mr. Thukral allegedly lost his cool and hit some of the wo­ men.

STURI & SONS LTD., Chennai-600002. Editor: Mukund Padmanabhan (Responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act).

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IN BRIEF

IN BRIEF VS seeks probe into fake message THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Former

VS seeks probe into fake message

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Former Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Sunday wrote to DGP Loknath Behra seeking a probe into the source of a message on a social media outlet. The fake message carried his photograph and quoted him as having said that the LDF’s prospective Chengannur Assembly bypoll candidate Saji Varghese would lose his deposit.

Alert sounded in Kerala over low pressure

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The coastal districts of Kerala have been put on alert and weathermen and disaster management experts are closely tracking the low pressure area hovering over the equatorial Indian Ocean since Saturday, as the system showed signs of strengthening into a depression by Monday.

Why is Modi telling so many lies: Siddaramaiah

He has brought disrespect to the post of PM: Karnataka CM

Staff Reporter

Tumakuru

Continuing his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Sidda­ ramaiah on Sunday alleged that “in the history of inde­ pendent India if there is any Prime Minister who has ut­ tered maximum lies, it is Mr. Modi.” At a convention of Congress workers at Korat­ agere of Tumakuru district, Mr. Siddaramaiah main­ tained that Mr. Modi had brought disrespect to the Prime Minister’s post by tell­ ing so many lies. He asked Mr. Modi, “Why are you tell­ ing so many lies?”

Black money He said Mr. Modi had pro­ mised to bring the black mo­ ney of Indians stashed in fo­ reign banks and that the government would deposit

in fo­ reign banks and that the government would deposit Ready for combat: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

Ready for combat: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah inaugurates the ‘Janaashirvada Yatre’ at Koratagere.

* SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

15 lakh into the bank ac­ counts of each citizen of the country within 100 days of coming to power. But even after four years, he had failed to do so. He had not kept his promise which

proved that he was lying, the Chief Minister said. Launching an attack on Janata Dal (Secular), Mr. Sid­ daramaiah said that the JD (S) leaders were opportunis­ tic.

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Fans mourn as a giant fades away

Thiruvambadi Sivasundar was a majestic presence at the Pooram festival

Staff Reporter

Thrissur

Thiruvambadi Sivasundar, who was the ‘king of beauty’ to his fans, died here on Sunday. The temple elephant was undergoing treatment for impaction, or intestinal block, for the last 66 days, but could not be saved. It breathed its last around 3 a.m. The presence of the 46­year­old tusker was one of the highlights of the Thirssur Pooram festival for many years. It used to carry the idol of the Thiruvambadi Krishna temple here for the

the idol of the Thiruvambadi Krishna temple here for the Mammoth hero: A legion of fans

Mammoth hero: A legion of fans bid adieu to Sivasundar.

past 15 years during the event. Sivasundar also carried idols at other famous festivals.

Thousands of elephant lovers, including Ministers, paid homage. The emotion triggered by the elephant’s

death echoed the tributes to the legendary elephant Guruvayur Kesavan.

A docu­ction lm was

also made on Sivasundar.

Long treatment The elephant was tethered in a closed tent in the compound next to the Thiruvambadi Devaswom for more than two months after it was aected by severe impaction.

It was conferred the ‘Gaja

Kesari’ title at the Gajaraja Sangamam held at Elangulam in 2007. It also won the ‘Mathanga Kesari’ title in 2008.

#446601

Aide of MP les plaint over FB post

STAFF REPORTER

HUBBALLI

Union Skill Development Minister Anantkumar Hegde’s personal assistant led a case with the New Market police of Sirsi on Sunday against those who have allegedly uploaded a fake message on Facebook in Mr. Hegde’s name. In his complaint, Suresh Govinda Shetty said that a message uploaded on the Facebook page ‘Prajakiya’ claimed that Mr. Hegde had issued a statement that he would replace the sta­ tues of Kempe Gowda with those of Shivaji if the BJP came to power in Karnata­ ka. Some Facebook users responded to this message and threatened Mr. Hegde. However, the complai­ nant said, the Minister had never issued such a state­ ment. The police have regis­ tered a case and are investi­ gating.

SC imposes ne on Kerala in CBSE schools case

Restrains State from implementing certain guidelines

Krishnadas Rajagopal

NEW DELHI

An annoyed Supreme Court restrained the Kerala go­ vernment from implement­ ing certain guidelines, which include enrolment of CBSE students for Aadhaar, while ordering the State to cough up 1 lakh for chroni­ cally seeking adjournments to le an adavit. The court had asked the State to le an adavit ex­ plaining its reason for issu­ ing a notication in 2011 which required CBSE schools to enrol students for Aadhaar, teach Malayalam and have three acres of land as necessary pre­conditions to get a no­objection certicate. A Bench led by Justice Ma­ dan B. Lokur ordered the money to be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal

A 2011 notication by Kerala asked CBSE schools to enrol students for Aadhaar, teach Malayalam and have three acres as pre­ conditions to get a no­objection certicate

Services Committee in a week. The money would be utilised by the committee in juvenile justice issues.

<>

‘Precipitate action’ The court restrained the State government from tak­ ing any “precipitate action” against CBSE school man­ agements. before it hears the matter in two weeks. The Kerala government’s adavit would be taken on record only if it produces proof of payment of the mo­

ney, the court recorded in its order. The Kerala CBSE School Managements Association, represented by Sajith P. War­ rier, challenged the 2011 State notication, arguing in the apex court that the de­ mand for CBSE schools in the State is on the increase and the same is evident from the number of schools being set up in small towns and even village areas in Kerala. The association blamed the State for “discouraging establishment of CBSE s chools .” Mr. Warrier argued that the “appropriate go­ vernment” for the CBSE schools is the Centre and the State cannot impose condi­ tions for aliation in the name of the Right to Educa­ tion Act. The State had justi­ ed the notication under the RTE Act.

TDP names candidates for RS poll

C.M. Ramesh, Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar likely to le nominations today

Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA

After days of hectic consulta­ tions, Andhra Pradesh Chief

Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has picked C.M. Ra­ mesh and Kanakamedala Ra­ vindra Kumar as the TDP candidates for elections to the Rajya Sabha on Sunday.

Suspense ends Party State president and Energy Minister K. Kala Ven­ kat Rao declared their

names through a press re­ lease, putting an end to the suspense that peaked the previous day as a number of aspirants sought an au­ dience with Mr. Naidu seek­

TRS puts up 2 new faces

special correspondent

HYDERABAD

Telangana Chief Minister and TRS president K. Chan­ drasekhar Rao sprang a sur­ prise on Sunday, picking two new faces for the three Rajya Sabha seats that the party would contest. Mr. Rao named his close aide and nephew J. Santosh Kumar, Banda Prakash of Warangal and Badugula Lin­

gaiah Yadav of Nalgonda as the candidates. Both Mr. Prakash and Mr. Yadav were dark horses, whose names were not in the reckoning till hours be­ fore the meeting of the TRS legislature party. The selection of Mr. San­ tosh Kumar was considered a certainty because of his proximity to the Chief Mi­ nister.

ing nominations. Mr. Ramesh, a native of Kadapa district, is an exist­ ing member of the RS and

his term is set to expire on April 2. He was one of those who personally met the Chief Minister recently, re­

questing renomination and Mr. Naidu responded posi­ tively. Mr. Ravindra Kumar, a se­ nior advocate based in Vi­ jayawada and member of the ad hoc committee of the Bar Council of A.P. and Telanga­ na, has been at the helm of aairs in the TDP legal cell as its president for a long time. He has argued several cas­ es related to the Chief Minis­ ter and the TDP in various courts. Mr. Ramesh and Mr. Ra­ vindra Kumar are likely to le their nominations on March 12 for the elections scheduled to be held on March 23.

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IN BRIEF

IN BRIEF CM rejects opposition charge on job fairs LUDHIANA Punjab

CM rejects opposition charge on job fairs

LUDHIANA

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday strongly rejected the Opposition’s charge that job fairs being organised by his government were facilitating only low-paying jobs. Under the ‘Ghar Ghar Rozgar te Karobar’ scheme, with the fresh distribution of 9,592 appointment letters, the number of jobs generated during the year has risen to 1,61,522, it was informed in a statement. PTI

Six-year-old girl raped by youth in Haryana

AMBALA

A six-year-old girl was

allegedly raped by a youth of the same village, following which the accused was arrested, the police said on Sunday. The girl was playing near her house on Saturday evening when the 27-year-old accused reached there, took her to a nearby field and allegedly raped her. He then left the girl near her house and fled. “When the girl did not return home by evening, her parents launched a search. When she was found, she narrated the incident to her parents, who informed us,” the police said.” PTI

Woman pilgrim on way to Vaishno Devi killed

JAMMU

A 23-year-old woman pilgrim

from Uttar Pradesh was killed when she was hit by a

shooting stone on her way to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, the police said on Sunday. Ashiki Bidya, a resident of Agra, along with her husband and other family members were trekking from Katra to the shrine when a stone came rolling down a hillock and hit her. PTI

Meena rejoins BJP after 10 years

Two other MLAs also join the ruling party in a big election-year boost for CM Vasundhara Raje

Press Trust of India

Jaipur

In a signicant political deve­ lopment ahead of the State elections in Rajasthan slated for later this year, National People's Party State chief and MLA Kirori Lal Meena, who had left the BJP in 2008, rejoined the party on Sunday. Mr. Meena, a ve­time le­ gislator, along with two oth­ er NPP MLAs, Golma Devi and Geeta Verma, joined the ruling party at a ceremony in the BJP headquarters here in the presence of Chief Minis­ ter Vasundhara Raje and oth­ er leaders. The development will strengthen the ruling party, particularly in eastern and parts of southern Rajasthan

where the leader has a signif­

icant hold in constituencies dominated by the Meena community. BJP State president Ashok Parnami said Mr. Meena has given a letter to merge with

Parnami said Mr. Meena has given a letter to merge with ‘Homecoming’: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara

‘Homecoming’: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje welcoming NPP leader and MLA Kirori Lal Meena and his wife Golma Devi as they join the BJP in Jaipur on Sunday. * PTI

the BJP the NPP’s State unit with a two­third majority of his MLAs. The NPP had four MLAs in the House of 200, but the fourth legislator, Navin Pila­ nia, has not joined the BJP and kept away from the development. “I am very happy to re­ turn to the old home uncon­ ditionally. It is as if my ‘van­ vas’ (exile) has come to an end. My background is of the RSS. After having worked for the RSS, I joined the BJP and

never looked back. Today (Sunday), I joined the BJP again with no conditions,” Mr. Meena said in his address after joining the party. Asked about Mr. Pilania not joining the BJP, Mr. Mee­ na said: “It is his wish.” Mr. Meena said that he would tour the State, meet party workers and stop the Congress from coming to power in the Assembly elections. Hitting out at the Con­ gress, the tribal leader said

M.P. to map ‘happiness quotient’

To be based on IIT-Kharagpur questionnaire

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA

Bhopal

Just how happy are the peo­ ple with their lives in Mad­ hya Pradesh? A study, to be carried out by the State go­ vernment, will look for the answer.

The ‘happiness quotient’ of people became a global talking point when Bhutan came out with a ‘happiness index’ and linked it to deve­ lopment, which is otherwise based on GDP numbers. The Shivraj Singh Chouhan­led BJP government had set up the ‘Anand Vibhag’, or the happiness department, in 2016. Now, it is launching an exercise to interact with the

people of the State and nd out how happy they were. A premier technology in­ stitute is helping the State in this initiative, which will take months to conclude. “We expect to get a ques­ tionnaire this month from the Indian Institute of Tech­ nology­Kharagpur (the only institute to have a happiness centre) to measure the hap­ piness quotient of the State’s residents,” said Praveen Gangrade, director, Rajya Anand Sansthan, which works under the MP happi­ ness department. “Once we get the questionnaire, we are going to work on it to get people’s feedback,” he said.

The government had in­ ked a memorandum of un­ derstanding with IIT­Kharag­ pur in May last year for this purpose, Rajya Anand Sans­ than’s Chief Executive Oc­ er Manohar Dubey said. Mr. Gangrade said that they will rst go through the questionnaire before start­ ing the survey in the next one or two months.

‘Lengthy exercise’ “It is a lengthy exercise. We have to involve an army of interviewers to reach far­ ung villages to get the feed­ back of dierent sample groups and then prepare the happiness index,” he said.

#446601

former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had targeted him dur­ ing an agitation in Udaipur, but Ms. Raje was never of­ fended by his agitations. Mr. Meena said that he has led 380 agitations in the State and 103 “politically mo­ tivated” cases were regis­ tered against him.

Party ideology The 66­year­old leader said that he committed mistakes and got separated from the BJP 10 years back but he nev­ er left the party ideology. Welcoming Mr. Meena in­ to the party’s fold, Ms. Raje said her “strong brother has returned home”. Mr. Meena told reporters that he had discussed with Independent MLA and form­ er BJP leader Hanuman Beni­ wal before joining the party. “Beniwal was positive about this development,” he said. Mr. Parnami said: “The party’s [BJP] central leader­ ship gave a nod for the merg­

er after which the joining took place. Mr. Meena has not changed his ideology and this is the big thing. We want to expand the party and this will help us in ex­ panding our base.” On Saturday night, Mr. Meena, who is seen as the patriarch of the Meena com­ munity, held a meeting with State’s Water Resources Mi­ nister Rampratap at the lat­ ter’s residence in presence of Transport Minister Yunus Khan and Agriculture Minis­ ter Prabhu Lal Saini. In the 2008 Assembly elections, Mr. Meena got elected as Independent can­ didate. His wife Golma Devi also won in the polls as Inde­ pendent and became a Mi­ nister of State in the then Ashok Gehlot government. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Meena again got elected as an Independent candidate before joining the NPP in 2013 becoming its State convener.

Bengal: microchip to prevent exam paper leak

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA

Kolkata

The question paper pack­ ets of the West Bengal Se­ condary Examinations, set to begin on Monday, have been tted with a micro­ chip which will send an al­ ert to its server as soon as the seal is broken. West Bengal Board of Se­ condary Education chief Kalyanmoy Ganguly said the microchip will be put on a sticker on the sealed envelope containing the question papers. “The specially designed envelopes will be GPS­ena­ bled, enclosed by a seal. If the seal is broken, the data

will be passed on to the central server at the con­ trol room at the Board of­ ce here,” Mr. Ganguly said.

Paper despatch The question papers will be despatched from the main venue in each district to the examination centre by 10.30 a.m. Once the venue supervi­ sor opens the packet for sorting purpose by 11.15 a.m., the data will be re­ layed to the central server and the board will cross­ check who received and opened the packet with its own list of names.

Weather Watch Rainfall, temperature & air quality in select metros yesterday Temperature Data: IMD, Pollution
Weather Watch
Rainfall, temperature & air quality in select metros yesterday
Temperature Data: IMD, Pollution Data: CPCB, Map: Skymet (Taken at 17.00 Hrs)
Forecast for Monday: Thunderstorm with gusty winds likely at
isolated places over Odisha and Vidarbha.
city
rain
max
min
city
rain
max
min
Agartala
-
33.2
16.0
Kozhikode
-
35.6
24.0
Ahmedabad
-
37.5
16.7
Kurnool
-
37.5
23.2
Aizawl
-
29.9
14.1
Lucknow
-
33.5
15.3
Allahabad
-
35.4
15.5
Madurai
-
35.6
22.8
Bengaluru
-
33.8
19.7
Mangaluru
-
36.7
24.2
Bhopal
-
36.7
18.8
Mumbai
-
37.8
20.8
Bhubaneswar
-
38.6
22.3
Mysuru
-
34.2
15.0
Chandigarh
-
30.0
15.0
New Delhi
-
33.2
15.2
Chennai
-
32.5
24.5
Patna
-
34.5
16.5
Coimbatore
-
35.0
21.5
Port Blair
-
31.8
26.0
Dehradun
-
30.2
12.6
Puducherry
-
32.4
21.5
Gangtok
-
13.2
10.7
Pune
-
37.1
18.9
Goa
-
36.0
22.0
Raipur
-
36.0
25.0
Guwahati
-
30.2
17.7
Ranchi
-
33.2
16.0
Hubballi
-
34.0
21.0
Shillong
-
19.0
10.1
Hyderabad
-
35.5
25.0
Shimla
-
20.8
10.0
Imphal
-
28.5
10.3
Srinagar
-
20.2
3.5
Jaipur
-
34.2
18.7
Trivandrum
-
35.5
23.8
Kochi
-
32.8
26.0
Tiruchi
-
34.5
23.0
Kohima
-
25.4
11.2
Vijayawada
-
35.3
22.4
Kolkata
-
36.3
21.1
Visakhapatnam
-
32.7
24.6
Pollutants in the air you are breathing
Yesterday
CITIES
SO2
NO2 CO PM2.5 PM10 CODE
Ahmedabad
107
135
31
. 251
-
*
In observations made at
Bengaluru
6
.24
33
86
-
*
4 p.m., Brajrajnagar
Chennai
6
.13
49
. 110
-
*
recorded
Delhi
.24
114
53
. 153
.176
*
an air quality index (AQI)
Hyderabad
.11
.32
25
. 116
.118
*
Kolkata
-
-
-
-
-
-
score of 314, indicating
high levels of pollutants
in the air. In contrast,
Lucknow
5
.64
39
90
-
*
Panchkula recorded a
Mumbai
.26
.38
92
78
.102
*
healthy AQI score of 72.
Pune
.85
.35
51
. 100
.124
*
Visakhapatnam
.16
.58
36
. 116
.123
*
Air Quality Code: * Poor * Moderate * Good (Readings indicate average AQI)
SO2: Sulphur Dioxide. Short-term exposure can harm the respiratory system,
making breathing difficult. It can affect visibility by reacting with other air
particles to form haze and stain culturally important objects such as statues
and monuments.
NO2: Nitrogen Dioxide. Aggravates respiratory illness, causes haze to form by
reacting with other air particles, causes acid rain, pollutes coastal waters.
CO: Carbon monoxide. High concentration in air reduces oxygen supply to
critical organs like the heart and brain. At very high levels, it can cause
dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness and even death.
PM2.5 & PM10: Particulate matter pollution can cause irritation of the eyes,
nose and throat, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath, reduced
lung function, irregular heartbeat, asthma attacks, heart attacks and
premature death in people with heart or lung disease

