MADURAI l friday l july 30, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l LATE CITY EDITION India in different quarters in Tokyo Top performances in archery, badminton, hockey raise nation’s hopes at Olympics Mary Kom reacts after loss on Thursday | AP | P11, 12 26 Men's hockey team, archer Atanu stun favourites Heartbreak for Mary Kom Men's hockey team beat defending champions Argentina 4-1 to march into quarters and archer Atanu Das stunned two-time Olympic champion Oh Jin Hyek from South Korea to enter pre-quarters. Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu also advanced to the quarters after beating Mia Blichfeldt. Satish Kumar, India’s first super heavyweight (+91 kg) to compete in the Olympics, in last eight after win ■ ■ Multiple world champion and London Olympic medallist Mary Kom lost her flyweight (51 kg) prequarterfinal bout against Colombia’s Ingrit Valenciaon. She said she did not realise she lost after winning last two of the three-round bouts Shooter Manu Bhaker is fifth after first stage of qualification Number of Indians to participate in athletics from friday 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 Officials inspect Pegasus office near Tel Aviv E x p r ess N e w s S e r v i c e Amid mounting international pressure to probe the widespread abuse of the Pegasus spyware, Israeli authorities inspected the offices of NSO Group near Tel Aviv, which owns the military grade cyberwar tool. The inspection happened on Wednesday around the time Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz was Paris to discuss the matter his French counterpart, as the latter country’s President Emmanuel Macron’s mobile numbers figured in a leaked database of NSO’s possible surveillance targets. For its part, NSO said defence ministry officials probing the complaints had ‘visited’ and not ‘raided’ its premises. While most countries affected by Pegasus, including France and Hungary have been pressur, ing Israel to come clean, it is a mystery that the Indian government does not see the surveillance of hundreds of academics, journalists, activists, politicians and victims of sexual violence, as a matter of national security . But pressure is mounting on the judiciary to order a probe, as over 500 individuals and groups have written to Chief Justice of India N V Ramana seeking his immediate intervention. 27% OBC quota for med AIQ seats 10% reservation also carved out for the EWS category; applicable from this admission season S u mi S u k an ya D u t ta @ New Delhi Following an year-old Madras High Court ruling and pressure from the Supreme Court, the Centre on Thursday announced 27% reservation for OBCs and 10% for the economically weaker section (EWS) of students for undergraduate and postgraduate medicine and dental courses under the All-India Quota (AIQ) scheme. Under the AIQ scheme, 15% UG and 50% PG seats are kept domicile-free in government medical and dental colleges, against which students from other states can be offered admission, while the rest of the seats are reserved for students from within the state. The Madras High Court had last week said there will be no admission in medical colleges this year without implementing the AIQ reservation. It had on July 27 last year directed the Un- ion health ministry to set up a committee to workout the quota arithmetic within three months, but the process got stalled, resulting in a rap from the Supreme Court in recent weeks. The new quotas will be applicable from the current academic session. The proposal was approved at a meeting chaired by the prime minister on Monday . AIQ was introduced in 1986 under the direction of the Supreme Court to provide for domicile-free merit-based opportunities to students from any state to aspire to study in a good medical college located in another state. To begin with, there was no quota in AIQ. But in 2007, the Su- Decision to benefit 5,550 students The decision would benefit nearly 1,500 OBC students in MBBS and 2,500 OBC students in PG while it will also impact around 550 EWS students in MBBS and around 1,000 EWS students in PG medicine Negative feedback from MLAs may cost some Raj ministers their jobs talks with the office bearers of the state Congress unit. WITH AICC general secretary Many MLAs have reportedly Ajay Maken extending his one- complained to Maken about the on-one discussions with Con- working style and behaviour of gress MLAs in Rajasthan by one some senior ministers including more day speculation is rife that PHED Minister B D Kalla, Health , some ministers in the Gehlot Minister Raghu Sharma, Coopgover nment may be erative Minister Parshunted out owing to sadilal Meena, Educanegative feedback. tion Minister Govind Maken, Congress’ Singh Dotasra, TransRajasthan in-charge, port Minister Pratap met MLAs for the secSingh Khachariyawas, ond straight day on and UDH Minister ShanThursday to resolve ti Dhariwal. the rift in the state unit. In a veiled attack on Cabinet rejig the Sachin Pilkot camp, While a Cabinet rejig is likely to happen in Au- likely in Aug Health Minister Sharma 1st week gust, the tussle between said such reports are the Gehlot and Pilot pushed to the media in a According to factions persists. Pilot planned manner. “They sources in the loyalists say some ex- Congress party, a have nothing to do with isting ministers