COIMBATORE THURSDAY JANUARY 21, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 14 LATE CITY EDITION SOUTHERN STATES THE MOST INNOVATIVE, SAYS NITI AAYOG Niti Aayog’s India Innovation Index 2020 ranks Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Kerala the best in innovation KARNATAKA RETAINS TOP SLOT IN RANKINGS Karnataka has retained its No 1 position from 2019, when the rankings were first published. Maharashtra is the only non-south Indian state in the top five, at the second spot. Tamil Nadu is No 3. Telangana has stayed in the 4th place while Kerala replaced Haryana for the 5th slot in the list of 17 major states. Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar were at the bottom of the rankings ■ 36 DELHI NO 1 AMONG UNION TERRITORIES ■ The index ranks states and Union territories based on their support to innovation. It considers human capital, investments, business & legal environment, new businesses and patent registrations Among hill states, Himachal Pradesh topped and among Union territories Delhi was the most innovative, followed by Chandigarh THE INDEX CONSISTS OF HARD DATA (32 INDICATORS) AND 4 COMPOSITE INDICATORS CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Govt proposes to put farm laws on hold for two years to break the ice HANDS FULL ON DAY ONE Biden is expected to sign 17 executive actions on Day One. They include: Freezing dozens of last-minute Trump administration regulations Sending an immigration bill to Congress that will offer citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants Enforcing nationwide mask and social-distancing norms Creating a Covid-19 response team that reports directly to the President Terminating ban on arrivals from certain Muslim countries Halting construction of border wall Rejoining the Paris climate accord Extending relief on student loans Farmer unions to internally discuss offer before the next round of talks on Friday EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Chandigarh Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the US by Chief Justice John Roberts as his wife Jill Biden holds the Bible at the Capitol, Washington on Wednesday | AP Day of democracy, says Prez Biden; US gets 1st woman V-P EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE JOE Biden, 78, took oath as the 46th President of the US on Wednesday around 10:15 pm IST, ending Donald Trump’s controversial rule that lasted four years. Minutes before, Indian-origin Kamala Harris, 56, was sworn in as the first woman Vice President. Biden was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice John Roberts at the West Front of the Capitol, the traditional location for presidential inaugural ceremonies, where a deadly violence took place just two weeks ago. The ceremony was held under the watch of 25,000 National Guards. “This is America’s Day This . is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope,” Biden said in his inaugural speech. “I will be president for all Americans. White supremacy, domestic terrorism we will defeat. I want every American to join me in this cause,” he added. Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence attended the ceremony so did former presidents , Barack Obama, George W Bush ULTIMATE STRIKE Guj to rename dragon fruit as ‘Kamalam’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Mumbai WHILE the Centre is presumably dealing with the Chinese aggression on the border head on, Gujarat is trying to teach China a lesson in its own humble way The BJP-led . state government plans to rename dragon fruit, which is largely grown in Kutch, Navsari and some other parts of Saurashtra, to ‘Kamalam’. On Thursday Chief Minis, ter Vijay Rupani said the state government has applied for a patent to change the nomenclature of dragon fruit. “The name dragon fruit is not proper, and due to its name one thinks of China. So we have given it the name Kamalam.” The decision, however, has not gone down well with everybody. NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase alleged the name was changed for political reasons. “Tomorrow BJP will not hesitate to change the country’s name,” he added. However, Rupani rubbished the allegation saying there is nothing political about it. “Farmers say it looks like lotus and that is the reason we named it Kamalam,” he said. The fruit is known for its nutritional value and it also helps in increasing the hemoglobin. Rupani said it is the most expensive fruits available in the market at this time. and Bill Clinton. As expected, Trump skipped the inauguration as he left the White House on the Marine One presidential helicopter along with his wife Melania, hours before Biden’s inauguration. Around 1,000 people attended the swearing-in ceremony, No Biden in Don’s farewell message Trump did not mention Biden’s name in his farewell video message. “This week we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous,” Trump said. “We extend our best wishes. And we also want them to have luck. A very important word,” he added including Supreme Court justices and members of Congress, who were limited to just one guest each due to the pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to cong ratulate Biden. “My warmest congratulations