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https://t.me/EStore33

THE HINDU

NOIDA/DELHI

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

https://www.estore33.com/

https://t.me/TheHindu_Zone

NATION

7

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IN BRIEF

Maharashtra Oppn., allies close ranks to isolate BJP Thousands of marching farmers reach Mumbai Minister
Maharashtra Oppn., allies close ranks to isolate BJP
Thousands of
marching farmers
reach Mumbai
Minister
meets farmer
leaders
Staff Reporter
Mumbai
The ruling Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) was the main tar­
Special correspondent
Mumbai
get on Sunday, as Opposition
parties and BJP allies extend­
ed support to thousands of
protesting farmers and tri­
bals, who entered the city
via Mulund late on Saturday.
The farmers plan to
march to the State Legisla­
ture complex on Monday.
They, however, remained
undecided on entering
south Mumbai in the pre­
dawn hours of Monday.
The Kisan Morcha, organ­
ised by the All India Kisan
Sabha (AIKS), received sup­
port from the ruling coali­
tion partner Shiv Sena, the
Maharashtra Navnirman Se­
na (MNS), the Nationalist
Irrigation Minister Girish
Mahajan on Sunday met All
India Kisan Sabha (AIKS)
leaders Ashok Dhawale
and Ajit Nawale, who are
national president and
State secretary respective­
ly of the outt. Both lead­
ers have been invited to the
State Legislature complex
for a meeting on Monday.
“There have been some
lapses in the implementa­
tion of farmer and tribal re­
lated schemes. Therefore
we will be calling the secre­
taries of all the concerned
departments for the meet­
ing,” Mr. Mahajan said after
the meeting.
Congress Party (NCP), the
Congress and the Aam Ada­
Sea of protesters: The farmers’ march which entered Mumbai via the Mulund octroi check post on Sunday. * VIBHAV BIRWATKAR
mi Party (AAP), who have
come together to extend
support to the Left­aligned
AIKS. Ashok Dhawale, na­
tional secretary, AIKS, said,
“We are a mass organisation,
not a political party. We
wouldn’t mind any party
supporting our demands. At
the same time, this march
has put farmers’ issues on
<>
The Chief Minister
must not be
stubborn and be
ready for
discussions and
accept the demands
Mumbaikars extend
warm welcome
Listen to
farmers with
sensitivity: RSS
Rachna Dhanrajani
Mumbai
Ashok Chavan
Press Trust of India
Nagpur
MPCC president
Radhakrishna Vikhe­Patil
said his party stands rmly
with the farmers. “We’ll en­
sure that the government
takes cognisance. Calling
farmers for a meeting is an
afterthought by this govern­
ment.” He said all demands
will be raised by the Con­
gress in the Assembly.
the forefront, and every pol­
itical party had to take a note
of it.”
‘Take cognisance’
An
AIKS spokesperson said
the
Kisan Morcha has forced
the
government to take cog­
nisance of farmer issues.
Lok Sabha MP and Maha­
rashtra Pradesh Congress
Committee president Ashok
Chavan said, “Congress sup­
ports the farmers in their
struggle for their legitimate
demands. The Chief Minister
must not be stubborn and be
ready for discussions and ac­
cept the demands.”
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya
Thackeray, who visited the
protesting farmers on Sun­
day, said, “I promise you to­
day, every Shiv Sainik will
support this movement in
every way possible. No mat­
ter what our [political] co­
lour, we are from the land.
Despite being from dierent
parties, our demands are the
same.” He added that the Se­
na doesn’t believe in karz
maa (loan waiver), but in
karz mukti (being loan­free).
“Uddhav Thackeray has
sent me to assure you that
we support your cause, and
will stand shoulder to shoul­
der ghting for your rights.”
NCP State president Sunil
Tatkare reassured the farm­
ers of party chief Sharad Pa­
war’s interest in their wel­
fare. “We completely
support the farmers’ march.
We had organised a Halla
Bol rally to press for farmers’
rights, but this government
didn’t listen.”
AAP too joined the march
on Sunday, saying the go­
vernment shouldn’t have
waited till the very end to in­
itiate talks with farmers.
“The farmers have walked
for over 200 km. Had the go­
vernment really wanted to
solve the issues, it should
have initiated discussions
much earlier. We condemn
the government’s beha­
viour,” Dhananjay Shinde,
spokesperson, AAP, said.
Leader of Opposition in
the Legislative Assembly
Politicians join
As the farmers wound their
way through the city, politi­
cians from several parties
joined them in support.
While PWD Minister Eknath
Shinde of the Shiv Sena met
farmers at Mulund, NCP
MLA Jitendra Awhad met
them at Bhandup.
The farmers received a
warm welcome from people.
Supporters of the Left­a­
liated CITU Prakash Ambed­
kar’s Bharip Bahujan Maha­
sangh welcomed the
protesters and joined them.
When the All India Kisan
Sabha march reached Vik­
hroli on Sunday evening,
the citizens of Mumbai wel­
comed them, expressed
support, and over 100 peo­
ple even joined the morcha.
Mulund resident Sanjay
Sule, 66, a retired clerk,
said, “My grandfather was a
farmer, and I saw his strug­
gles. It’s a shame that farm­
ers feed us, yet we can’t
even meet their basic needs.
They should not have to ask
for necessities like a ration
card and pension: these are
rights, which should reach
them, and everyone else, on
time.”
Girish Dange, 45, a resi­
dent of Kanjurmarg, said
that he had read about the
rally yesterday and had
come to watch as it was a
holiday.
“I’ll join the march till
Sion,” he said.
Sunil Deshmukh, 38, said
he supported it, and would
join the march.
“Lal Bahadur Shastri said
soldiers and farmers are the
most important citizens.
Forcing them to take out a
morcha to get the basics is
shameful. ”
Several families, includ­
ing women and children,
welcomed the protesters
with owers, garlands, bis­
cuits and water.
Farmers’ problems should
be dealt with sensitively,
and practical solutions
should be found for them,
RSS general secretary Bhai­
yyaji Joshi said on Sunday.
He added that there was
a need to change the agrar­
ian policy. The government
must ensure that farmers
get proper prices for their
produce. However, he said
there were obstacles. “It is
[the govt.’s] job to think
and nd a solution,”
He added that farmers
should also change their
mindset and while farm­
ing, they must keep go­
vernment policies in mind.
#446601
they must keep go­ vernment policies in mind. #446601 Lacunae in Gandhi assassination trial, SC told

Lacunae in Gandhi assassination trial, SC told

NEW DELHI

In a last-ditch effort to persuade the Supreme Court to order a re-investigation into Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, a Mumbai- based man has contended that there were several lacunae, including a “four- bullet theory”, that can still be established by a forensic test but were never looked into by any agency. PTI

One injured in tiger attack in Bengal

KOLKATA

One person was injured in a tiger attack at Goaltore in Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal on Sunday. Forest Department officials said this was the first tiger attack in the district, and the tiger, which had recently been spotted at Lalgarh in Jhargram district, was behind the attack.

Pregnant woman, husband beaten up in Rajasthan

JODHPUR

Four relatives of a pregnant woman were arrested for allegedly beating the latter and her husband for marrying outside their caste, in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district, the police said on Sunday. The incident happened on Friday morning in Bilara city. PTI

Cong. leader Kharge fears threat to his life

KALABURAGI

Congress leader in the Lok Sabha M. Mallikarjun Kharge has said he has been receiving threat calls and messages on his mobile phone for the past couple of months. He told presspersons here on Sunday that he had lodged a complaint with the Tughlak Road police in Delhi and written to Lok Sabha Speaker and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh about it.

SC seeks details from States on claims to forest lands

Petitioners say wildlife in a ‘critical state’, demand audit

Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court has or­ dered State governments to provide details of the num­ ber of claims for the grant of land under the provisions of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006. A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Deepak Gupta, on a batch of petitions including that of Wildlife First, said it wanted updated information on claims to forest lands, en­ croachments and evictions. The court said the claims for grant of land should be those made by the Sche­ duled Tribes and separately by other traditional forest dwellers, along with the number of claims rejected by States in respect of each category. It called for infor­

by States in respect of each category. It called for infor­ The Bench said it wanted

The Bench said it wanted the information to be provided in four weeks.

mation on the extent of land over which such claims were made, number of rejections in respect of each of the two categories and the action ta­ ken against those claimants whose claims were rejected. The court, in its March 7 order, asked for the status of eviction of those claimants whose claims were rejected and the total extent of area

from which they were evict­ ed. The States have to pro­ vide the extent of the area in respect of which eviction has not yet taken place in respect of rejected claims.

Legislative competence

The Bench said it wanted in­ formation to be provided in four weeks and listed the matter for hearing on April

18.

The court recorded that the petitioners had chal­ lenged the constitutional va­ lidity of the Act as well as le­ gislative competence of Parliament to enact the sta­ tute. Noting that the forests and wildlife are in a “critical state,” the petitioners have indicated that they would want a performance audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India or by any other appropriate authority.

Bengal tops in rural job scheme, T.N. is second

‘Ranking of BJP­ruled States not impressive’

Staff Reporter

Kolkata

West Bengal has become the best performing State both in terms of allotting jobs and utilising funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guaran­ tee Act (MGNREGA). According to statistics re­ cently provided in Rajya Sabha by the Minister of State for Rural Development Ram Kripal Yadav, West Bengal generated more than 28.21 crore work days under the scheme so far in 2017­18, and spent more than 7,335.31 crore for it. The Minister was replying to a question from Trinamool Congress MP Manas Ranjan Bhunia. He also said that Ta­ mil Nadu occupied the se­ cond spot with 22.17 crore work days and spent 5,981.75 crore. Andhra Pra­

crore work days and spent 5,981.75 crore. Andhra Pra­ desh was third with 18.16 crore work

desh was third with 18.16 crore work days, and used funds worth 5,054.17 crore. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Bhunia pointed out that the performance of BJP­ ruled States such as Goa, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh was “not impressive.” Goa is ranked at the bottom of the list with 94,000 work days and spent funds worth 2.47 crore. Gujarat generated 2.93 crore work days and used funds worth 793.50 crore, while Uttar Pradesh generated 15.6 crore work days and utilised funds worth 3, 701.54 crore.

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Small is useful in crowded bruhat Bengaluru

As the city expands, activists and residents are going hyperlocal online to connect with the community

K.C. Deepika

Bengaluru

Bengaluru is having a thousand local conversations these days, with the rise of community websites, blogs and social media groups. These hyperlocal forums pick up the latest on civic issues, easy commute options, property listings and upcoming events. Bengaluru became ‘bruhat’ Bengaluru, indicating its growing stature, and residents are exing their civic strengths to highlight their own localities. The city’s citizen activism is getting a boost through online engagement, while newer residents get a quick wrap­up of their locality even before they arrive. Nithya Reddy from the

Citizen Welfare Association of Richmond and Langford Town, says the local Town Crier newsletter has been around for a while, but has been given a makeover to connect with residents even more closely. “We felt that so many civic issues need to be addressed and it can’t just be one or two people or the association oce bearers looking into them. The newsletter and a Facebook page — Reclaim Richmond and Langford Town — let residents get in touch with councillors and so on. These forums let people know there is an association and how they can get in touch. We list our meetings with the trac and law and order police, for instance. Politicians have also taken

and order police, for instance. Politicians have also taken Looking inward: The newsletter of Richmond and

Looking inward: The newsletter of Richmond and Langford Town residents.

notice of the Association, as

a result,” she said. The

Association has a WhatsApp group for each street. Residents of Indiranagar

have a collective blog named

‘I Change Indira Nagar.’

“We wanted to invite residents to write. We also collect ward­wise information and provide links to newspaper articles about the area. For those who want to get in touch, there is a contact form with details of residents’ associations,” said Swarna Venkatraman. With the arrival of real time interactions, such as on social media and WhatsApp, the blog took a backseat, though. There is a plan to revamp the blog soon.

Vocal suburbs The fast­growing suburb of

Whiteeld has an eponymous umbrella body for residents’ associations, called Whiteeld Rising. It has a cyber presence

through a newsletter and

website. Zibi Jamal from the website said it is a repository — a one­stop shop — for the movement which turns ve this year. “City­scale news is available in newspapers, but what is more relevant to residents is locality­specic information. The newsletter is not as regular as we want it to be, but it hits the inbox when it comes to campaigns such as ‘Million Voter Rising.’ Upcoming events, and follow­up on issues and actions is there,” she said. Despite its vast reach on social media, though, it is still hard to reach out to everyone. Newsletters, she added, lend formality and seriousness to the initiatives that people are taking in their community.

ED unearths money trail of ex-Andhra Bank director

Bribes were parked in shell companies, say ocials

Devesh K. Pandey

NEW DELHI

Former Andhra Bank direc­ tor Anup Prakash Garg, who was arrested by the Enforce­ ment Directorate in January for receiving bribes from the Sterling Biotech Limited (SBL) group, laundered the money through shell compa­ nies arranged by Kolkata­ based entry operators. According to the ED, dur­ ing Mr. Garg’s tenure, the SBL group got loans to the tune of 235 crore from the Andhra Bank. He allegedly received over 1.52 crore during 2009­10 for facilitat­ ing the loan. According to the chargesheet, Mr. Garg then started looking for ways to legitimise the ill­got­ ten money. “He visited the oce of his friend Raj Ku­ mar Agarwal at Chattisgarh’s Raipur, where he met one Rohtash Agarwal and dis­

cussed with them about tak­ ing over a good net­worth

countancy rm managed the nances of Mr. Garg and

company with assets lying in the form of investments in shares of other shell compa­ nies as shown in its balance sheet,” said an ocial.

Fairdeal Vinimay,” an ED of­ cial said. In 2011, Garg allegedly in­ corporated RAG Buildtech Private Limited in the name

The chargesheet alleges

of

his family members, but

that Mr. Garg was intro­

he

actually controlled it.

duced to one Ramchandra Kedia, a resident of Kolkata, who arranged for him [to in­ vest in] a company called Fairdeal Vinimay Private Li­ mited with 5­crore net­

Son’s involvement During custodial interroga­ tion, Mr. Garg purportedly confessed that the company aairs were being managed

worth, through an entry

as

per his directions. His son

provider, Bipin Kejriwal. Initially, 6.41 crore in un­ accounted cash was infused

also admitted that being a company director, he han­ dled its operations under his

into the company by selling unquoted equity shares of other shell companies. The company’s on­paper direc­ tors were later replaced with

father’s supervision. In 2011, the bank ocial allegedly in­ fused a total sum of 1.15 crore in RAG Buildtech “in the garb” of issuing shares at

new ones from Madhya Pra­

a

premium to three shell

desh’ Indore, who were Mr. Garg’s associates.

companies: Fairdeal Vini­ may, Parasmani Tradecom

“The same chartered ac­

and Vaikunth Vintrade.

UIDAI rebuts French researcher’s tweets

Dismisses them as ‘irresponsible’

Syed Mohammed

HYDERABAD

The Unique Identication Authority of India (UIDAI) has rubbished French cy­ bersecurity researcher Rob­ ert Baptiste’s claims on Sun­ day that over 20,000 Aadhaar cards are available for anybody to access online. The researcher, who op­ erates the Twitter handle El­ liot Alderson, tweeted, “I will play a game tonight:

How many #Aadhaar card I can nd in 3 hours? Note:

All the cards must be availa­ ble publicly.” In a series of tweets, Mr. Baptiste claimed to have found more than 20,000 cards in less than three hours, and implied that

Aadhaar was unsecured. “In less than 3 hours, I

found more than 20,000 Aadhaar cards available pu­ blicly on the web. Repeat af­ ter me: #Aadhaar is secure,

#Aadhaar is secure

tweeted. The UIDAI, in a series of tweets from its handle @UI­ DAI, said the researcher’s claims were irresponsible, though not taking his name. One of the tweets read, “UIDAI has dismissed the re­ ports as irresponsible which appeared in a section of so­ cial and other media on the security of Aadhaar system being questioned on ac­ count of a few Aadhaar cards reportedly put on the internet by some unscrupu­ lous elements.”

,”

he

Man’s severed leg used as pillow

Press Trust of India

Jhansi

A man’s leg, which was se­ vered in a bus accident, was allegedly used as a pil­ low to prop him up at the State­run Maharani Laxmi­ bai Medical College here, prompting the U.P. govern­ ment to suspend four sta and order a departmental probe into it. Ghanshyam, 28, claimed that the hospital sta put the severed leg under his head as a pillow. He lost the leg in the accident on Sa­ turday, and was brought to the hospital in a critical condition. The medical col­ lege’s principal, Sadhna Kaushik, said a four­mem­ ber committee has been formed to conduct an in­ vestigate into the matter.