must reality he added. ,” Cabinet rejig is be dropped based on likely in the first While Sharma soundtheir performance and ed confident, several week of August the feedback from ministers in the Gehlot MLAs. But the Gehlot camp is in cabinet are nervous. no mood to accommodate the Most MLAs confirm that Makdemand. en has taken detailed notes of Maken has completed interac- their feedback on his I-Pad and is tion with 53 MLAs from 20 dis- likely to share the same with tricts. On Friday, he will hold party chief Sonia Gandhi. r A J E S H a S N A N I @ Jaipur call of duty CM MK Stalin presents sword to the best performer during the passing out parade at the TN Police Academy near Vandalur in Chennai on Thursday | ashwin prasath HC to monitor judge hit-and-run M u k esh Ranjan @ Ranchi taking suo motu cognizance of a CCTV footage that showed an auto-rickshaw intentionally running over Dhandbad Additional District and Session Judge Uttam Anand, killing him on the spot, the Jharkhand High Court on Thursday called it a direct attack on judiciary . The HC asked state police to probe the incident thoroughly and get to the bottom of the case, while keeping the court updated on the progress. The footage showed the auto hitting the judge, who was on his morning walk, from behind on a deserted CCTV footage showing judge Uttam Anand (inset) being hit by an auto-rikshaw road. The shocking incident was also brought to the notice of the Supreme Court on Thursday by SC Bar Association President Vikas Singh, who demanded CBI inquiry into the matter. However, the SC did not entertain it saying the Jharkhand HC has already CB-CID files chargesheet against ex-special DGP taken up the matter. Police have arrested two persons and the vehicle has also been recovered. During the hearing, the court observed such incidents have never taken place even when Maoist activity was at its peak in the state. It noted the incident is a reflection of the poor law and order situation, which has emboldened criminals to execute such a crime in broad day light. The HC accepted DGP Neeraj Sinha’s proposal to get the case probed by a Special Investigation Team. It asked the DGP to keep court apprised of the progress of the probe. P8 India to get back 14 stolen artworks E x p r ess N e w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi E x p r ess N e w s S e r v i c e @ Villupuram The CB-CID on Thursday filed a chargesheet, running into over 400 pages, in the alleged sexual harassment case filed against a former special DGP. Additional Superintendent of Police Gomathy submitted the chargesheet to Villupuram District Chief Judicial Magistrate S Gopinathan. Sources said the CBCID is planning to submit a report regarding the inquiry before the Madras High Court on Friday . The special DGP was appointed to the security of the then CM Edappadi K Palaniswami, during the latter’s tour to Tiruchy and Pudukkottai in February. While on his way back, the officer is said to have asked a woman IPS officer to join him. He allegedly misbehaved with her in preme Court allowed reservation of 15% for SCs and 7.5% for STs, after which OBCs sought a level playing field. When the Central educational institutions (reservation in admission) Act became effective in 2007 providing for uniform 27% reservation to OBCs, it was implemented in all centrally run medical colleges but was not extended to AIQ seats of state medical and dental colleges. The Centre had in 2019 introduced 10% reservation for EWS. Seats in medical and dental colleges were raised over two years ago so that the seat count for other general category students does not go down. the car. Additionally, when the woman officer was enroute to Chennai to file a complaint against the special DGP she was , allegedly stopped in Chengalpattu by a Superintendent of Police, who attempted to physically preve n t h e r f ro m f i l i n g t h e complaint. Following a Statewide uproar about the incident, the government suspended both the special DGP and the SP, and formed a committee, under Additional Chief Secretary Jayashree Raghunandan, to hold an inquiry . The special DGP was subsequently booked under Section 354 (outraging the modesty of woman) of the IPC and Sections 3 (prohibition of harassment of woman) and 4 (penalty for harassment of woman) of the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Women Harassment Act. The SP, too, was booked by the CB-CID. tn to withdraw defamation cases filed gainst journalists CM MK Stalin on Thursday ordered withdrawal of 90 defamation cases filed against journalists, editors of dailies and weeklies, TV channels and others. A release said the cases have been withdrawn, fulfilling one of DMK’s promises made during the poll campaign The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) on Thursday announced its decision to return 14 artworks worth around $3 million from its Asian collection to India, as 13 were sourced from jailed smuggler Subhash Kapoor and one from New York-based art dealer William Wolff. NGA director Nick Mitzevich said that returning the artworks is the right and culturally responsible thing to do. “We are grateful to the Indian government for their support and are pleased we Coming home Divine couple Lakshmi and Vishnu, can now return these culturally significant objects,” he said. The handover will