to @ JoeBiden on his assumption of office as President of the United States. I look forward to working with him to strengthen India-US strategic partnership,” Modi tweeted According to experts, the broad trajectory of the strategic and defence cooperation between India and the US will expand under Biden’s presidency. The US is expected to continue its tough stance on China. Before leaving the White House, Trump boasted he had “an amazing four years” and that it would not be a “long goodbye”, hinting at his plan to contest in the next presidential election. Meanwhile, some US media outlets reported that Trump might start a new political outfit tentatively named the Patriot Party as he was disgusted with Senate Republicans who will soon decide whether the ex-president should be convicted during his impeachment P11 trial. THE tenth round of talks with the protesting far mers on Wednesday opened a window of opportunity to break the deadlock on the contentious farm laws with the Centre proposing to constitute a new committee as also keeping the laws on hold for two years or more and the farmers agreeing to consider them. The two sides will meet again on Friday, when the farmers are expected to spell out their stand on the suggestions after holding consultations among themselves on Thursday . The fact that the government came out with new proposals and the farmers agreed to examine them are being seen as signs of accommodation from both sides. Until Wednesday, the government’s consistent stand was that it was ready to amend the laws while the farmers remained firm in their repeal-or-nothing demand. Sources said the Centre, during the meeting, urged the farmers to consider its proposal for an hour separately. The two sides broke off into different rooms following which the farmer unions agreed to consider the offer. However, they insisted that their demand of repealing the laws still stands. Krantikari Kisan Union president Darshan Pal said, “Just because we have decided to discuss this new proposal of the government and decided to hold a string of meetings tomorrow between ourselves does not mean that we have backtracked from our demand of a repeal of the three laws.” The opportunity to end the impasse comes days ahead of the crucial budget session of Parliament beginning on January 29. With the Opposition gathering ammunition to attack the government on the farm laws, the Centre appears to keen to resolve the stand-off before the session. According to sources, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the farmers that the Centre was even ready to file an affidavit in the Su- OUT-OF-THE-BOX IDEAS Three contentious new farm sector laws to be put on ice for two years or more To seek repeal of the laws, farmers are free to go to the SC For anything short of repeal, a new committee comprising members from both sides can be formed to thrash out the differences, clause by clause Issue of legal sanctity to MSP can also be discussed Union minister Tomar briefing the media after the meeting | PARVEEN NEGI Govt to file fresh affidavit in SC on extending the duration of putting the laws in abeyance preme Court on putting off the laws for an extended period to dispel any doubts in their minds. He also stressed that a consensus should be reached between the two sides before the meeting ends as it was the occasion of Guru Gobind Singh’s Parkash Parv. “There is some positive response from the government and a new offer was on the table. The unions accepted it and a final decision will be taken by the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha,” Hannan Mollah of the All India Kisan Sabha said. On the Centre’s demand to call off the tractor rally farmer , unions refused to do so till an agreement is arrived at on repealing the farm laws. The Centre, according to sources, asked the farmers to approach the Supreme Court if it wanted a repeal. NIA probe and arrests of persons supporting the protests were also discussed. Farmer leaders said that the Centre assured that people associated with the movement will not be harassed and intimidated by the agency . TN releases electoral rolls Data reveals that there are more women voters than men in 201 out of the total 234 constituencies in State TOTAL VOTERS 6,26,74,446 WOMEN 3,18,28,727 MEN PLEAS AGAINST AADHAAR VERDICT REJECTED 4:1 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed by 4:1 petitions seeking review of its verdict upholding the validity of the Aadhaar law. “In our opinion, no case for review of judgment and order dated 26.09.2018 is made out,” a five-judge Bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar said. “We hasten to add that change in the law or subsequent decision/judgment of a coordinate or larger Bench by itself cannot be regarded as a ground for review,” the court noted. However, Justice D Y Chandrachud allowed the petitions. He cited the fact that another Constitution bench while hearing a case relating to the validity of Finance Act, 2017 (Rojer Mathew v South Indian Bank Ltd) had held that the Aadhaar judgment did not correctly lay down the law regarding what constitutes a ‘Money Bill’ under Article 110 of the Constitution. “If these review petitions are to be dismissed and the larger