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EDITORIAL

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https://t.me/TheHindu_Zone

NOIDA/DELHI

THE HINDU

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

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A welcome quietus The Supreme Court nally ends unjustied curbs on Hadiya’s personal freedom H
A welcome quietus
The Supreme Court nally ends unjustied
curbs on Hadiya’s personal freedom
H adiya has at last won her freedom. The curious
aspect of her case is that it took such a long time
for the courts to acknowledge that the 25­year­
old woman from Kerala enjoys as much freedom of
choice in her marriage as in her religious belief. The
Kerala High Court had caused quite a muddle when it
annulled her marriage solely on the suspicion that it
was a ruse to scuttle habeas corpus proceedings before
it. On her father’s complaint that she had been indoctri­
nated and brainwashed into embracing Islam, and his
fear that she was a victim of a movement to convert Hin­
du women and send them to overseas battle zones, the
high court ordered her connement in her parents’
home. The Supreme Court’s categorical ruling that the
high court was wrong in invalidating a marriage under
its writ jurisdiction constitutes a welcome end to the
unjustied curtailment of her freedom of movement
and her life choices. The verdict, for which detailed rea­
sons are yet to be pronounced, restores the liberty of
Ms. Hadiya, who chose to convert to Islam more than a
year ago and later married a Muslim man. Last Novem­
ber, the apex court had freed her from her parents’ cus­
tody and allowed her to complete her internship as part
of a homoeopathy course she had taken up in Tamil Na­
du. However, even this was somewhat unsatisfactory,
as it appeared to be a compromise between being in pa­
rental custody and being allowed to live with her
husband.
It is possible that her father, K.M. Asokan, was
gripped by fear as her conversion came amid reports of
radical groups recruiting young people on behalf of the
Islamic State. The high court did not question her con­
version, but suspected the veracity of her claim that she
was married, as it happened in a day’s break between
hearings. However, these facts were not enough for the
court to annul the marriage and label it a “sham”. The
court made odd observations on how a woman’s mar­
riage requires the involvement of her parents and that
Ms. Hadiya was “at a vulnerable age”. Even in the Su­
preme Court, Ms. Hadiya could explain to the judges
that she stood by her marriage to Shan Jahan only af­
ter other parties had advanced arguments on “indoctri­
nation” and “conspiracy” and the National Investiga­
tion Agency had its say. Finally, the court has now given
primacy to her view. The implications of her ordeal are
disquieting: it is not dicult in this country to question
the life choices of an adult woman by casting doubts on
her volition and personal autonomy, and her freedom
to choose her way of life can sometimes be judicially
curtailed. While a lawful investigation into organised
recruitment by radical groups must not be impeded,
courts should strive even harder to protect personal
freedoms without being swayed by mere suspicion.
Saving Ghouta
Given the deal to evacuate one militant
group, Syria should reach out to the rest
T he agreement reached between armed groups in
Eastern Ghouta and a UN delegation to evacuate
some militants from the besieged enclave is the
rst major concession the rebels have made since Syr­
ian government attacks began a month ago. Under the
deal, the Jaish al­Islam, the main rebel group, will evac­
uate militants linked to the Hayat Tahrir al­Sham (HTS),
formerly an al­Qaeda front, from Ghouta on the out­
skirts of Damascus. HTS militants will go to Idlib, a pro­
vince in northwestern Syria run by the rebels, mainly
the HTS. Over the past month, the rebels had refused to
strike any deal with the regime even after repeated
bombardment. At least 1,000 people have been killed
in one month, with the UN warning of an “apocalypse”
in Syria. The regime’s argument was that it was seeking
to liberate Eastern Ghouta from terrorist occupation.
But about 400,000 people are stuck in the enclave;
some reports say the rebels are using them as human
shields. But the regime and its Russian backers are pay­
ing little attention to human suering. Last month, the
UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution
calling for a ceasere in Eastern Ghouta. Thereafter, the
Syrian government eased the siege of the city, allowing
aid groups to supply assistance. But the ceasere is yet
to take eect. The Russians, who voted for the resolu­
tion at the Security Council, continued to justify attacks
by citing the presence of the HTS, which is linked to an
internationally designated terrorist organisation.
With HTS ghters now being evacuated, it is an op­
portunity for Russia and the Syrian regime to cease hos­
tilities and engage with the other armed groups, includ­
ing Jaish and Faylaq al­Rahman, an aliate of the Free
Syrian Army. Both the rebels and the government can
learn from the battle for eastern Aleppo, which regime
forces captured in late 2016. After the rebels ran out of
all options in the face of continued Syrian/Russian as­
saults, both from land and air, they nally decided to
leave the city under Turkish mediation, handing it over
to government forces. The battle for Eastern Ghouta
bears an eerie similarity to that of eastern Aleppo. In
Ghouta, the rebels do not have any meaningful support
coming from outside that could allow them to resist re­
gime forces. What they do now to deter regime advanc­
es is to shell the government­controlled parts of Damas­
cus and its suburbs, killing more civilians and giving
further reason for the regime to justify its military oper­
ations. This will only prolong the conict, endangering
civilians on both sides. Given the Aleppo example and
the reality on the ground in Eastern Ghouta, the sooner
the government forces and the armed gangs reach an
agreement for evacuation, the better it will be for the
hundreds of thousands of people in the enclave.

Under a humane Constitution

The Supreme Court’s judgment on passive euthanasia must compel more debate on technological self­determination

must compel more debate on technological self­determination Gautam Bhatia L ast week, in Common Cause v.
must compel more debate on technological self­determination Gautam Bhatia L ast week, in Common Cause v.

Gautam Bhatia

L ast week, in Common Cause v.

Union of India, the Supreme

Court ruled that every indivi­

dual has the right to die with digni­ t y. It upheld the practice of passive

euthanasia — the removal of life­ support mechanisms from per­

sons who, for the most part, have slipped into a persistent vegetative state in order to allow them to die in the natural course of things — and laid down a set of detailed procedural guidelines to facilitate this process. These include “ad­ vance directives” and “living wills”, which are instructions is­ sued by a person specifying what should be done to her in the event

of a terminal illness, and who will

decide if she herself is incapacitat­ ed from giving or withholding con­ sent. The court also addressed sit­ uations where a patient was terminally ill, but had not issued an advance directive. In such sit­ uations it held that the consent of the patient’s close family, subject

to the supervision of and concur­

rence by trained medical person­ nel, would substitute for the ad­ vance directive.

The individual’s choice

A number of terms have been in­

voked to identify the case. It has been called the “living wills case”, the “passive euthanasia case”, the “right to die with dignity case”, or even simply the “euthanasia case”. While all these descriptors

are accurate, there is, however, a more fundamental principle that unites the four separate and de­ tailed opinions (spanning 538 pag­ es) in Common Cause. Each of the four opinions — authored by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices

A.K. Sikri, D.Y. Chandrachud, and Ashok Bhushan — are organised around the constitutional values of personal autonomy, bodily inte­ grity and human dignity. And these values, in turn, are ex­ pressed in the language of an indi­ vidual’s choice to receive or de­ cline medical intervention or medical treatment.

The primacy of consent Last year, in its privacy judgment, the Supreme Court armed that the ideas of self­determination and the right of the individual to make fundamental choices about how to use her body are at the heart of the Constitution. Common Cause re­ presents the rst important appli­ cation of these general principles to a concrete situation. In framing the issue in terms of the indivi­ dual’s choice to reject medical in­ tervention, the court articulated an important insight: we live in a

world where we are constantly subjected to all kinds of invasive processes, procedures, and sys­ tems. In Common Cause, the con­ text was that of medical interven­ tion. Medical intervention, however, is only one oshoot of a world that is now dened and con­ stituted by technology. Systems of

technology are embedded in the very fabric of our lives, from so­ mething as basic as the phone that helps us nd our way in an unfami­ liar city, to the more complex ar­ chitectures that are now used

worldwide for large­scale gover­ nance and administration. Consequently, if the right to pri­ vacy, self­determination and choice means anything in the age of technology, it surely means this:

individuals have the right to en­ gage with technological systems on their own terms, the right to opt into or opt out of such systems without suering for it, and the right not to be subjected to techn­ ological intervention without be­ ing given meaningful choice. Let

GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO
GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

us call this the principle of techno­ logical self­determination: or the right of every individual to deter­ mine how, on what terms, and to what extent, she will engage with technological systems. This, of course, is closely related to the question of the relationship bet­ ween technology and human em­ powerment; as the Chief Justice correctly put the point in his lead judgment, when discussing the is­ sue of leaving life­support systems on in the hope that a cure might be found some day, “should [the indi­ vidual] be ‘guinea pig’ for some kind of experiment?” The link between the constitu­ tional values of choice and self­de­ termination, and the concrete is­ sue of the engagement between the individual and technological systems (in the context of medical intervention) was explained by all the judges. The Chief Justice noted that “the recognition of the free­ dom of competent adults to make choices about their medical care necessarily encompasses recogni­ tion of the right to make choices since individual free choice and self­determination are themselves fundamental constituents of life.” Justice Sikri observed that “dignity implies, apart from a right to life enjoyment of right to be free of physical interference.” Justice Chandrachud took the insight one step further, when he wrote that “the right not to accept medical treatment is essential to liberty.

Medical treatment cannot be thrust upon an individual, howev­ er, it may have been conceived in the interest of the individual.” The last sentence is crucial, because the most common justication of­ fered in support of invasive techn­ ological intervention is precisely that it is only for the benet of the people that it targets. As Justice Chandrachud recognised, howev­ er, such arguments cannot over­ ride human freedom and human choice. And Justice Bhushan con­ cluded by holding emphatically that the principles of autonomy, bodily integrity, and human digni­ ty “enable an adult human being of conscious mind to take decision regarding extent and manner of taking medical treatment.” Common Cause, therefore, is an emphatic recognition of the basic principle that, in today’s world, in­ dividuals must be empowered to engage with technological systems on their own terms. Under the Constitution, the state cannot sub­ ject individuals to technological intervention without their con­ sent, and indeed — as Justice Chan­ drachud noted in the privacy judg­ ment — must take active steps to facilitate the ability of individuals to engage with such systems as ci­ tizens, and not as subjects. Just like the Constitution marks a turn from a culture of authority to a cul­ ture of justication, where every decision taken by persons in auth­ ority must be justied to the peo­ ple, so must the principle of justi­ cation be applied to the engagement between individuals and technological systems. And at the heart of that engagement must be the principles of self­determi­ nation and choice. Common Cause marks the rst important judicial endorsement of those principles in the privacy era. And if the court continues to apply it in the cases that will inevitably come before it in the coming months and years, Common Cause might be remem­

bered (as indicated above) as the rst formulation of a core constitu­ tional principle for the 21st centu­ ry: the principle of technological self­determination.

Judicial legislation As a nal point, it must be noted that the court — speaking through the Chief Justice — laid down de­ tailed procedures for the imple­ mentation of the advance direc­ tives. These safeguards are quasi­legislative in nature, and the court justied them by citing the

famous Vishaka judgment, which had held that when there is a legis­ lative vacuum, the court can step

in and ll the gap until a law comes

into force. That principle, howev­ er, may merit some reconsidera­ tion, because even with the best of

motives, it involves the court step­ ping into the legislative sphere. One possibility might be to con­ sider a constitutional device used

in South Africa: the suspended de­

claration of invalidity. The Consti­ tutional Court of South Africa is empowered to declare a legal pro­ vision unconstitutional, but also give the legislature some breathing space to remedy the defect before the judgment actually comes into force. Similarly, in cases where the Indian Supreme Court nds a le­ gislative vacuum, it could (like it has done in Common Cause) issue guidelines, but suspend their op­ eration for a period of a few months, giving Parliament an op­ portunity to consider the guide­ lines, and take action. If, then, Par­ liament fails to take action, it could be presumed to have tacitly en­ dorsed the court’s guidelines, and they could then acquire legal force. Such a model would pro­ mote dialogue between the die­ rent branches of government, and strengthen the court’s legitimacy and competence to act in dicult cases of this kind.

Gautam Bhatia is a Delhi­based lawyer

A breakthrough and a gamble

Now that talks between the U.S. and North Korea are on, it is worth testing Pyongyang’s sincerity

#446601

are on, it is worth testing Pyongyang’s sincerity #446601 Shashank Joshi T he remarkable announce­ ment
are on, it is worth testing Pyongyang’s sincerity #446601 Shashank Joshi T he remarkable announce­ ment

Shashank Joshi

T he remarkable announce­ ment of a personal meeting between U.S. President Do­

nald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong­un appears wel­ come news. It points the way out of a crisis that seemed last year to be spiralling out of control, after the exchange of personal and nu­ clear threats. But the history of talks with North Korea is a story of recurring disappointment and du­ plicity. A summit meeting without adequate diplomatic groundwork risks emboldening North Korea while setting the stage for a bad deal which sells out American al­ lies, or dashed expectations and a slide to catastrophe.

The ne print On the face of it, North Korea’s o­ er — unusually conveyed from the White House, by three South Ko­ rean ocials — is attractive. We are told that Mr. Kim has promised to discuss giving up his nuclear arse­ nal if his country’s security is as­ sured; to hold o from missile or nuclear tests while talks are under

way; and to accept that the annual U.S.­South Korea military exercis­ es will continue. He has not de­ manded a dowry of food or fuel ahead of talks, as in the past. For their part, South Korea and the U.S., mindful of what they called the “mistakes of the past”, have rightly promised that sanctions will remain rmly in place, until a deal is in place. However, the devil is in the detail. First, North Korea’s demand for security guarantees is an old one, going back more than a decade. But what does it mean in practice? This could involve simply a U.S. statement of non­aggression, or even a peace agreement that would formally end the Korean War. The Obama administration considered such a discussion, but balked because North Korea had not put de­nuclearisation on the table. Now, it might have done. But what if North Korea seeks, as it has in the past, a deeper guarantee of security, the dissolution of the U.S.­South Korea alliance and the removal of American troops from the peninsula? Such a move would be hugely destabilising, potential­ ly nudging South Korea towards acquiring nuclear weapons of its own. Yet it might appeal to a presi­ dent who has spoken disparaging­ ly of alliances and distrusts fara­ way troop commitments. Second, how reliable are Mr.

GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO
GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Kim’s commitments? In the past, the regime has signed up to deals and then walked through loo­ pholes. In 2012, North Korea agreed to halt missile tests in ex­ change for U.S. food aid. But a few weeks later, it announced a satel­ lite launch which uses the same technology as ballistic missiles. The deal promptly collapsed. To­ day, North Korea is yet to conrm that it shares the South’s interpre­ tation of its commitments. Will it really freeze all tests for the dura­ tion of talks? The rst challenge will come during the massive U.S.­ South Korea military exercises due to be held from March to May. South Korea will probably push for these to be scaled down, to avoid provoking Pyongyang, but they will certainly go ahead. It remains to be seen whether Mr. Kim will hold his nose, or lose his temper. Third, while Mr. Trump’s perso­ nal involvement is signicant, it is

important that diplomacy take in­ to account the range of regional in­ terests.

Involving China China’s role in enforcing sanctions is crucial, contributing to a huge fall in North Korean exports last year. Beijing must be brought along rather than kept in the dark because the sanctions regime will have to be preserved and tight­ ened if talks go nowhere. Japan, which hosts U.S. bases and would be deeply aected in any regional war, is also a key partner. It is en­ couraging that the South Korean delegation that made this announ­ cement from the White House will be in Japan soon. One option is to revive the ecumenical format of the six­party talks, which involved all these parties plus Russia bet­ ween 2003 and 2009, although this, of course, clashes with the President’s compulsive need to take credit for any success. Finally, we should be realistic. North Korea may have promised to discuss getting rid of his wea­ pons, but this is unlikely to hap­ pen. As James Clapper, then the U.S. Director of National Intelli­ gence, acknowledged in 2016, the policy is a “lost cause”. “They are not going to do that,” he warned. “That is their ticket to survival.” One must therefore think creative­ ly about desirable outcomes short

of de­nuclearisation. This could in­ volve cutting the number of North Korean warheads and missiles, a permanent freeze on tests, intru­ sive inspections, and measures to block the export of nuclear tech­ nology. This will require diligent, expert and experienced diploma­ cy — big asks for a demoralised, shrunken and marginalised State Department. If the bar is set too high, the resulting disappoint­ ment risks pushing everyone back, more forcefully, onto a path of war. All this might have been han­ dled better. A presidential sum­ mit, which confers unusual pres­ tige upon Mr. Kim, ought to have been held back as a concession for

a later stage. There is a reason why

North Korea has wanted a summit for decades. Now that one is agreed, it is worth testing North Korea’s sincerity as long as sanc­ tions are not lifted prematurely. But American forces on the Ko­

rean peninsula and the alliance they uphold should not be treated as a bargaining chip. Mr. Trump should proceed with extreme caution.

Shashank Joshi is Senior Policy Fellow for International Aairs at Renewing the Centre, in the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. He is also Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Letters emailed to letters@thehindu.co.in must carry the full postal address and the full name or the name with initials.

Court on euthanasia

The Supreme Court’s verdict on legalising passive euthanasia is a step that will help people in an incurable vegetative state or in deep coma a chance to breathe their last in peace and dignity (“SC upholds passive euthanasia”, March 10). Even though it is the duty of the kith and kin to do their best to save the life of the person, it would be uncharitable to expect them to be providing life support to one who as per medical parlance is already dead. But stringent guidelines need to be in place to prevent misuse. Moreover, a special clause should be incorporated in all life insurance policies that passive euthanasia would also be tantamount to natural death and a declaration from the policy holder regarding his decision on passive

euthanasia obtained at the time of issuance of the policy.

Tharcius S. Fernando,

Chennai

When critical care gets far too critical and patients can’t endure it any no longer, families are caught on the horns of a dilemma. They can neither exercise the moral right to suspend treatment nor aord the mounting cost of health care. Aside from such expenses, the patient is subject to unending torment from a plethora of medical instruments to keep him alive. In such dire circumstances where patients are reduced to a vegetative state, it becomes incumbent on others to let them die peacefully through a living will or passive euthanasia. This is especially so in the world’s largest democracy where health

care is getting increasingly unaordable.

Kangayam R. Narasimhan,

Chennai

The judgment highlights a vexing problem of a modern society. It has allowed individuals with a terminal illness to refuse medication. This judgment serves the purpose of a modern, production­oriented society by giving the non­productive individuals the ‘autonomy’ to die. It is a sociological reality that many people in their old age start feeling worthless due to a lack of direct contribution towards the “process of production” in society. After this judgment, such a feeling of worthlessness, if compounded by the person suering from a terminal illness, is bound to become much worse. The court has said “the individual interest has to be given priority over

the state interest”. Parliament must translate this part of the judgment into law with caution.

Angad S. Brar,

Chandigarh

It is inhuman to sustain an individual’s suering through articial means. However, the ruling has wider connotations in its applicability. It will be morally challenging for the stakeholders executing the process, especially for the physicians who are expected to sustain the patient’s life. The moral, religious and personal beliefs of an individual on life and death can play a signicant role in the decision­making process. Also, instances of physicians forced to execute passive euthanasia for nancial stakes cannot be glossed over. It will also be interesting to see how this progressive step will aect

the pharmaceutical industry and the research and development of life­saving drugs.

Paul Jom,

New Delhi

The report about an elderly couple writing to the President seeking permission for active euthanasia brings out another dimension to the issue as well as the sad state of aairs when it comes to the lives of senior citizens in India (“Elderly couple seeks active euthanasia”, March 11). The complete collapse of government hospitals and the emergence of commercial corporate health care only makes many a senior citizen pray to god for a peaceful end. The fear of falling sick in one’s old age while keeping in mind the high cost of medicare in our society disturbs many an elderly citizen. The high and prohibitive premiums of

medical insurance for the aged further complicate the subject. The Central and State governments should work toward free or subsidised ecient and eective medical assistance to senior citizens.

M.V. Nagavender Rao,

Hyderabad

Pay hike

The creation of a small, elite “super club” within the cricket dressing room may not be conducive to cordial relations among senior players (‘Sport’ page – “Kohli & Co. receive pay hikes”, March 8). Even if it was desirable, elevating players such as Rohit Sharma is mindless. That Ravichandran Ashwin with a rich harvest of wickets is way down the money ladder is startling.