take a couple of months. Once done, NGA’s collections will no longer have the Kapoor taint. Indian High Commissioner to Australia Manpreet Vohra said NGA’s decision was a gesture of friendship. Some of the artworks that are being returned include bronze and stone sculptures, a painted scroll and photographs. The museum had acquired them between 1989 and 2009. The Australian media had termed the collection a source of embarrassment for the NGA. 10th-11th century Letter of invitation to Jain monks; picture scroll, 1835 Child-saint Sambandar, 12th century Dancing child-saint Sambandar, 12th century (pic) Portrait of donor and priests before ShriNathji, Udaipur, unknown date Guru Das Studio A Gandhi memorial portrait, 1941 Processional standard, 1851 Portrait of a man, 1954 Goddess Durga slaying the buffalo demon, 12th-13th century Arch for a Jain shrine, 11th-12th century Seated Jina, 1163 Maharaja Kishen Pershad Yamin, 1903 Portrait of a woman, unknown date express read alarm bells Centre rushes team to Kerala as state reports 50% of country’s case load A rapidly deteriorating Covid-19 situation in Kerala has prompted the Centre to depute a six-member team to assist the state government, but it has also led to a flurry of theories on why the southern state is in a mess when the rest of the country looks far better. Over the past two days, Kerala has reported over 50% of the total Covid19 cases in India, registering 22,056 new cases on Wednesday and 22,129 on Tuesday when overall the country detected less than 44,000 cases on each of the two days. On Thursday, the Union health ministry announced that a six-member central team, led by National Centre for Disease Control Director S K Singh, is being rushed to the state and it will visit a few districts NATIONWIDE july 28 july 29 Fresh cases 43,654 43,509 Recoveries Deaths 41,678 38,465 640 640 Jab-o-meter tamil nadu july 28 july 29 Fresh cases 1,756 1,859 Recoveries Deaths 2,394 29 2,145 28 Take your shot July 28 39,42,457 doses July 29 46,52,914 doses Total doses 45,55,02,438 levy RATIONALISATION GST structure to be revamped into a three-rate slab: CEA Subramanian The Centre is seriously planning to simplify GST into a three-rate slab regime, Chief Economic Adviser K V Subramanian said on Thursday, adding that it is going to happen “very soon”. “The threerate structure is something... definitely important and even the inverted duty structure (is) also equally important to actually fix. I think the government is definitely seized of the matter. So, we should hopefully see traction on that soon,” Subramanian said. He was speaking at a virtual event organised by industry body Assocham. At present, GST has five rates — 0.25%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. There was a long pending proposal to merge 12% and 18% slabs and finally bringing down to three, as suggested by former finance minister Arun Jaitley | P10 more than a courtesy call? Mamata meets Kanimozhi: Observers say Oppn muscling up against Centre Chennai: A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held talks with AICC president Sonia Gandhi, the TMC chief met with DMK MP Kanimozhi on Thursday. Speaking to Express, the MP said, “It was a courtesy call. We also spoke about current issues in the country and the Opposition’s stance on it. She also commended CM MK Stalin’s performance on people’s welfare.” However, political observers and second-rung leaders of the DMK deemed it to be more than that. Sources privy to the meeting said it was to further unite the Opposition to fight the BJP. Mamata also met lyricist-poet Javed Akhtar and actor Shabana Azmi later in the day | P4 t r a g ic e n d Nine-year-old risks life to save cousin from drowning M S Thana r aj @ Tiruchy Neither was Lohith scared nor did he let fear overcome him. The nine-year-old’s brave efforts to save his niece and aunt from drowning in a farm well will forever be remembered by people of Thulukkapatti village, near Manapparai. On Wednesday evening, most of Lohith’s family went to attend a family function in the neighbouring village, said the boy’s father, Chandrasekar. It was then that Guna (29), a relative of theirs, took her children, Nitharsan (6) and Lithika (8), along with Lohith, to gather firewood and to bathe in the farm well. Guna left Nitharsan outside the well, and was teaching Lithika how to swim, sitting on the stairs that lead down to the well. Lohith, who already Appreciating his efforts, Collector S Sivarasu rewarded Lohith with a cheque for `5,000 | express knew swimming, was playing nearby. As they prepared to leave, Lohith got out of the well and waited for the motherdaughter duo. “On hearing my aunt’s cry for help, I went back and saw both of them drowning,” said the boy . “I immediately jumped into the well to save them. After I could get Lithika out of the water, I sat on the stairs and extended my foot to Guna aunty for her to hold on. But as she held my foot, I lost balance and fell into the well. I could not pull her up. So I ran to the village to get help,” he said. However, before he could retur n, Guna had already drowned. Villagers later, recovered her body from the well. “I could have saved her if I had enough strength,” said the brave-heart, who had learnt to swim just a month back.
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