bench reference in Rojer Mathew were to disagree with the analysis of the majority opinion in Aadhaar judgment, it would have serious consequences .... As such, the present batch of review petitions should be kept pending until the larger bench decides the questions,” he held. 3,08,38,473 Third Gender: 7,246 Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami addressing a gathering at Sriperumbudur, in Kancheepuram district, on Wednesday Your dream of coming to power will remain a dream, EPS tells Stalin EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai “YOUR dreams of coming to power in the State will remain as just that, dreams,” thundered Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in a direct attack on DMK chief MK Stalin on Wednesday. Resuming his campaign for the Assembly elections with a mega rally in Sriperumbudur, Palaniswami said, “The AIADMK will retain power this time too.” He then read out a long list of his government’s achievements, including its handling of the Covid pandemic. The Chief Minister began his campaign by of fering prayers at Sri Ramanujar Temple in the area. Later, he met farmers, agricultural workers, weavers, and traders in the region. He also visited the Anna Memorial in Kancheepuram, and paid respects to former Chief Minister CN Annadurai. Addressing the people of Sriper umbudur, Palaniswami claimed that Stalin had tried to topple the AIADMK government several times after the demise of for mer CM J Jayalalithaa. “All those ef for ts were thwarted by us with the help of Sasikala taken ill days ahead of slated release B A L A C H A U H A N @ Bengaluru VK Sasikala, the jailed onetime confidante of former CM J Jayalalitha, was admitted to Bowring Hospital on Wednesday afternoon, after she developed fever and lung infection, sources told Express. “She had fever, chest congestion and dry cough for more than a week. The prison doctors suspected lung infection and advised that she should be admitted to a hospital. She was taken to Bowring Hospital with police escort in the afternoon VK Sasikala at the Bowring Hospital, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday | SHRIRAM BN and was admitted to the casualty section. She underwent a few tests, including for Covid19,” the sources said. She was later shifted to a private ward on the fifth floor. “Her Rapid Antigen and RTPCR tests have returned negative,” said Dr Manoj Kumar, Dean and Director of Bowring Hospital. The hospital had earlier stated that she was “stable with supportive measures, antibiotics and oxygen”. “She suffers from co-morbidities of hypertension, diabetes and hypothyroidism. She will be further evaluated and monitored,” the hospital had stated. According to sources, Sasikala was upset with the jail authorities for ignoring her health. She had reportedly told hospital staff that she hoped to get well before her release from the jail on January 27. “She sounded anxious that her health may delay her departure to Chennai next week,” sources added. She and her sister-in-law, J Ilavarasi, share a room in the prison, and the latter had fallen sick with the same symptoms. the cadre and the public. Now, once again he is raising suspicion on whether I will continue as the CM after January 27. You have made such claims before, too, but the AIADMK has provided stable governance for the last four years,” he said. The January 27 reference was made becuase it is the date for the release of VK Sasikala, who was confidante of Jayalalithaa. “On January 27, we are inaugurating the memorial for Jayalalithaa. We swear on her that in the forthcoming elections, too, the AIADMK will win. You (Stalin) can only dream (about coming to power),” he said. P4 First-time voters 18-19 age group 13,09,311 20-29 age group 1,23,95,696 ELIGIBLE FOR POSTAL VOTES 12.98 lakh (80+ voters) 4,62,597 persons with disability TO ENROL NOW... All eligible persons who have completed 18 years of age as on January 1, 2021, who do not find their names in the poll rolls, would still have a chance to enrol themselves. They can either submit Form-6 at the Electoral Registration Office, or apply online through www. nvsp.in. One could also use the ‘Voter Helpline App’ available on Google Play Store | P4 IPL AUCTION: IN AND OUT It is that time of the year when IPL franchises release players ahead of auction for the next season. As many as 57 players were not retained AUSSIES FEEL THE HEAT Day after suffering defeat to India, some of Australian cricketers were let go. Among those who are back in the auction pool include Steve Smith (RR), Glenn Maxwell (KXIP), Aaron Finch (RCB), Alex Carey (DC), Billy Stanlake (SRH), Nathan Coulter Nile, James Pattinson (MI) and Chris Green (KKR) STEVE SMITH CSK RETAIN RAINA The three-time champs who are looking to rebuild released Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla and Murali Vijay among others. However, CSK have decided to keep Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo and Imran Tahir for one more season SAMSON IS NEW RR CAPTAIN With Rajasthan releasing Smith back into the auction pool, Sanju Samson has been named their new captain. He is the first player from Kerala to captain an IPL side
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