C.K. Subramaniam,

Navi Mumbai

more letters online:

www.hindu.com/opinion/letters/

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THE HINDU

NOIDA/DELHI

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

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https://t.me/TheHindu_Zone

OPED

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Bifurcation and blame

It’s misleading to blame the 14th Finance Commission for not according special category status to States

for not according special category status to States M. Govinda Rao The bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh
for not according special category status to States M. Govinda Rao The bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh

M. Govinda Rao

The bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has left a troubled legacy. The then Prime Minister Man­ mohan Singh’s statement of six para­ graphs in Parliament on February 20, 2014 contained the promise of ac­ cording special category status to the successor State of Andhra Pradesh. This has stirred up a hornets’ nest, with both the ruling party and the Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly upping their ante and de­ manding that the Union government honour the commitment. Union Fi­ nance Minister Arun Jaitley has pleaded inability and has instead agreed to give a generous package. He has placed the blame at the door of the Fourteenth Finance Commis­ sion (FFC). This is not the rst time that the Commission has been blamed for special category status not being given. There were new­ spaper reports about Venkaiah Nai­ du, when he was Union Minister for Urban Development, also blaming the FFC for the Union government’s inability to accord special category status. In fact, the circular on the special package issued in September 2016 stated, “Following the recom­ mendations of the 14th Finance Com­ mission, the class of special category states ceases to exist.”

Reading the report To be sure, the terms of reference of the FFC did not require it to deal with the categorisation of States into the “special category” and “non­special category”. Therefore, it was not re­ quired to make any recommendation on the issue. Nor is the classication of States into general and special ca­ tegories the creation of the Constitu­ tion and therefore, the Finance Com­ mission, which was formed under Article 280 of the Constitution, has no business to make any recommen­ dations on the issue. Did it really make such a recommendation as al­ leged, or has the FFC simply been made a fall guy as it no longer exists? A careful reading of the report

guy as it no longer exists? A careful reading of the report “The Finance Commissions have

“The Finance Commissions have had no role in specifying the criteria or making recommendations for admission to special category status.” TDP MPs protest at Parliament House demanding special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

* PTI

shows that it came nowhere near making any recommendation relat­ ing to special categorisation. The principal task of the Finance Com­ mission is to assess the revenue and cost disabilities of the States and make recommendations to oset these disabilities through tax devolu­

tion and grants so that all the States are enabled to provide comparable levels of services at comparable reve­ nue eort. The only reference to ca­ tegorisation was where the report stated, “We did not make a distinc­ tion between special and general ca­ tegory states in determining our norms and recommendations. We believe that while there are certain common factors that impact cost dis­ ability and scal capacity of States, there exist circumstances that are unique to individual States. Our en­ deavour has been to take a compre­ hensive view of these commonalities and special characteristics of indivi­ dual States while making our assess­ ment and recommendations. In our assessment of State resources, we have taken into account the disabili­ ties arising from constraints unique to each State to arrive at expenditure ”

requirements

The point is that the FFC did not

make any recommendation to the President on whether or not it

(Para 2.29).

should accord special category sta­ tus. The terms of reference of the Commission did not require it to ad­ dress this issue and therefore the Commission was not concerned about it. Indeed, there were de­ mands from special category States that dierent norms should be used for assessing their revenue capacity and expenditure needs since they do not have a broad enough tax base and have severe cost disabilities. It is in regard to this that the Commission claried that it would use a uniform yardstick and assess the revenue ca­ pacity and expenditure needs, and in doing so, take into account State­ specic problems. With regard to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the Commission simply stated, “The Commission shall also take into ac­ count the resources available to the successor or reorganised States on reorganisation of the State of Andhra Pradesh in accordance with the And­ hra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 (6 of 2014) and the Ministry of Home Aairs notication number S.O. 655 (E) dated 4th March, 2014 and make recommendations, for suc­ cessor or reorganised States, on mat­ ters under reference in this notica­ tion” (Para 1.3). Thus, the additional terms of reference too did not re­ quire the FFC to dwell on the issue,

nor did the FFC do so. In fact, the Constitution or the Fi­ nance Commissions have had noth­ ing to do with asymmetric arrange­ ments created under the so­called special category status. The status was accorded to some States by the National Development Council on the recommendation of the erst­ while Planning Commission on the basis of ve important criteria, namely, hilly and dicult terrain; low population density and/or sizea­ ble share of tribal population; stra­ tegic location along borders with neighbouring countries; economic and infrastructural backwardness; and non­viable nature of State nanc­ es. The Finance Commissions have had no role in either specifying the criteria or making recommendations for admission to special category status.

An executive decision I have not gone into the larger ques­ tion of desirability of providing asymmetric arrangements among the States on discretionary grounds. There are asymmetric arrangements laid down in the Constitution, such as Article 370 for Jammu and Kash­ mir, and in Articles 371A to H for the States in the Northeast, and even these are under the “temporary, transitional and special provisions” (Part XXI). Asymmetric arrange­ ments on discretionary and political grounds will only weaken the fabric of federalism. Unfortunately, in this, all ruling political parties are guilty of misdemeanour. Thus, nowhere has the FFC re­ ferred to the issue of desirability or of according special category status in its report. Therefore, attributing blame to the FFC for the inability to accord special category status is clearly misleading. The decision to give and not accord special category status in the past was taken by the erstwhile National Development Council on the recommendation of the Planning Commission based on aforementioned factors and this was entirely an executive decision. Neith­ er the Constitution nor the FFC have had anything to do with this.

M. Govinda Rao was a member of the 14th Finance Commission. At present, he is an Emeritus Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy. Views are personal

#446601

FROM THE READERS’ EDITOR

Overlooked to a relook

A call to remember achievers we ignored in the past

a relook A call to remember achievers we ignored in the past artists who had not

artists who had not been given a decent writ­ ten farewell in our newspapers. I referred to a beautiful passage of K.G. Subramanyan:

“To live constantly in the presence of only one’s self should be a petrifying bore. So we choose to come out, bend over the balcony and whistle at the stranger. And, I presume, the stranger is happy to whistle back. We may not get very far, but we will still be all the better for even these imperfect encoun­ ters.” My contention was that a well­crafted, earnest and insightful obituary is a whistle for meaningful encounters and it is the me­ dia’s job to keep it audible.

The act of remembering But last week’s events gave a new meaning to the act of remembering. A stalker killed a college student, the highest court in the country had to intervene and restore the ma­ trimony of an adult woman, and statues of leaders who reshaped modern polity were vandalised. How can one make sense of this absurd world where even statues must feel insecure? Much be­ fore the vandalism against Lenin’s statue and a vigilante threat to Periyar’s statue, Chennai witnessed the dis­ appearance and reappea­ rance of the statue of Kanna­ gi, the heroine of the Tamil epic Silappatikaram. Apart from the existing daily feature “From The Hindu archives”, which gives a glimpse of what happened 100 years and 50 years ago on that day, a new weekly feature on individuals who contributed to building an inclusive, non­discriminatory society may help in ghting the amnesia that is spread by television news. I learnt much more about Partition than I did from any his­ tory book from Urvashi Butalia’s The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India, which documented the voices of peo­ ple who were never invested with power but were witness to a great tragedy. Another in­ teresting book on silence is The Other Half of the Coconut: Women Writing Self Respect History, edited by K. Srilata. It talked about the largely unnoticed women Self­Respec­ ters and the issues they raised and fought for. Milan Kundera, in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, observed that “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of me­ mory against forgetting”. I invite readers to come up with an Indian list of the “over­ looked” to retrieve our space for plurality.

the “over­ looked” to retrieve our space for plurality. A.S. Panneerselvan One of our readers, N.

A.S. Panneerselvan

One of our readers, N. Pavithran, wanted me

to look into the new project launched by The

New York Times. To mark International Wo­ men’s Day, the NYT on March 8 began “Over­

looked”, a series that chronicles the stories of women whose contributions went unre­ corded during their time. It began the series with the obituaries of 15 women from diverse elds ranging from sports to science, and from photography to social activism, and in­ cluded the enigmatic Madhubala. It has invit­ ed readers to nominate candidates they think should be included in the series. “I think this is one of the greatest lessons for today’s journalism indus­ try,” wrote Mr. Pavithran. “It al­ lows people to get a gist of

those long­lost characters and

will pave the way for the redis­ covery of people from the past.

A case in point is the inclusion

of Henrietta Lacks, who contri­

buted some tissues from her body which ultimately changed the way scientic ex­

periments are conducted in cancer biology. Today, it will be impossible to spot a mammalian research lab that

doesn’t use HeLa cells (named after HEnriet­

ta LAcks).”

GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCK PHOTO
GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCK PHOTO

Expanding the project Amisha Padnani, the editor of this project, was researching an obit for a woman in the tennis world. She discovered the story of Ma­ ry Ewing Outerbridge, a woman who intro­ duced tennis to the U.S. There was no obitu­ ary for her. A reection on this silence gave birth to “Overlooked”. Ms. Padnani and her colleague Jessica Bennett wrote: “Obituary writing is more about life than death: the last word, a testament to a human contribution. Yet who gets remembered — and how — inhe­ rently involves judgment. To look back at the obituary archives can, therefore, be a stark lesson in how society valued various achievements and achievers.” Though the project came to existence because a substan­ tial number of NYT’s obits were of white men, there is a conscious decision to expand the lens beyond women. In “The importance of an obituary” ( July

4, 2016), I had looked at some major Indian

readerseditor@thehindu.co.in

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SINGLE FILE

A curse to science

The UGC’s incompetence has legitimised at least 200 predatory journals

R. Prasad

In the last decade, predatory jour­ nals, which publish papers for a fee with little or no peer review, have become a curse to science. Despite the unethical business practices adopted by publishers of such journals, the number of re­ searchers who publish in them has

been increasing at an alarming rate. From about 53,000 in 2010, the number of papers pu­ blished in these journals increased to 420,000 in 2014, not­ ed a 2015 paper published in BMC Medicine. India is the epicentre of predatory journal publishing. Ac­ cording to the BMC Medicine paper, around 35% of authors in such journals were from India, and 27% of predatory jour­ nal publishers were also based here, thus making India the number one country in both categories. A September 2017 paper in Nature found that authors from India accounted for 27% of the 1,907 papers published in predatory journals. From initially being duped into publishing papers in these journals, researchers in India, particularly those from State universities, are now actively seeking out such jour­ nals. The University Grants Commission (UGC) is singularly responsible for this. Never mind the almost non­existent research infrastruc­ ture in most colleges and State universities, the Academic Performance Indicators (API) system introduced by the UGC has mandated that every PhD scholar publish at least two papers prior to thesis submission. A similar condition exists for teachers in colleges and universities at the time of re­ cruitment and assessment for promotion. The myopic poli­ cy of the UGC has unwittingly led to a sudden and huge de­ mand for journals that willingly publish substandard papers for a small fee. Bowing to pressure, in January 2017 the UGC introduced a white list of journals where researchers could publish to meet the API conditions. If the introduction of the API was done without any application of mind, the white list prepared without the scientic community’s involvement has led to the inclusion of at least 200 predatory journals. Worse, universities may suggest new journal titles for inclu­ sion in the list, and the criteria for inclusion are not only vague but loose. Predatory journals are known to give themselves a fake impact factor, which indicates the standard of the journal, and claim to peer review papers before accepting, though they rarely practice it. They also include scientists as editors and board members even without their consent, include in­ structions and ethics policies that have been plagiarised and rarely followed, and claim to be indexing in respectable sites. Unfortunately, there are just a few factors for judging a journal for inclusion. It would therefore not be surprising to nd most, if not all, of the journals recommended by univer­ sities as being predatory. Owing to the UGC’s incompetence, at least 200 predatory journals have been legitimised. It’s time it abandons the list altogether and follows standard white lists prepared by competent organisations, which, even if not perfect, are far better than this one

GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCK PHOTO
GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCK PHOTO

Finance

far better than this one GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCK PHOTO Finance

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SHELF HELP

Disambiguating Trumpland

The what, why and how of Donald Trump’s victory

Narayan Lakshman

A little more than a year

since the 2016 U.S. presi­ dential election, a consid­ erable volume of literature has emerged that seeks to disambiguate the what, why and how of Donald Trump’s surprise victory, and disentangle the com­ plex web of contradictions that his presidency has en­ tailed. At the vanguard of that wave of analytical narratives is the plainly tit­

led What Happened, by Hillary Clinton, his Demo­ cratic rival and former Se­ cretary of State. Her deep­ ly reective account paints a canvas of Ameri­ can politics that raises troubling questions about the political and economic prognosis for the country. While in part the book is one long justication of her defeat, it is neverthe­

less a self­critical account that outlines the extent to which the American poli­

ty is bitterly polarised, rife

with misogyny, inltrated

by Russian propaganda, and in the thrall of a hate­

ful conservative class that might stoop to any low to stay in power. While Clinton’s analysis of why Americans put a brash property tycoon in the White House is an ana­ lytical, almost academic, study, Fire and Fury: In­ side the Trump White House, by Michael Wol, is a gossipy insider ac­ count of the dysfunction and bitterness that emerged since Trump took charge. Despite its less­than­journalistic stan­ dards of reportage, the book, which was also shot­gunned across the In­ ternet after its publishers were threatened with le­ gal consequences for re­ leasing it, paints an unmis­ takable picture of profound instability in the Oval Oce. That it came shortly in the wake of a group of 27 psychiatrists, including some from top

universities, describing Trump’s mental state as

“dangerous”, seems to have provoked that now­ famous tweet from Trump in which he claimed to be “a very stable genius”. A book that goes to the heart of the nativist call that the Trump campaign appeared to issue and res­ pond to in 2016 is Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising by journalist Joshua Green. It unravels the elevation of former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon to the driving seat of Trump’s presidential cam­ paign in 2016, on the strength of his commit­ ment to hard­edged eth­ nonationalism. Most strik­ ing is this book’s disambiguation of Ban­ non’s masterminding of a populist insurgency build­ ing up in the U.S. for years, and his ambition to ensure that this insurgen­ cy was the crest of a global wave that would push the hard right to the fore of politics everywhere.

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CONCEPTUAL

Wallower

This refers to any stock that has fallen out of fa­ vour with the general in­ vesting community. As a result, these stocks are sparsely traded in the mar­ ket and their price is usual­ ly quite low compared to their earnings and under­ lying assets. Many stocks that were popular among investors in the past may turn into wallowers after bad news that destroyed investors’ enthusiasm to buy them. This causes their prices to drop and re­ ect the dull future pros­ pects of the stock. In some cases, companies that are unpopular among inves­ tors may later attract more attention with increasing coverage by large institu­ tional investors.

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MORE ON THE WEB 3

Trump's plan to slap taris on steel and aluminium could aect Indian manufacturers

http://bit.ly/trumptaridata

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FROM ARCHIVES FIFTY YEARS AGO MARCH 12, 1968
FROM
ARCHIVES
FIFTY YEARS AGO
MARCH 12, 1968

U.S. reviewing Viet Nam situation

The Johnson Administration is conducting a review of the en­ tire Viet Nam situation “from A to Z”, the Secretary of State, Mr. Dean Rusk, said here [Washington] to­day [March 11]. Tes­ tifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Rusk said no specic recommendation for another American troop build­up was before President Johnson at the present time. The entire situation is under consideration from ‘A to Z’ he said. Mr. Rusk added he did not think there was anything more he could say.

A HUNDRED YEARS AGO

MARCH 12, 1918.

Snake in Court.

Much excitement was caused to­day [March 11, Calcutta] in the Chief Presidency Magistrate’s Court when the Police produced in connection with a case a snake eight feet long, manufac­ tured from yellow, black and white beads. The manufacturer succeeded in producing an extremely lifelike representation of a yellow blacked snake studded with the well known black shell or cowrie marks. Underneath consisted of white beads into which were worked in black the words “Turkish Prisoner 1917”. A coachman by name Salikbin was found with the snake in his possession and as he was unable to give a satisfactory ac­ count in regard to the same he was sent up for trial. In the court he informed the Magistrate that not long ago while driv­ ing his ticca he found the snake lying on the road. He was given time to bring a witness to prove his assertion.

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DATA POINT

DATA POINT

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https://t.me/EStore33

10

NEWS

https://www.estore33.com/

https://t.me/TheHindu_Zone

NOIDA/DELHI

THE HINDU

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

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FROM PAGE ONE

Uttar Pradesh bypolls witness a low turnout

FROM PAGE ONE Uttar Pradesh bypolls witness a low turnout In line: Voters wait to cast

In line: Voters wait to cast their vote at Forbesgang in Araria constituency of Bihar. * SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The low voting percentages in U.P. will worry the BJP, which won both the seats in 2014 by margins of over 3,00,000 votes. Additionally, in both con­ stituencies the turnout in the urban centres, consi­ dered BJP strongholds, was poor, with Allahabad North barely crossing 21%. The U.P. Chief Election Ocer’s oce said in a statement that while voting was peaceful, 114 VVPATS,

41

EVM balloting units and

38

EVM control units had to

be replaced after “minor technical complaints.” The commission had de­ ployed 4,728 EVM control units, 7,098 ballot units and 4,728 VVPATS for the polls, with the VVPAT facility available at all voting centres. In Bihar, the Narpatganj Assembly constituency’s Nodal Ocer­cum­Circle Of­ cer Nishant Kumar on Sun­ day lodged an FIR against the State BJP chief for violat­ ing the model code of con­ duct after Mr. Rai, also Lok Sabha MP from Ujjiarpur, al­ legedly said that “if the RJD candidate Sarfaraj Alam wins the poll, Araria would become a hub of ISI [Pakis­ tan’s Inter­Services Intelligence].”

The Bihar bypolls are be­ ing seen as a direct battle between Chief Minister Nit­ ish Kumar and Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav. It was the rst time Mr. Yadav had led the election cam­ paign of his party in the ab­ sence of his father and Rash­ triya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, who is lodged in Ranchi jail after being con­ victed in the fodder scam cases. For Mr. Kumar, this was

the rst electoral battle after he dumped the RJD to join hands with the BJP again. The Araria bypoll was ne­ cessitated by the death of RJD strongman Mohammad Taslimuddin. The BJP elded Pradeep Singh, who had won the seat in 2009 and nished run­ ner­up in 2014. The Jehanabad Assembly bypoll was caused by the death of RJD legislator Mun­ drika Singh Yadav and the party elded his son Suday Yadav from there. The NDA elded Abhiram Sharma of the Janata Dal (United), who had won the seat in 2010 when his party was an ally of the BJP. In Bhabhua the bypoll was held after the death of BJP MLA Anand Bhushan Pandey.

‘Centre nalising Cauvery scheme’

Asked whether he had any model for the implementa­ tion mechanism, the Union Secretary said he did not. However, he explained that there were two models — the Bhakra Beas Manage­ ment Board (BBMB) and the Narmada Control Authority (NCA). Under the BBMB, as­ sets including dams were being operated and main­ tained by the Board. In the case of the NCA, operation and maintenance of the as­ sets were with States con­ cerned —Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat — and the Auth­ ority’s role was limited to regulatory work and control over the release of water so that “everybody gets his share of water.” Mr. Singh added that there could be slight varia­ tions of these models. “We had discussed all possibili­ ties [with regard to the Cauvery] and hopefully, we will come out with someth­ ing which is benecial to everybody,” he said. When it was pointed out that two bodies — the Cauv­ ery River Authority, headed

by Prime Minister and com­ prising Chief Ministers of the basin States and a Moni­ toring Committee, compris­ ing ocials of the Centre and States — were in place between 1998 and 2013 for implementing the 1991 inte­ rim order of the Tribunal, Mr Singh said, “My under­ standing is that we are not talking of that structure.” On the absence of an im­ plementation mechanism for the order of the Bacha­ wat Tribunal, a senior o­ cial of the Tamil Nadu go­ vernment pointed out that in 2010, when the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal­ II gave its order in December 2010, it had made an imple­ mentation machinery part of the order. Besides, when the Bacha­ wat Tribunal’s order was gi­ ven in the 1970s, there was no provision in the Act for any machinery. The Section 6A was in­ serted in August 1980 in the light of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal’s order in December 1979, the ocial added.

Be responsible, Venkaiah tells MPs

Vice­President says the country and the people lose when protests shut down Parliament

Special Correspondent

New Delhi

Referring to the washing out of Parliament proceedings by protests last week, Vice­ President M. Venkaiah Nai­ du, who is the Rajya Sabha Chairman, said here on Sun­ day that more than the go­ vernment and the Opposi­ tion, it was the people of the country who lost out by such disruptions.

Addressing the valedicto­ ry session of the National Le­ gislators’ Conference here, Mr. Naidu said there was no place for banners, placards or shouting in the House. “One week of Rajya Sabha was lost. Who is the loser? Someone in the Opposition may think the government is

a loser, the government may

think the Opposition is loser. But it is the country and the

people who lose out. How much money they have spent, how much condence they have put in us, in our

have spent, how much condence they have put in us, in our Taking stock: Vice-President M.

Taking stock: Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu speaks at the valedictory session.

* PTI

system. These disruptions

will not help us,” Mr. Naidu said. He said the inviolability of the question hour should be maintained. Mr. Naidu said the public representatives must introspect on their

conduct. “We came to this House by shouting slogans, by past­ ing posters, by holding pla­ cards. But inside the House, there is no place for all this,” he said. He said parliamentarians

need to be more regular to the House. “It is ironical that there are 543 members in the Lok Sabha and 245 mem­ bers in the Rajya Sabha, yet sometimes you have to press the quorum bell. Some say it is the government’s respon­

sibility, some say it is the Op­ position’s responsibility. I would say it is a joint respon­ sibility of both,” Mr. Naidu said.

The four Cs The Vice­President said that it was the four Cs — charac­ ter, calibre, capacity and conduct — that made a good leader. “But some people are re­ placing it with three Cs — caste, community and cash. That can never be a substi­ tute. It may help you tempo­ rarily, but it is the four Cs and the contribution you make to public life that will help make you the leader,” he said. Mr. Naidu said the disrup­ tions in Parliament had left him disturbed and disillu­ sioned. He asked the Union and the State governments to increase the number of sit­ tings of Parliament and the Assemblies.

Ram temple will be built, says RSS

Vikas Pathak

NAGPUR

The RSS said on Sunday that a Ram temple would certainly be built in Ayod­ hya, but procedures need­ ed to be followed.

“The Ram temple will surely be built there. And it is also certain that nothing but a Ram temple can be built there. But there are procedures for everyth­ ing,” RSS general secretary Suresh [Bhaiyyaji] Joshi told presspersons at the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha meeting. “We are awaiting the court’s verdict on the title suit. Once it is delivered, the temple will be built,” he said. Mr. Joshi said it was not easy to build a consensus

it is very

on the issue. “

dicult to bring all sec­ tions round to a single line

of thought

welcome it, if it happens.”

But we will

BJP’s new list packs surprises

Rajeev Chandrasekhar gets party ticket, a Kerala leader elded from Maharashtra

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI

The BJP on Sunday released

a second list of candidates

for the biennial elections to

the Rajya Sabha on March 23. The list has 18 names to

be elded from nine States. Eight of them are from Uttar Pradesh. The party seemed to ba­ lance political considera­ tions with reward for performance. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, entrepreneur, will be elded from Karnataka after being elected to the Upper House as an Independent so far. As

a reection of the BJP’s am­

b itions in Kerala, V. Mura­

leedharan, a senior party leader in the State, will be

elded from Maharashtra. The BJP’s media cell in­ charge, Anil Baluni, has been elded from Uttarak­

in­ charge, Anil Baluni, has been elded from Uttarak­ Anil Baluni hand, and spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha

Anil Baluni

hand, and spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao from Uttar Pradesh. Anil Jain, party general se­

cretary in charge of States

such as Haryana, has got the nod from Uttar Pradesh. Sa­ roj Pande, general secretary handling Maharashtra, will be elded from Chhattisgarh. Former Maharashtra

will be elded from Chhattisgarh. Former Maharashtra Rajeev Chandrashekhar #446601 Chief Minister Narayan Rane

Rajeev Chandrashekhar

#446601

Chief Minister Narayan Rane has got the seat from Maha­ rashtra, a sign that the party is not taking anything for granted in the State. Sajal Deep Rajbhar got the nod from Uttar Pradesh, as a possible counterpoint to Om Prakash Rajbhar, president of the Suheldev Bharatiya Sa­ maj Party, a BJP ally, and Mi­ nister in the Yogi Adityanath

government. The Minister has been turning rebellious of late. The BJP wants to nur­ ture its own leadership in the Rajbhar community. Kirori Lal Meena, who re­ joined the BJP on Sunday morning, will be elded from Rajasthan, which goes to the polls at the end of the year.

First list In its rst list, the BJP had de­ clared that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be elded from Uttar Pradesh, Parshot­ tam Rupala and Mansukh Bhai Mandaviya from Guja­ rat, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan from Madhya Pradesh and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Pra­ sad from Bihar. Human Re­ source Minister Prakash Ja­ vadekar has been elded from Maharashtra.

Congress releases list of 10 names

Singhvi elded from West Bengal

Special Correspondent

New Delhi/patna

The Congress on Sunday re­ leased a list of 10 names for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls, including Abhishek Singhvi, former Union Mi­ nister of State for Railways Naranbhai Rathwa and well­ known journalist Kumar Ketkar. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, back from his Sin­ gapore and Malaysia trip, cleared the names for seven States including two from Gujarat. While Mr. Rathwa, who has been a Lok Sabha candi­ date for ve terms and served as junior Railway Mi­ nister, is the rst candidate from Gujarat, the other choice is Amee Yagnik, a well­known Congress pane­

list on national television. Maharashtra­based jour­ nalist Ketkar has been cho­ sen from the State where the party can send one no­ minee. From Karnataka, where the party can send three members, L. Hanuman­ thaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and G.C. Chandrashekhar are its nominees. One candidate each from Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana have been elded by the Congress since. Mr. Singhvi has been elded from West Bengal with Trinamool support. In Bihar, the Rashtriya Ja­ nata Dal declared national spokesperson Manoj Jha and Ashfaq Karim as its can­ didates for the Rajya Sabha elections.

Attack on

CRPF post

in Kulgam

Press Trust of India

Srinagar

Suspected militants hurled a grenade on a Central Re­ serve Police Force (CRPF) guard post in south Kash­ mir’s Kulgam district on Sunday evening, but there was no damage, the police said. “Apparently, militants hurled a grenade on a guard post of 18 bn [batta­ lion] CRPF [at Damhaal Hanjipora] in Kulgam,” Kashmir Zone Police said on their ocial Twitter page. Meanwhile, suspected militants caused an explo­ sion outside the house of the ruling People’s Demo­ cratic Party legislator Ab­ dul Majeed Padder in Kul­ gam district on Sunday. “There was no loss of live or damage reported,” the police said.

Have forgiven father’s killers: Rahul

Says he knew that his grandmother and father would be killed for taking a stand

Special Correspondent

New Delhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter on Sunday to thank Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak after meeting him a day ear­ lier, but it is his comments on his father’s killers that trended online. In a video shared by the Congress’s Twitter handle in which Mr. Gandhi is seen in­ teracting with Indian Insti­ tute of Management alumni in Singapore on March 9, he

said his family had known that his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv would be killed for having ta­ ken a stand. “We knew that Papa [fath­ er] was going to die. We knew that Dadi [paternal grandmother] was going to die. My grandmother told me that she was going to die

and my father

I told him

told me that she was going to die and my father I told him Foreign foray:

Foreign foray: Congress president Rahul Gandhi with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore . * PTI

that he is going to die. In pol­ itics, when you mess with the wrong forces, and if you stand for something, you will die,” he said. Asked if he and his sister Priyanka had been able to forgive his father’s killers, Mr. Gandhi said, “We were very upset and hurt, and for many years we were quite angry. But, somehow, [we

in fact,

completely [forgiven them].” Elaborating on his answ­ er, he said, “There is a histo­ ry that when one realises that when these events take place, it’s a collision of ideas, forces, confusion. That’s where you get caught. I re­ member when I saw Mr. Prabhakaran [former Libera­ tion Tigers of Tamil Eelam

have] completely

chief] on TV lying dead, I got two feelings — one was why they are humiliating this man in this way.” “And second was that I felt really bad for him and for his kids and I did that because I understood deeply what it meant to be on the other side of that thing. So to me, when I see violence, regard­ less of who it is, I know that there is a human being be­ hind that, there is a family behind that, a kid crying be­ hind that,,” he said. “I was 14 when my grand­ mother was assassinated. I used to play badminton with those who killed my grand­ mother. After that, my father was killed. So you live in a particular environment surrounded by 15 guys from morning, noon to night, I don’t think that’s a privilege. I think that is quite a hard thing to deal with.”

Police name accused in Kathua rape

Peerzada Ashiq

Srinagar

The Crime Branch of the J&K Police has named a re­ tired government ocial as an accused in the rape and murder of an eight­year­ old girl of a nomadic com­ munity in Kathua. “That former revenue ocer Sanji Ram may have raped and murdered the girl is the conclusion of the Crime Branch’s status re­ port submitted to the High Court [two days ago]. Mr. Ram is the custodian of the keys to the public facility where the minor was held captive,” said Talib Hus­ sain, an activist campaign­ ing for the rights of the no­ madic community. Another accused, who was thought to be a 15­year­ old, has been declared a 19­ year­old by the medical board set up by the court.

Probe into Pak.’s harassment charge

Media reports say diplomats in Delhi are facing ‘aggressive surveillance’ daily

special correspondent

NEW DELHI

India will investigate Pakis­ tan’s allegation of harass­ ment of its diplomats here, sources said on Sunday. The Indian response came hours after Pakistani media reported that Pakis­ tan’s diplomats stationed here were facing harassment on a daily basis. “The Pakistan High Com­ mission has brought to the MEA’s [Ministry of External Aairs] notice some inci­ dents of alleged harassment over the past few days. These will no doubt be inves­ tigated. India makes all ef­ forts to provide a safe, se­ cure and hospitable environment for diplomats

to work in,” a source in the Ministry said. Hours before, a Pakistani source told The Hindu that almost all the top diplomats, barring the newly appointed High Commissioner of Pakis­ tan, had faced aggressive surveillance from Indian agencies in the recent weeks. “Even children going to school and women have been chased by Indian secur­ ity personnel,” the Pakistani source said. “On one occasion, one of the drivers was pulled out of his car and threatened with abusive language.” Pakistani media reports said that Islamabad had warned that it might with­ draw its staers from the

<> India makes all eorts to provide a safe, secure and hospitable environment for diplomats

High Commission following intense surveillance by In­ dian agencies.

Diplomatic note Pakistan has reportedly is­ sued a diplomatic note in protest against the alleged harassment. The ght between the di­ plomats serving in both the countries came merely days after Pakistan agreed to the Indian proposal to exchange elderly, women and mental­

ly unstable prisoners. An Indian source describ­ ing the condition that Indian diplomats in Pakistan are facing, said, “Aggressive sur­ veillance, violation of physi­ cal space and tailing of oc­ ers in close and dangerous proximity is a perennial is­ sue. Agency personnel keep shooting videos of the oc­ ers thrusting phones on their faces. Obscene phone calls and messages are con­ stantly received on phones. In view of such an atmosph­ ere of intimidation, most fa­ milies have returned to India and children have been with­ drawn from schools.” The Indian High Commis­ sion in Pakistan has been made a ‘non­family’ posting.

1,765 lawmakers face criminal cases

Centre says 78 crore allocated for setting up special courts to try them

Krishnadas Rajagopal

NEW DELHI

The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that 1,765 members of Parliament and the Assemblies have crimi­ nal cases against them. Of a total 3,816 cases

against them, 3,045 are still pending. Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 248 legislators, Tamil Nadu comes second with 178 and then Bihar follows with

144.

Exclusive courts The adavit by the Centre is its rst response after the Su­ preme Court Bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, in No­ vember 2017, directed the setting up of special courts

No­ vember 2017, directed the setting up of special courts to try legislators exclusively within a

to try legislators exclusively within a year. The Centre has underta­ ken to set up 12 such courts. The adavit said that of the 78 crore allocated for setting up the courts in 11 States, 65.04 lakh was re­ leased in 2017. The balance will be re­

leased during 2018­19. Tamil Nadu has been allotted 65 lakh for a year.

Ruling in 125 cases Compiling information re­ ceived mostly from the High Courts, the Centre said 125 cases were decided against lawmakers in one year.

The Supreme Court had on November 1 directed the Centre to place before it de­ tails of cases involving MPs and MLAs, as declared by the politicians at the time of ling their nominations dur­ ing the 2014 general elections. The apex court had direct­ ed the government to frame a central scheme for setting up special courts across the country to exclusively try criminal cases involving “political persons”. The court is hearing a PIL plea led by Supreme Court advocate Ashwini Upadhyay who has sought a lifetime ban on convicted politicians to cleanse politics of crimi­ nality and corruption.

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THE HINDU

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IN BRIEF

IAF to embark on a long shopping sortie for a jet

It’s back to square one for the force as the government has scrapped the MMRCA tender; evaluation and other processes will take at least 2 years

evaluation and other processes will take at least 2 years New guidelines likely for child artistes

New guidelines likely for child artistes

NEW DELHI

Dinakar Peri

New Delhi

Almost two decades after it began a search for a ghter aircraft, the Indian Air Force is back to square one. The IAF will begin the search again to arrest its falling squadron strength, as the Union government had scrapped the medium multi­ role combat aircraft (MMRCA) tender after order­ ing 36 Rafale ghters from

France in yaway condition. “The Request for Informa­ tion (RFI) for selecting a new ghter aircraft is expected to be issued before the DefExpo in April. It will be an open tender and not limited to sin­ gle­engine aircraft,” a de­ fence ocial told The Hindu. Earlier, the IAF was look­ ing for a single­engine jet to replace the MiG­21s and MiG­27s. The new jets were to be manufactured in India by the private industry un­ der the Strategic Partnership model. However, the contest is now being opened up.

model. However, the contest is now being opened up. den the contest to avoid is­ sues

den the contest to avoid is­ sues later,” the ocial said. While the Lockheed Mar­ tin F­16 and SAAB Gripen are single­engine ghters, the contest will be now open to

Boeing F­18, Dassault Rafale, Euroghter Typhoon and Russian MiG­35, all of which were part of the earlier MMRCA contest. The open tender will essentially be

earlier MMRCA contest. The open tender will essentially be Buoyant camp: Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and

Buoyant camp: Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath at a roadshow ahead of the Kolaras bypoll in Madhya Pradesh last month. The party won the seat. * PTI

highlight the failures of the BJP government”. The Congress has been enthused by the recent bye­ lection results in the Kolaras and Mungaoli Assembly seats, where its candidates defeated the BJP in a hard­ fought battle. Out of power in the State since 2003, the Congress is hopeful of a comeback in the Assembly elections expected in October­November, along with those in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. “We have been

cides at Dignitas has been stable at around 200 per­ sons every year. “In 2017, there was no sig­ nicant change in this: with 222 assisted suicides, the number is the same as in 2015,” Dignitas says.

Prevention, key aim The reason, according to the organisation, is its main ob­ jective of suicide prevention. “Suicide attempt prevention is at the heart of the compre­ hensive advisory work,” it noted. The organisation charges 80 Swiss Francs as member­ ship fee, which is waived on “reasoned request”. In 2018, it will continue to “work to­ wards suicide attempt pre­ vention, palliative care, ad­ vance directives and assisted dying,” the e­mail says. In at least three European countries, euthanasia is le­ gal, while assisted suicide is allowed in Switzerland, Ger­ many and Japan. In nearly a dozen States of the U.S., as­ sisted suicide is allowed.

working together for the last year or year­and­a­half. We are strategising and planning every activity together, which is what you have seen in these two byelections. Ev­ ery single leader of the Con­ gress party was present in these byelections,” Mr. Scin­ dia told PTI on Sunday. Since last November, when the Congress retained the Chitrakoot Assembly seat in a byelection, the par­ ty has scaled up its campaign against the Chouhan govern­

Nagaland Cong. chief oers to quit

Rahul Karmakar

Guwahati

The crisis in the Congress after the Assembly election “debacle” is believed to have deepened after Ke­ wekhape Therie oered to resign as the party’s Naga­ land unit chief on “moral grounds”. Mr. Therie, 64, was one of 18 candidates that the Congress had struggled to eld in a State it had ruled for more than 22 years un­ der three Chief Ministers. He ended up third in Pfutsero. Mr. Therie told pressper­ sons in Dimapur that he tendered his resignation to the Nagaland Pradesh Con­ gress Committee executive committee. The NPCC said the party high command will have to take a call on Mr. Therie’s resignation. The Congress managed only 2.1% votes this time, down from 24.89% of the total votes polled in the 2013 Assembly elections when eight of its 56 candi­ dates had won comforta­ bly.

MMRCA all over again. “The IAF has already eval­ uated all the aircraft in the MMRCA contest. So once the technical evaluation process starts, selection of one air­

Cycles to drive home a point

Special Correspondent

CHANDIGARH

Setting the tone for the Con­ gress campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections in Haryana in 2019, State Congress chief Ashok Tanwar, who is touring con­ stituencies on a bicycle, hit out at the ruling BJP on Sun­ day. As the rst phase of the Congress’s ‘Haryana Ba­ chao­Parivartan Lao’ cycle rally concluded in Kuruksh­ etra, Mr. Tanwar said a wave of change was “clearly visi­ ble” across the State.

DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

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ment. To take on the Chief Minister, sources say, the Congress’s top leadership debated the proposal to name a chief ministerial can­ didate and the choice had been narrowed down to Mr. Scindia and Mr. Nath. Sources say party chief Rahul Gandhi has had a few rounds of meetings but, eventually, the party is likely to go with a “collective lea­ dership”, the same template it seems to have chosen for Rajasthan as well.

same template it seems to have chosen for Rajasthan as well. craft can be completed in

craft can be completed in two years. After that, it is the contract negotiations. Con­ cluding the contract de­ pends on how fast we can close it,” an IAF source said.

Press Trust of India

New Delhi

The government owes over 325 crore to cash­strapped Air India with bills pending for VVIP chartered ights to foreign countries, according to an RTI (Right to Informa­ tion) response. The national carrier, which is on the verge of be­ ing privatised, has provided details of pending bills to­ wards various Ministries res­ ponsible for the VVIP visits in its latest response to a qu­ ery by Commodore (Retd.) Lokesh Batra. The reply dated March 8 shows that bills for 325.81 were pending as on January 31. Of this, 84.01 crore have been carried forward from the last nancial year while the remaining 241.8 crore

In 2000, the government decided to procure 126 ght­ er jets, but it was only in 2007 that the RFI, the rst step in the long procurement process, was issued for 126 aircraft under the MMRCA deal expected to cost around $12 billion. However, with contract negotiations reaching a dea­ dlock, in 2015, Prime Minis­ ter Narendra Modi scrapped the deal and announced an Inter­Governmental Agree­ ment with France for 36 Ra­ fales at a cost of €7.87 billion, including aircraft, spares, weapons and a maintenance and performance guarantee for ve years.

Final choice Under the new deal, the IAF is looking for over 100 air­ craft, and the ocial said that whether single­ or twin­ engine, the aircraft were equally competent and the nal choice would depend on the extent of technology transfer and price. Another reason for widen­ ing the tender is for the se­ lection of a competent In­ dian partner. In anticipation of a single­engine tender, Lockheed and SAAB had tied up with prospective Indian partners.

“The Indian SP partner has to be selected by the go­ vernment through a compet­ itive evaluation. So it is good to have a wider pool of both OEMs [original equipment manufacturer] and Indian partners to choose from,” the ocial said.

Additional Rafales One defence ocial ob­ served that procuring at least two more squadrons of Ra­ fale jets would make eco­ nomic, operational and lo­ gistical sense as India is spending €2 billion on IAF­ specic customisations and

36 is too small a number. “It makes logical sense

and would save us money as the additional aircraft would cost less. But in the current political climate, it is not pos­ sible,” he said. The IAF has a sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons but is currently down to 31 squa­ drons and with the planned induction of 36 Rafales bet­ ween 2019 and 2022, re­ maining Sukhoi­30MKI and some LCA Tejas, the strength will hover at 30 till 2027 and in the subsequent ve­year term, will fall to 27. If there are no newer inductions, it is expected to slide further to

19 squadrons by 2042.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) will revise its

guidelines for child participants of television shows, following the recent controversy over singer Angarag Papon Mahanta kissing a minor contestant of

a reality programme. “Our

guidelines were framed in 2011 before the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015, the Prevention of Child Sexual Offences Act of 2012, and the Child Labour Act of 2016. We will revise our guidelines as per the new laws,” NCPCR Chairperson Stuti Kacker said.

Modi to take Macron on a boat ride in the Ganga

NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host French President Emmanuel Macron in Varanasi on Monday. They will participate in several programmes in Varanasi,

including a boat ride in the Ganga. Also on the itinerary is

a visit to the Deen Dayal

Hastkala Sankul, where they will interact with artisans. They will board a boat from the famous Assi Ghat. Mr. Modi will also host a lunch in the honour of the French President. In the afternoon, Mr. Modi will flag off a train from Varanasi’s Maduadih Railway Station to Patna. PTI

Contest renews “The contest for single­en­

gine jets has only two con­ tenders and it would end up being a single­vendor situa­ tion on technical evaluation. So it has been decided to wi­

Cong. plans ahead for M.P. polls

Top leaders to come together for roadshow, project a united face for the party

Govt. owes Air India over 325 cr. for VVIP ights

Highest amount due from External Aairs Ministry

Good response to flight to Tel Aviv, says AI

NEW DELHI

Air India’s newly announced flight to Tel Aviv has evoked a “good response”, according to the airline’s Chairman and Managing Director, Pradeep Kharola. The national carrier will begin its thrice-a-week flight from Delhi to Tel Aviv from March 22. Mr. Kharola said more than 10% of the seats got sold in the first 24 hours. Saudi Arabia has permitted AI to use its airspace though many Arab and Islamic nations do not allow it for flights to Israel. This will cut travel time by around two hours from that taken by other flights. PTI

Sandeep Phukan

New Delhi

Keen to build momentum against the Shivraj Singh Chouhan­led Bharatiya Jana­ ta Party (BJP) government in Madhya Pradesh, the Con­ gress plans to start a Jan Sampark Yatra (roadshow to connect with voters) in the second half of April, with plans to cover all the 230 As­ sembly constituencies. Insiders say the Congress wants to use the roadshow to project a united face and provide a common platform for its top leaders. In the past, the party had faced intense factionalism in Madhya Pradesh, with work­ ers showing their allegiance and loyalty to a leader rather than the party. That is why the party wants all its top leaders such as Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kamal Nath, Digvi­ jaya Singh and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ajay Singh to participate in the roadshow and address joint public meetings.

Taking on Chouhan Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Arun Yadav told The Hindu that the details had not yet been nalised, but conrmed that the road­ show was being planned “to

but conrmed that the road­ show was being planned “to are from this year. Air India

are from this year. Air India provides Char­ tered aircraft for VVIPs — the President, the Vice­Presi­ dent and the Prime Minister. The bills are to be paid from the exchequer. The res­ ponse from Air India said the highest outstanding of

178.55 crore was from the External Aairs Ministry, fol­ lowed by the Cabinet Secre­ triat and the PMO (128.84 crore), and the Defence Mi­ nistry (18.42 crore). The reply stated that out­ standing bills of 451.71 crore were carried forward while bills of 553.01 crore were generated this year — a total of 1,004.72 crore. Of this, the government made a pay­ ment of 678.91 crore this year. The payment of 678.91 crore includes 367.7 crore paid towards 451.71 crore bills carried forward from last year and 311.23 crore towards bills of 533.01 crore generated this year. After the payment, the outstanding as on January 31, 2018, stands at 325.81 crore.

India set to get its first coastal policing academy

NEW DELHI

The country’s first national academy to train police forces in effectively safeguarding the Indian shoreline will start functioning in Devbhumi Dwarka district of Gujarat from next month. The Union Home Ministry recently sanctioned the launch of the National Academy of Coastal Policing (NACP) from a campus of Gujarat’s Fisheries Research Centre located in coastal Okha. To be run by a team of paramilitary and defence forces, the academy will sharpen the skills of marine forces of coastal States. PTI

sharpen the skills of marine forces of coastal States. PTI Swiss NGO says no spurt in

Swiss NGO says no spurt in assisted suicides in Europe

‘Despite legal sanction, numbers have remained steady’

Suvojit Bagchi

Kolkata

Despite a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in 2011 acknowledg­ ing the right of an individual to decide on the time and manner of ending his or her life, the Switzerland­based non­prot Dignitas says the actual number of assisted suicides at its clinic remain very low. Dignitas, a non­prot so­ ciety, is best known for its as­ sistance to those with termi­ nal or severe illnesses.

Indian concerns The Supreme Court ruling earlier this week, which upheld passive euthanasia with strict guidelines, has evoked a mixed reaction from rights activists and pa­ tients in India. Opponents to the ruling fear that in a coun­ try like India, the provision can be “misused”. Despite euthanasia being legal in several countries of Europe, very few people ap­ proached Dignitas in 2017.

of Europe, very few people ap­ proached Dignitas in 2017. While its membership is “steadily” growing,

While its membership is “steadily” growing, people with severe ailments are not approaching it to die peace­ fully, Dignitas told The Hin- du in an e­mail. “The number of members of Dignitas has grown steadi­ ly in recent years. As of the end of 2017, Dignitas had ov­ er 8,400 members. People who become members do not usually do so because they want to die, but be­ cause they want to support the broad activities of the as­ sociation and to have the sa­ fety of choice. Fewer than 3% of all Dignitas members made use of an accompa­ nied suicide in 2017,” the or­ ganisation said. Since 2012, the number of assisted sui­

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ELSEWHERE

ELSEWHERE U.K. vows appropriate response in spy episode LONDON Britain

U.K. vows appropriate response in spy episode

LONDON

Britain will respond ”appropriately” if a foreign state is found to have been involved in the poisoning of a former Russian spy a week ago, Finance Minister Philip Hammond said. “This is a police investigation and it will be evidence­led and we must go where the evidence takes us,” he said.

Reuters

Private Turkish plane crashes in Iran

TEHRAN

A private Turkish plane ying

from the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul crashed on Sunday in the south of Iran

with 11 people on board. The plane had left from the

emirate of Sharjah and went down near the city of Shahr­ e­Kord, about 400 km south

of Tehran, state television

reported.

AFP

Russia test­res new hypersonic missile

MOSCOW

Russia said on Sunday that it had successfully launched a hypersonic missile, one President Vladimir Putin earlier this month called “an ideal weapon”. The high­ precision Kinzhal (Dagger) missile was launched from a MiG­31 interceptor jet that took o from an aireld in the South Military District in Russia’s southwest, the Defence Ministry said.

AFP

Poland introduces ‘Sunday shopping ban’

WARSAW

A new law banning trading in

Poland on Sunday went into eect, with supermarkets and other retail outlets closed. At rst the legislation, sought by the Solidarity trade union and supported by the Catholic Church, will limit shopping to the rst and last Sundays of the month.

AFP

Trump says meet with Kim could lead to ‘greatest deal’

I may leave fast if progress does not seem possible, he announces at rally

Reuters

Moon Township

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong­un could zzle out with­ out an agreement or it could result in “the greatest deal for the world” to ease nu­ clear tensions between the two countries. “I may leave fast” if pro­ gress does not seem possi­ ble, Mr. Trump said at a cam­

paign rally for Republican

congressional candidate Rick Saccone in western Pennsylvania. Mr. Trump said he believes North Korea wants to make peace and that, “I think it’s time.”

Time and place unclear

A time and place to meet has not yet been set, although the meeting is supposed to happen by the end of May.

the meeting is supposed to happen by the end of May. Backing the President: Donald Trump

Backing the President: Donald Trump supporters at Moon Township, Pennsylvania, during a rally on Saturday. * REUTERS

“Who knows what’s going to happen?” said Mr. Trump, who added that if the meet­ ing takes place, “I may leave fast or we may sit down and make the greatest deal for the world.” Mr. Trump made the shocking decision on Thurs­ day to meet with Mr. Kim af­ ter the North Korean lead­

er’s invitation was relayed by

a South Korean delegation

that visited the White House. Earlier in Washington, Mr. Trump sought to rally inter­ national support for a poten­ tial summit, saying North Ko­ rea had agreed to not conduct another missile test until after proposed meet­ ings had taken place.

“North Korea has not con­ ducted a Missile Test since November 28, 2017 and has promised not to do so through our meetings. I be­ lieve they will honor that commitment!” he wrote on Twitter. Mr. Trump’s com­ ments aligned with what a South Korean ocial stated on Thursday about the possi­ ble talks. Mr. Trump also took to Twitter on Saturday to cha­ racterise the leaders of Chi­ na and Japan as supportive of the potential dialogue. Chinese President Xi Jinp­

ing “told me he appreciates that the U.S. is working to solve the problem diplomati­ cally rather than going with the ominous alternative,” Mr. Trump wrote. He also tweeted: “Spoke to Prime Minister Abe of Japan, who is very enthusiastic about talks with North Korea.”

Xi can now look ahead to centenary goals

Atul Aneja

Beijing

With power fully consolidat­ ed on Sunday, President Xi Jinping can now stamp his authority on achieving the “two centenary” goals: mak­ ing China a “moderately prosperous society” by 2020

and enabling it to become an advanced socialist nation by

2050.

But the Chinese leader­

ship has to contend with the immediate challenges, in­ cluding the possibility of a hard landing of its highly lev­ eraged economy. China is currently facing a mounting debt crisis, a property bub­ ble as well as a threat of cap­ ital ight. Observers point out that

sticking to the two­term li­ mit, set by Deng Xiaoping, may no longer be relevant. “The whole idea of put­ ting up a term limit (set by) Deng Xiaoping — you should view it historically. Back in

1982, right after the 10 years of Cultural Revolution of Mao (had required) a sense

of limit…to (an) individual’s

power. It was then that Deng Xiaoping came up with the

idea of the two­term limit,” China’s state television broadcaster CGTN quoted Yu Jie of the London School

of Economics, as saying.

Economic reform She added: “But now… you do need a furthering of stronger economic reform.

now… you do need a furthering of stronger economic reform. Chinese President Xi Jinping. * A

Chinese President Xi Jinping. * AP

You do need the furthering

of a stronger agenda to run a

country properly and there­ fore perhaps you do actually need a strong pair of hands

to give a clear steer to the country.” Others point out that that Mr. Xi’s anti­corrup­ tion campaign is still a work in progress, and needs time to settle. “Advancing reform has become more dicult, with entrenched interest groups resisting change. So the message to resistors is now this: get on the pro­ gramme because you can’t outwit or outwait President Xi,” says political commenta­ tor Robert Lawrence Kuhn. The constitutional amendments also include enshrining the Party’s lead­ ing role in the country’s bas­

ic law. As a result, any chal­ lenge to the CPC’s rule now becomes legally unconstitu­ tional.

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The ‘Acharya envoys’ who propagate Indian culture

‘24 Indian missions and cultural centres have this position’

Varghese K. George

Washington

In a new initiative by the Na­ rendra Modi government, a band of Indian ocials post­ ed to three missions in the United States now promote ‘Indian culture’ as part of di­ plomacy. Designated as ‘Yoga and Indian Culture Acharya’, the three ocials in Washington DC, New York and Chicago are experts in Sanskrit, Yoga and Hindu scriptures. They were selected by the Indian Council for Cultural Rela­ tions (ICCR) through a spe­ cial recruitment process and have diplomatic passports and oces in Indian mis­ sions. Their appointment is initially for two years, exten­ dable by two more and they have the mandate to travel around and organise events that promote ‘Indian culture’.

The vision Giving a glimpse into the in­ itiative, Mokshraj, one of the three ‘Acharyas’ who joined on January 12, says: “Jaisi drishti, vaisi srishti — you act according to your vi­ sion.” A PhD in the Vedas from the Rajasthan Sanskrit Un­ iversity, he goes on to ex­ plain: “This is the vision of the current government, but previous governments did not have this.” “Twenty four Indian mis­ sions and cultural centres abroad now have this posi­ tion,” says Mr. Mokshraj. Dayashankar Vidyalan­ kar, an ‘Acharya’ at the In­ dian Consulate in New York, tells that the entire world was “guided by the wisdom of Vedas at one time but we lost that due to various fac­ tors. After Independence, this is the rst time that In­

tors. After Independence, this is the rst time that In­ Mokshraj, one of the three Yoga

Mokshraj, one of the three Yoga and Culture Acharyas.

* SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

dia has a government that thinks that Indian culture should be propagated. That is how I am here”. Prerna Arya, who serves at the Indian consulate in Chicago, became part of the initiative on December 7, 2016. Ms. Arya, who com­ pleted her PhD from the Gu­ rukul Kangri University in Haridwar and whose thesis was on ‘Naturopathy in Ved­ ic Literature’, says that she plans to popularise tradi­ tional forms of treatments. “For example, the yagna chikitsa. If a patient expe­ riences the environment of yagna, it could be thera­ peutic in many cases.” Mr. Dayashankar was born in Gorakhpur. Mahant Avaidyanath, guru of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, sent him to Ha­ ridwar, where he served lep­ ers until he joined Baba Ramdev. He then headed to Gujarat, where he learned Sanskrit. “I taught yoga in Parliament House for nearly 15 years and serve on several advisory boards of govern­ ment departments,” he tells The Hindu. “I worked with Yogiji in all elections that he fought. He is my guru.”

He says that it would be appropriate to call these band of ocials India’s “cul­ tural ambassadors”.

Spreading yoga These ‘Acharyas’ feel that yoga is being commercial­ ised and, in the process, its

spiritual dimension gets lost. “Asanas, the exercise part of

but yogvidya

is about the person’s physi­ cal, spiritual, intellectual, social, psychological, and

We

have to spread these values. That is our sacred mission,” says Ms. Arya. Mr. Mokshraj explains it similarly. “Vasudhaiva Ku- tumbakam and Jiyo aur Jeene Do — these are two

spiritual mottos that guide this initiative. How will this happen? When we think

it spread fast

economic

progress

good of others

route of yoga and medita­

Our responsibility is

to… take yoga to each indivi­

dual, without cost, so that they could reduce their medical bills and lead peace­

ful lives,” he said.

Mr. Mokshraj has been making rounds of temples

and gurdwaras around the

DC area, “wherever our Bha-

ratiya community lives, with the message that if they

organise a camp, this free service from the embassy is

now available”. He has also started a regular yoga class

for the embassy sta.

Mr. Dayashankar also plans to explain havan and yagna to American audienc­ es. “Havan and yagna can

benet the world. [They have] a role in resolving the problems that the world fac­

es

people

tion

through the

today

when

think beyond themselves and think of the whole un­ iverse, that will lead to end

of conict.”

Pak. seminary student hurls shoe at Sharif

Agence France-Presse

Lahore

An Islamic seminary stu­ dent hurled a shoe at Pakis­ tan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday. Mr. Sharif appeared visi­ bly shocked as the shoe hit his shoulder while he was addressing a gathering at a seminary in Lahore. The incident came a day after an individual hurled ink at Foreign Minister Kha­ waja Muhammad Asif while he was speaking at a party rally in eastern Pakistan.

In custody The incident was broadcast live on Pakistani TV chan­ nels. The perpetrator then jumped on stage where Mr. Sharif was standing and be­ gan chanting before he was overpowered by the crowd and handed over to the police. According to police o­

and handed over to the police. According to police o­ Nawaz Sharif. * AFP cials, the

Nawaz Sharif. * AFP

cials, the man is a student at the seminary. Minutes later, Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek­e­Insaf condemned the incident. “This is not the way to express yourself and

I condemn whoever did it,”

Mr. Khan said. Mr. Sharif, a three­time Prime Minister, was ousted by the judiciary in July 2017 over corruption charges which he is currently facing in Pakistani courts.

Sri Lanka police probe fresh ‘hate crime’

Agence France-Presse

Colombo

Vandals attacked a Muslim­ owned restaurant in Sri Lan­ ka on Sunday in an alleged

“hate crime”, police said, as tensions remain high across the island following a week

of violent riots.

The restaurant in Anama­ duwa — 130 km north of the capital Colombo — was tar­ geted despite police being on high alert after a spate of anti­Muslim attacks. The government declared

a state of emergency last week as 11 mosques were torched and 200 Muslim­ owned businesses des­ troyed in riots by Sinhalese

mobs that left at least three people dead and around 20 wounded. Some social media net­ works including Facebook remain blocked across Sri Lanka. Ocials say this was done to prevent the spread

of hate speech against Mus­ lims. A senior police ocial said disciplinary action would be taken against oc­ ers in the Anamaduwa area for failing to prevent the res­ taurant attack. “We are treating this as a

hate crime. An investigation is on to identify those res­ ponsible,” he said.

Three-member panel President Maithripala Sirise­ na announced on Saturday that he will appoint a three­

member panel of retired judges to investigate the un­ rest that drew concern from rights groups and the inter­ national community. Police said nearly 150 pe­ ople were arrested over the violence, including the sus­ pected leader Amith Wee­ rasinghe, a Sinhalese man known for anti­Muslim acti­ vism and outspoken social media posts.

Sikh student in U.K. forced to leave bar for wearing turban

Press Trust of India

London

A Sikh law student in the U.K. felt “victimised” after he was evicted from a bar because he was wearing a turban, media reports said. Amrik Singh, 22, claimed that he was ordered to leave Rush Late Bar in Manseld, Nottinghamshire, on Friday for wearing his religious headgear, BBC reported. Mr. Singh was told that the bar had a “no headwear” policy. He tried to explain to a bouncer who approached him that the turban protect­ ed his hair and was part of his religion. But his pleas were ignored — and he was “dragged away” from his friends before being re­ moved from the venue, the report said. Mr. Singh wrote on Face­ book that he was “heartbro­

Mr. Singh wrote on Face­ book that he was “heartbro­ Amrik Singh was told that the

Amrik Singh was told that the bar had a ‘no headgear’ policy.

* FACEBOOK

ken”. “The reason why I was removed was because I re­ fused to remove my turban.”

“I explained that a turban isn’t just headgear, but part of my religion and that it protected my hair ­ and that

I was allowed to wear a tur­ ban in public,” he said. “The bouncer ignored

this and said I needed to take it o. I refused and was sub­ sequently dragged away from my friends,” he added. “The worst part of it was the fact he compared my turban to wearing a pair of trainers,” Mr. Singh, a nal year law student at Notting­ ham Trent University, added. The management apolo­ gised and said the sta in­ volved faced suspension pending an investigation. In a statement to the La­ bour Councillor for Mans­ eld, Sonya Ward, Rush Late Bar said that it was not their policy. “Good morning, this is absolutely NOT our policy. We are investigating this in­ cident and the security member in question has

been suspended,” Ward shared the statement on Twitter.

One-minute ‘blackout’ in Bangladesh

Haroon Habib

Dhaka

Bangladesh will observe a one­minute ‘blackout’ on March 25 to mark ‘Geno­ cide Day’, in memory of the three million people killed by Pakistani forces during the country’s Liber­ ation War in 1971. After an inter­ministerial meeting on Sunday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that the ‘blackout’ would be ob­ served for one minute from 9.00 p.m. The government will not suspend power supply, he said, but people will be asked to switch their lights o. However, emergency services will remain out of the purview. Bangladesh started ob­ serving March 25 as ‘Geno­ cide Day’ in 2017.

services will remain out of the purview. Bangladesh started ob­ serving March 25 as ‘Geno­ cide

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IN BRIEF

IN BRIEF Govt. may get 8,044 cr. as dividend from CIL KOLKATA The

Govt. may get 8,044 cr. as dividend from CIL

KOLKATA

The Union government is expected to get 8,044 crore as interim dividend from state­owned Coal India Ltd. for the scal year 2017­ 18. The board of directors has approved payment of interim dividend for the current scal at a rate of 16.50 per share, the company said in an exchange ling. The Centre would also garner about 2,085 crore as dividend tax from the mining major, a senior Coal India ocial said. PTI

‘Cybersecurity: demand for skill rises 3 times’

MUMBAI

With increasing incidents of large­scale cyberattacks and governmental cyberespionage, the demand for professionals in the segment has gone up three times in last 12 months, according to a report by an outbound recruitment solution Belong. This trend is likely to grow faster with the rise in use of Internet and e­commerce and customer awareness on cybersecurity, according to Belong co­ founder Rishabh Kaul. PTI

‘Producers expect higher January­March output’

NEW DELHI

Manufacturers had a positive outlook for the sector during the January­March quarter on the back of higher production, industry body FICCI said. “ The proportion of respondents reporting higher output growth during Q4 2017­18 has increased signicantly to 55% from 47% in Q3,” FICCI said in its latest quarterly survey on manufacturing. The survey covered manufacturers in 12 major sectors. PTI

PNB fraud: RBI starts special audit of public sector banks

To focus on trade nancing activities, especially relating to letters of undertaking

‘Bank recap should be part of broader reform package’

Economic growth prospects remain positive: IMF’s Zhang

Press Trust of India

Washington

The IMF has said that the re­ capitalisation of India’s pu­ blic sector banks should be part of a broader package of nancial reforms to speed up the resolution of their massive non­performing as­ sets, which has attracted at­ tention in the backdrop of the Nirav Modi case. Recent policy reforms to address vulnerabilities in the banking and corporate sectors in India have been signicant, International Monetary Fund Deputy Ma­ naging Director Tao Zhang said ahead of his visit to India. According to a recent As­ socham­Crisil study, India’s banking sector will be sad­

socham­Crisil study, India’s banking sector will be sad­ dled with gross non­per­ forming assets (GNPAs) worth

dled with gross non­per­ forming assets (GNPAs) worth a staggering 9.5 lakh crore by March­end, up from 8 lakh crore a year­earlier. “We think the PSB recapi­ talisation should be part of a broader package of nancial reforms to speed up the re­ solution of NPAs, improve

PSB governance, reduce the role of the public sector in the nancial system, and en­ hance bank lending capacity and practices,” Mr. Zhang told PTI in an interview.

Note ban eect waning

He added the Indian econo­

my now seemed to be on its way to recovering from dis­ ruptions caused by demone­ tisation and the roll­out of the goods and services tax. “With the economy ex­ panding by 7.2% in the latest quarter, India has regained the title of the fastest­grow­ ing major economy, Mr. Zhang said. Calling this development

a ‘welcome change’, Mr. Zhang said the growth pros­ pects remained positive.

GST refund:

PMO, ocials meet today

Press Trust of India

New Delhi

The Prime Minister’s Oce will meet top ocials of Commerce and Finance Ministries on Monday to discuss the issue of GST re­ funds as exporters claimed that 70% of their refunds were stuck even after eight months of the roll­out of the new tax regime. The meeting would as­ sess the impact of delay in refund process on exports and manufacturing, sourc­ es said. Exporters had been complaining that the delay had blocked their working capital. The reve­ nue department argued that there were discrepan­ cies between forms sub­ mitted by exporters to the customs department and those to the GST Network.

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA

NEW DELHI

Rattled by a spate of banking frauds, RBI has initiated spe­ cial audit of State­owned len­ ders with focus on trade ­ nancing activities, especially relating to issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) by them, banking sources said. In addition, the RBI has asked all banks for details of the LoUs they had issued, in­ cluding the amounts out­ standing, and whether the banks had pre­approved cre­ dit limits or kept enough cash on margin before issu­ ing the guarantees. Most of the big banking frauds, which were un­ earthed in the recent past,

banking frauds, which were un­ earthed in the recent past, Through RBI lens: The regulator wants

Through RBI lens: The regulator wants to know if banks had enough cash margins before issuing guarantees.

* R.V. MOORTHY

including the one perpetuat­ ed by diamantaire Nirav Mo­

di

and his associates, pertain

to

trade nance. Also, many

of the wilful default cases have their roots in trade ­ nance, the sources told PTI.

have their roots in trade ­ nance, the sources told PTI. * GETTYIMAGES/ISTOCK against this move

* GETTYIMAGES/ISTOCK

against this move as it would severely hit global trade,” Mr. Dhar said. Former Commerce Secre­ tary G. K. Pillai said the country should take action against America and also raise duties on products like almonds, pistachio and Har­ ley­Davidson motorcycles.

In view of the recent 12,646­crore PNB scam,

perpetuated through fraudu­

lent issuance of LoUs with the connivance of the bank’s sta, it was pertinent for the regulator RBI to examine the

‘No direct hit on exports of aluminium’

Press Trust of India

NEW DELHI

The U.S. decision to im­ pose 10% tari on import­ ed aluminium may not have signicant impact on the Indian aluminium in­ dustry but an indirect im­ pact may be due to in­ creased availability of export volume for the rest of the global market, Alu­ minium Association of In­ dia chairman T.K. Chand said. Vedanta Ltd. said it ex­ ports about 5%, or 1,00,000 tonnes of its alu­ minium volumes, to the U.S. Hence, the duties were not a game changer, said the rm’s chief sales ocer for aluminium, Jean­Bap­ tiste Lucas. The U.S. has al­ so imposed 25% tari on imported steel.

#446601

issue of trade nance which also included issuance of let­ ters of credit (LC) and LoUs, sources said.

NPA scrutiny The government recently asked the State­owned banks to scrutinise all cases of non­ performing assets (NPAs) ex­ ceeding 50 crore for possi­ ble fraud and report the mat­ ter to the Central Bureau of Investigation. Banks have also been asked by Finance Ministry to come up with a “pre­emp­ tive” action plan in a fort­ night to combat rising opera­ tional and technical risks, and assign clear accountabil­ ity to senior functionaries.

U.S. taris: ‘India must raise dispute at WTO’

‘Protectionism will aect global trade’

Two­factor authentication gathering steam, shows survey

‘System will protect enterprise applications in future’

Press Trust of India

New Delhi

India should drag the United States into the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) dis­ pute mechanism against the latter’s move to hike import duties on steel and alumini­ um, as the decision will im­ pact exports and is not in compliance with the global trade norms, experts said. The decision of the U.S. would not only impact In­ dia’s export of these goods to America but also aect global trade, Biswajit Dhar, a professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru Universi­ t y, said.

‘India must raise duties’ “Such decisions are protec­ tionist in nature. India needs to approach the WTO

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI

A

majority IT professionals

in

India expect their organi­

sations to start using two­ factor authentication to pro­ tect enterprise applications in the future, with almost half expecting this to hap­ pen within the next year, ac­ cording to a private survey. “[as much as] 78% believe the use of two­factor authen­ tication to protect applica­ tions in the future will in­ crease within the next year,” said the survey conducted by digital security rm Ge­ malto. It added that biomet­ ric and one­time password­ based authentication would be the preferred mode. Almost all respondents said that two­factor authen­

mode. Almost all respondents said that two­factor authen­ * REUTERS tication would be able to contribute

* REUTERS

tication would be able to contribute towards their or­ ganisation’s ability to comp­ ly with data protection regu­ lations and pass security audits. The use of two­factor authentication method is a part of organisations’ eorts to ‘consumerise’ the login

process to ensure ease of use while strengthening the se­ curity. Majority organisa­ tions believe that the auth­ entication methods they implement in their business­ es are not as good compared with those found on popular sites, including Amazon and Facebook.

Web, mobile apps The survey was conducted amongst 1050 IT decision­ makers in the three­month period from September­No­ vember 2017 globally. According to the survey, in India, more than 50% of the respondents believed that web portals and cloud/ mobile applications were the biggest targets for cyber­ attacks.

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Frauds and scams, throwback to ‘K10’ era?

Will the PNB case result in convictions, stronger laws? Does history hold clues? Post Ketan Parekh, what has happened?

ASHISH RUKHAIYAR

Mumbai

“If Harshad Mehta thought of himself as an innovator who created a system and pene­ trated the market, then Ke­ tan Parekh perfected that system during more chal­ lenging times,” said a veteran stock market participant who once did a few trades for KP, as Ketan Parekh was and is still known in stock market circles. Parekh was not the rst name to be associated with a stock market scam. There were a few before him as well but the magnitude and scale with which Parekh executed his modus operandi made him stand out. Not to forget the fact that when he emerged on the scene in 2001, the Securities and Ex­ change Board of India (SEBI) had already grown out of its infancy thanks to the Har­ shad Mehta scam of 1992. The recent revelation of fraud perpetrated at the Pun­ jab National Bank has brought to light new ways of circumventing the system. Letters of Understanding and the connectivity bet­ ween the SWIFT messaging and core banking systems are bandied about as loo­ pholes. What will this lead to? Convictions? Stronger laws? A look at the past pun­ itive action on one person who attracted the attention of regulators and market par­ ticipants alike, may oer some insight.

‘Is Parekh still active?’ While almost two decades have passed since Parekh was rst banned from the se­ curities market, his name still crops up in discussions with many market partici­ pants who claim he is still ac­ tive through his front entities but they do not have a credi­ ble proof to back the claim. Parekh was in the news on February 27, when a special court created to hear SEBI matters sentenced him to jail for three years, nding him guilty for not paying a penal­ ty imposed by SEBI. The case pertains to Panther Fincap and Manage­ ment Services where Parekh was a director. when the rm acquired shares of Shonkh

was a director. when the rm acquired shares of Shonkh Technologies International, which, according to SEBI,

Technologies International, which, according to SEBI, was beyond the permissible

continue with their opera­ tions in the securities mar­ ket, could pose constant

limit and without the statuto­ ry disclosures. SEBI initiated proceedings in the matter in 2003 and im­ posed a penalty of 6.5 lakh on the company and the di­ rectors. The rm oered a demand draft for part pay­ ment of the amount. SEBI declined saying rules do not

threat to the integrity of the securities market and endan­ ger the investors’ interests.” “When the corporate per­ sonality is being blatantly used as a cloak for fraud or improper conduct, and where the protection of pu­ blic interest is of paramount importance, it is necessary

allow part payment and de­

to

lift the corporate veil so as

ferment of the penalty.

to

pass an appropriate order

The regulator then led a case at the special SEBI court formed to hear specic mat­ ters related to the capital

rendering justice,” said the order highlighting that Pa­ rekh’s entities allegedly un­ dertook circular and cti­

markets watchdog. Parekh, currently in his mid­50s, didn’t have to go to jail

tious trades to create articial volumes in certain stocks.

though, as the Bombay High Court granted him bail soon

‘Conspiracy, cheating’

after the SEBI court verdict.

In

2003, even the Central Bu­

This was, however, only a

reau of Investigation (CBI)

small case in the larger scheme of things that Parekh was allegedly involved in and

led a charge sheet in the Madhavpura Mercantile Co­ operative Bank matter

was ultimately tried for by regulatory and investigative agencies. SEBI rst barred Parekh in an April 2001 rul­ ing that he could not under­ take any fresh business as a stock broker or merchant banker till further directions. But, the most signicant order against him came in December 2003 when SEBI

against Parekh and ve oth­ ers accusing them of conspi­ racy, cheating and forgery. He was convicted by a spe­ cial CBI court in March 2014 and was sentenced to two years of rigorous imprison­ ment though he spent only a year in jail. “Harshad [Mehta] operat­ ed in an era when there was

banned him from the securi­

a

manual trading ring with

ties market for 14 years. In a 67­page order issued by the then SEBI chairman G.N. Bajpai, the regulator stated that the “entities con­ nected to and controlled by Ketan Parekh, if allowed to

an outcry system. By the time KP came into the pic­ ture, we had electronic sys­ tems in both BSE and NSE. KP was a thinking market op­ erator with a unique style of operation,” said Arun Kejri­

<> KP mastered the art of exploiting the then existing systems of exchanges

Arun Kejriwal

Kejriwal Research & Investment Services

wal of Kejriwal Research & Investment Services. “He worked with a wide diaspora of market partici­ pants and mastered the art of

exploiting the then existing

systems of the exchanges to make money,” he added. In­ cidentally, Parekh worked under (Harshad) Mehta be­ fore starting out on his own. Market participants said Parekh was ‘smart’ and ‘more of a thinker than doer’ who created strategies and then sat back and saw his

plans unfold with the help of his coterie. They added Parekh, with his coterie, would target stocks in the midst of nega­ tive news and even managed to extract sensitive informa­ tion regarding other players’ positions courtesy his “friends at the right places.” Information about positions of other traders or investors can greatly help in devising a strategy to derive maximum benet from a trade. “Unlike Harshad, KP was

never solely dependent on the brute force of money that both had at their disposal,” said a broker who came to the market in 1988 and saw both Harshad and KP operate. At the height of his market

operations, his favourite stocks came to be known as K10 and included Zee Enter­ tainment, Mukta Arts, Hima­ chal Futuristic Communica­ tions (HFCL) and Pentamedia Graphics, among others. Some like Amitabh Bachchan Corp. and Crest Communincations are no more listed on the bourses. Some of the market players who had worked with him in the past said that it was widely believed that he helped promoters pump up the volume and price of their stock by circular trading within connected entities and then dumping them with domestic nancial institutions. Incidentally, if the market buzz is to be believed, till a few years ago, Parekh was active in the primary market allegedly colluding with pro­ moters to manage the sub­ scription and post­listing performance to give attrac­ tive exits to the investors. While the regulator did not explicitly mention that Parekh was active in the primary market, it did bring in a rule in January 2012 mandating newly­listed shares to be included in the pre­open session on the day of listing and also introduced circuit limits on such shares on the rst day itself. This ef­ fectively capped the listing gains for newly­listed shares. However, in June 2009, even as the 14­year ban on Parekh was still in force, SE­

#446601

BI was probing another mat­ ter of alleged manipulative trading by a few entities and found a Parekh link in the case. The regulator found that the fund ow analysis pro­ vided by the Income Tax de­ partment showed that “ma­ ny of the connected clients named in this order appear as conduits for the funds originating from Ketan Pa­ rekh group company.”

‘Front entities’ While referring the matter to the Enforcement Directo­ rate, the regulator said that “it appears that he [Parekh] has conveniently used the

connected clients at will as his front entities for execut­ ing trades desired by him in the securities market.”

“ this ow of funds orig­

inating from Mr. Ketan Pa­ rekh which were routed through the connected clients, when juxtaposed with securities market tran­ sactions of connected clients, as brought out by the instant SEBI examinations, leads to the possibility that the securities market tran­ sactions of the connected clients were executed as a part of a larger device for creating additional layers to obfuscate the funds trail and also to integrate the money originating from Mr. Ketan Parekh into the banking sys­ tem,” said the order. Interestingly, in July 2012, there were media reports that the Intelligence Bureau had submitted a report to go­ vernment ocials highlight­ ing a stock market scam with Parekh and his associates targeting shares of compa­ nies such as Dewan Housing Finance Corporation, Goen­ ka Diamond Jewels, IVRCL, GMR Infrastructure and the public issue of Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri. While none of the interest­ ed parties — the IB, the go­ vernment, the exchanges or SEBI — conrmed or denied the report, the talk in the markets maintained that the chartered accountant from Mumbai’s elite Marine Drive area was active in the stock markets and, as always, had found a way to work around the restrictions.

M&A rebound is a good sign for Indo-Japan ties

M&A rebound is a good sign for Indo-Japan ties Gone awry: Japanese rms grew wary of

Gone awry: Japanese rms grew wary of investing in India

after the telecom and pharma disasters.

* GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK

Una Galani

A resurgence of Japanese in­ terest in India is worth med­ itating on. Nippon Steel is part of a bid for its bankrupt

rival on the subcontinent, Essar Steel. That would mark a revival of high­pro­ le dealmaking in India af­ ter several big ops. The two countries share a spiri­ tual anity through Budd­ hism; healthier nancial re­ lations will also help create the harmonious, democra­ cy­led region that Tokyo and Washington both want.

Market opportunity India’s rapidly growing mid­ dle class represents a huge opportunity for Japan, a rich country with a shrink­ ing population. Still, Mum­ bai’s bankers have enjoyed fewer trips to Tokyo in re­ cent years as companies there grew wary of investing in the developing market. Data from the Indian em­ bassy in Tokyo shows fo­ reign direct investment peaked around 2008 and 2009, with mega­deals in­ cluding NTT DoCoMo’s $2 billion purchase of a stake in Tata Teleservices and Daii­ chi’s Sankyo’s $3 billion­plus acquisition of drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories. Both deals were disas­ ters. Tata Teleservices per­ formed badly and then, to exacerbate the pain, the RBI tried to prevent DoCoMo from recouping half of its original investment as part of a pre­deal insurance poli­ cy agreed upon between the two companies. Meanwhile, Ranbaxy ran into big trou­

ble with U.S. regulators. Dai­ ichi Sankyo alleged that the previous Indian sharehol­ ders hid information; it eventually sold the compa­ ny to a domestic rival. Both Japanese groups took their cases to international courts.

<>

‘Free and open Indo­Pacic’ forms the core of Japan’s foreign policy

The two cases are not the best advertisement for big bets on the subcontinent. It is against this backdrop that Nippon has teamed up with Luxembourg­based Arcelor­ Mittal to bid around $6 bil­ lion for Essar Steel. The Ja­ panese probably hope that investing alongside the Mit­ tal family, as a quasi­local partner, will help avoid nas­ ty surprises. A deal would follow smaller investments by Japan’s SoftBank into tech start­ups and a 50­year loan from Tokyo to build a bullet train linking Mumbai with Ahmedabad. More investment will also lend credibility to the idea of a “free and open Indo­ Pacic”. This regional con­ cept, in which authoritarian China is not the centre, is a core plank of Japan’s foreign policy, and has been talked up by U.S. President Donald Trump. It is an ambitious vi­ sion that will sound more plausible if Japanese compa­ nies can invest in India with­ out losing their shirt. (The writer is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. Opinions expressed are her own.)

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What is International Solar Alliance?

TCA Sharad Raghavan

NEW DELHI

The founding ceremony of the International Solar Al­ liance was held in New Delhi on March 11. It was followed by the rst summit of the Alliance.

What is this alliance?

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French Presi­ dent Francois Hollande at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris on No­ vember 30, 2015. The idea was to form a coalition of so­ lar resource­rich countries to collaborate on addressing the identied gaps in their energy requirements through a common ap­ proach. Towards this, the ISA has set a target of 1 TW of solar energy by 2030, which current French Presi­ dent Emmanuel Macron said would require $1 trillion to achieve.

Who

countries?

The ISA is open to 121 prospective member coun­ tries, most of them located between the Tropics of Can­ cer and Capricorn as this is the region worldwide with a surplus of bright sunlight for most of the year. So far, however, only 56 countries have signed the ISA Framework Agreement. These include Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, Co­ moros, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Do­ minican, Republic, DR Con­ go, Equatorial Guinea, Eth­

member

are

the

DR Con­ go, Equatorial Guinea, Eth­ member are the iopia, Fiji, France, Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea,

iopia, Fiji, France, Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Gui­ nea­Bissau, Guyana, India, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagas­ car, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Tu­ valu, UAE, Uganda, Vanua­ tu, Venezuela and Yemen.

What is India’s role?

Apart from being a founding­member, India plays a signicant role in the alliance in terms of being a host as well as a major con­ tributor to the achievement of the target. The ISA is the rst international body that will have a secretariat in In­ dia. India, with a target to produce 100 GW of solar energy by 2022, would ac­ count for a tenth of ISA’s goal. “India will produce 175 GW electricity from renewa­ ble sources by 2022 and 100 GW will be from solar ener­ gy,” Mr. Modi said, address­ ing the ISA. “Distribution of 28 crore LED bulbs in three years has saved $2 billion and 4 GW of electricity. India will also provide 500 training slots for ISA member­countries and start a solar tech mis­ s ion to lead R&D .”

INTERVIEW | KAMAL NATH

IT business model is now lesser hardware, people, licences

An era has changed and that is why cloud computing is at the core of Sify’s strategy, says the company’s CEO

K. Bharat Kumar

Sify Technologies shot into the limelight with its $ 115­million acquisition of IndiaWorld Communications Pvt. Ltd. in 2000. It was also among the earliest among Indian rms to list on the Nasdaq. In just more than the decade and a half since, the company has changed tack from targeting retail users to focusing on enterprise clients. It clocked a 23% growth in revenues to 1,843 crore for the year ended March 2017. CEO Kamal Nath, who joined Sify in 2012, tells us what wrought the change.

How has the business changed after you came in?

Prior to my coming in, we had to make the change from consumer to enterprise. It was clear that Internet ac­ cess would be predominant­ ly through the mobile and using broadband. We want­ ed to be in the enterprise space and use our expe­ rience, having served end­ consumers. Sify has been al­ ways building infrastructure in­house. We focused on two areas of enterprise — one, where the data would reside [the data centre] and two, the media that allows access to data [the network]. Earlier, we were too en­ trenched in infrastructure. When the infrastructure and managed services integra­ tion trend emerged, it boded well for us. We had a net­ work piece, managed servic­ es piece, we were doing a lit­ tle bit of integration also — We also had some applica­ tions and oered security portfolio too. All these busi­ nesses were smaller when compared to our telecom bu­ siness. It was then logical for us to combine the telecom piece and the telecom­man­ aged services piece into one. Here’s an example: ear­ lier, we used to only give data centre services and hosting

services; we only managed the facility. Now, we not only manage the facility, we will help you build the IT infras­ tructure inside the data centre in various models: if you want the hardware to be in your books, we can help you do it; you can use our in­ frastructure as a service; if you want someone else to provide the hardware and you just want us to manage it, that’s possible too. Host­ ing is the centre piece around which this entire thing is woven.

Who is your target customer?

Our sweet spot is the medi­ um­sized segment with client revenues in the range of 5,000 crore to 12,000 crore. That is a segment, which I have seen in the last 2­3 years, is more open to change. Earlier, IT was run on premise. You buy the hardware from HP, IBM, Wi­ pro or HCL and, you ask so­ meone to manage it. The whole game was around more hardware, more people, more licenc­ es… That model is changing to lesser hardware, fewer pe­ ople, fewer licences. The me­ dium­sized segment loves this and it connects well with the purchasing chief nan­

this and it connects well with the purchasing chief nan­ cial ocer. Also, our busi­ ness

cial ocer. Also, our busi­ ness outcome­based model has found favour with this segment. We have 3 to 4 cus­ tomers who have signed up

for this; we set up the entire IT infrastructure for the client and run the IT opera­ tions for them; we get the money when they get the money from their end­users. Medium­sized clients love it. For example, we run the entire data centre for a health insurance vendor in India; 3 to 4 years back, this

would have de­

nitely gone to the large hard­

contract

it

ware players. Now, a lot of these come to us.

Where do other oerings, such as iTest, t in?

iTest is a great example of the outcome­based model. That’s a business process as a service. Cloud is at the core of Sify. In the SSC exam, for example, we get paid on the basis of per student per test We have conducted exams in 451 centres across the coun­

<>

Our sweet spot is the medium­sized segment with client revenues of 5,000 crore ­12,000 crore

try. It is also a cloud model. We are not billing anything, the client is only subscribing to the cloud model. We are not billing separately for centres, for laptops or for the connection; everything has now become converted into a per student per test fee. It is transparent, with no human intervention and [with] fair evaluation. It is one of the most successful lines of business for Sify. We see large growth here. Similarly, our proprietary software for the supply chain business is also on the cloud. It adds to, instead of compet­ ing with, software applica­ tions such as SAP. Again, our target is the middle­sized business.

Are receivables a concern in India, especially when you

service the government?

Cloud has changed the sce­ nario. The government, too, has started acknowledging the role of cloud in data centres. In the utilities space, the U.P. state electricity board has opted for our pay­ per­use model. We partnered with an ap­ plication metric and billing software company to pro­ vide this service to the go­ vernment entity. Since there is little upfront payment, go­ vernment agencies also like this model.

How about margins for each of your businesses??

In services, where the in­ vestments are high, initial days of a business will suck up more margin. Our mar­ gins are more in telecom, but we are happy that our data centre­centric business has overtaken the telecom busi­ ness in terms of contribution to revenue. On the margins front, tele­ com will be contributing more because, over a period, monetisation has happened. We are investing in the data centre business, where we have to acquire market share. When you are acquiring customers using the out­ come­based model, you need to invest; because we are not expecting the cus­ tomer to pay upfront.

How has headcount changed for you?

Whatever we do today is not by adding people. When we moved from 760 crore to

almost  1,800 crore, we ac­ tually reduced our people

from 3,500 to 2,500

Are investors happy? Since 2012, your share price has gone below $1 and is now hovering at about $2…

That does not reect our true capability. We are here in India but are listed on the Nasdaq. Investors are yet to fully grasp our transforma­ tion story, so we’re ramping up our investor­facing activities. We thought of transform­ ing ourselves rst and then going to investors. Clients are taking more and more notice of us. We need to go to

investors with a complete re­ messaging that the era has changed; that’s why cloud is at the core of Sify; that all the business units having rele­ vance in the cloud is an im­ portant message.

What metrics do you track?

Return on investments. Whatever we invest, we aim to quickly earn it back. There are two challenges. Infras­ tructure investment, and ramping up services portfo­ lio. The revenue spread is im­ portant. For example, in the net­ work business, management services contribute to 25% per unit of bandwidth. Ideal­ ly, we want 100% of band­ width customers to be man­ aged­services customers. That is an important param­ eter. Because it is a growing business, we aren’t bothered

about productivity. For a new business, client acquisi­ tions are important.

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https://t.me/EStore33

THE HINDU

NOIDA/DELHI

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

https://www.estore33.com/

https://t.me/TheHindu_Zone

SPORT

15

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Rohit’s form a cause for concern as India seeks revenge

After the loss in the opening game, the visitors will be keen to strike back; Sri Lanka will be without Chandimal who has been suspended for an over­rate oence

NIDAHAS TROPHY

Press Trust of India

COLOMBO

Skipper Rohit Sharma will be desperate to get back to form as India looks to set its re­ cord straight against Sri Lan­ ka, after losing the opener, in the fourth match of the Nida­ has Trophy tri­series, here on Monday. The stand­in skipper, pos­ sibly the most prolic white ball player after regular lead­ er Virat Kohli, has gone o the boil since the start of the South Africa series. He has made 17, 0, 11, 0 and 21 in the last ve T20Is. He will like to score heavily to get his con­ dence back as he frets on whether he could give Rish­ abh Pant another game in the tournament.

The Rahul option Touted as Dhoni’s successor, Pant is yet to do justice to his

immense potential. With so­ meone like K.L. Rahul wait­ ing for his chance, time is running out for the burly youngster. Rahul’s presence gives his skipper an option to use him as an opener and himself come in at No. 4, dropping Pant from the XI. The tournament is evenly poised as all three teams have won a game each from two outings but Sri Lanka leads the table on NRR ahead of India and Bangladesh. Opener Shikhar Dhawan is in imperious form with two back­to­back half­centu­ ries in the tournament so far. Manish Pandey is looking in good nick and along with co­ meback man Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik form the core of the team’s middle­order. On the bowling front, Jay­ dev Unaadkat needs to be more consistent. The left­

Khawaja leads Aussie ghtback

South Africa still on the ascendancy

AUSTRALIA IN SA

Agence France-Presse

Port Elizabeth

Usman Khawaja scored 75 to lead an Australia ghtback on the third day of the se­ cond Test against South Africa at St. George’s Park, but succumbed just before close of play after seeing the

tourists cancel out a rst in­ nings decit. Australia will take a 41­ run lead into the fourth day after ending Sunday at 180 for ve. Earlier, A.B. de Vil­ liers notched up his 22nd Test century in scoring an unbeaten 126 in a busy morning session to help the host take a good lead of 139.

SCOREBOARD

SOUTH AFRICA VS AUSTRALIA, 2ND TEST

Australia — 1st innings: 243.

South Africa — 1st innings: D. Elgar c Paine b Hazlewood 57,

A.

Markram lbw b Cummins 11,

K.

Rabada b Cummins 29, H.

Amla b Starc 56, A. de Villiers

(not out) 126, F. du Plessis lbw b M. Marsh 9, T. de Bruyn lbw b

M. Marsh 1, Q. de Kock b Lyon

9, V. Philander c Bancroft b Cummins 36, K. Maharaj b Hazlewood 30, L Ngidi run out 5; Extras (b­9, lb­2, w­2): 13; Total (in 118.4 overs): 382. Fall of wickets: 1­22, 2­67, 3­ 155, 4­155, 5­179, 6­183, 7­227, 8­311, 9­369.

Australia bowling: Starc 33.4­ 5­110­1, Hazlewood 30­5­

98­2, Cummins 24­6­79­3, Lyon 22­5­58­1, M. Marsh

9­1­26­2.

Australia — 2nd innings: C.

Bancroft b Ngidi 24, D. Warner

b Rabada 13, U. Khawaja lbw b

Rabada 75, S. Smith c de Kock b Maharaj 11, S. Marsh c de Kock

b Rabada 1, M. Marsh (batting)

39, T. Paine (batting) 5; Extras (lb­10, w­2): 12; Total (for five

wkts. in 63 overs): 180. Fall of wickets: 1­27, 2­62, 3­ 77, 4­86, 5­173. South Africa bowling: Phil­ ander 14­5­38­0, Rabada 16­7­ 38­3 (1w), Maharaj 20­2­70­1, Ngidi 10­4­21­1, Markram

3­1­3­0.

Anindith Reddy takes top honours

Is Motorsport Person­of­the­Year

Reddy takes top honours Is Motorsport Person­of­the­Year Memorable moment: Anindith Reddy, right, receives the award

Memorable moment: Anindith Reddy, right, receives the award from Justice M.S. Ramesh. FMSCI president Akbar Ebrahim is at left.

* K. PICHUMANI

S. Dipak Ragav

CHENNAI

Hyderabad’s Anindith Red­ dy was crowned ‘motor­ sport person of the year 2017’ at the Federation of Motorsports Clubs of India (FMSCI) awards ceremony here on Sunday. The 26­year­old had a spectacular season, includ­ ing the unique distinction of winning both the MRF For­ mula 1600 and Euro JK 17 titles. Akbar Ebrahim, FMSCI president, and Justice M.S. Ramesh, chief guest, pre­ sented the award to Anindith. “I would like to thank the FMSCI for honouring me with this award and also for creating various platforms for young motorsport en­ thusiasts in the country to sharpen their skills,” said Anindith. K.D. Madan, former FMSCI president and K1000 rally champion, was con­ ferred with the ‘lifetime achievement’ award. His son J.D. Madan collected the award on his behalf.

Speaking about the plans to promote motorsports in the country, Ebrahim said, “We are looking to add drift­ ing and autocross tothe Na­ tional championship. We will also introduce rally cross and cross kart (buggy) as these two categories will attract more youngsters to the sport.” The FMSCI president ad­ ded that the federation is al­ so planning to bring a round of World Rally Cross Cham­ pionship in 2019. The winners of the va­ rious National champion­ ships conducted by the FMSCI were also honoured.

The award winners: Lifetime achievement award: K.D. Ma­ dan; Motorsport person of the year: Anindith Reddy; Out- standing achievement: Arjun Maini, Jahan Daruvala, Aditya Patel, Armaan Ebrahim, Krish­ naraj Mahadik, Akhil Rabindra, Ricky Donison, Kush Maini, Nayan Chatterjee, Gaurav Gill, P.G. Abhilash, Srikanth Gowda, Ruhaan Alva, Shahan Ali Mo­ hisn, Raahil Shetty, and Yuvraj Singh. Women: P.M. Aish­ warya, Rhyana Bee, Kalyani Po­ tekar, and Mira Erda.

<> Variations are the most important in T20 format

Unadkat

arm pacer has picked up four wickets but leaked runs which is not expected while spearheading the attack. The young and inexpe­ rienced Indian bowlers have done a decent job so far with the likes of Washington Sun­ dar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Vijay Shankar living up to their expectations.