kochi l monday l july 04, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Chess Olympiad’S BIGGEST MOVE WITH REcord ENTRIES With the registration coming to close on Sunday, the event will see the highest number of teams in its history hosts get opening, fields third team Bakre, ganguly & Co in the fray too The open category has seen a record-breaking 187 teams, the highest-ever for any Chess Olympiad. In order to even out the number, as per norm, FIDE approved a third team from the host country. India A will start as third seed in open section, while B team will be seeded 11th. In women’s section, 162 teams have registered and India A team is top seeds ■ Tejas Bakre will be leading the third team that will include ■ Grandmasters Surya Shekhar Ganguly (pic), Karthikeyan Murali, SP Sethuraman, Abhijeet Gupta and Abhimanyu Purani Russia and Belarus are banned from participation, while last edition winners China have opted out | P11 187 number of teams registered in the open category CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Week after violence at RaGa’s office, SFI disbands Wayanad committee E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram The SFI on Sunday disbanded its Wayanad district committee for conducting the protest march that culminated in the attack on the office of MP Rahul Gandhi on June 24. The incident had evoked nationwide condemnation and embarrassed CPM as well as the LDF government. At its meeting in Thrissur, the student outfit’s state committee appointed a sevenmember ad hoc panel in Wayanad as replacement. “The action has been taken against the district committee for carrying out the march without the state committee’s knowledge,” SFI said in a statement. It admitted that SFI’s image had taken a hit after the incident. “The state committee examined the issue and found a serious lapse on the part of the district unit. The latter is bound to inform the state committee of the decision to hold such a protest and obtain per- mission. This was not done,” SFI state president K Anusree told reporters in Thrissur. Though the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) issue was a serious matter that would affect many people, the manner in which the protest was carried out was improper, Anusree said. SFI workers had ransacked Rahul’s office and manhandled a staffer during the protest against the MP’s alleged ‘inaction’ in connection with the Supreme Court order that mandated an ESZ zone of one km around protected forest tracts and wildlife sanctuaries. Wayanad is one of the worst-affected areas in the wake of the SC verdict. Focus on marginalised: PM to BJP Says BJP’s goal is to take the country away from politics of appeasement to fulfilment R a j e s h Ku m a r T h a k u r @ Hyderabad Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the BJP’s National Executive meeting in Hyderabad | PTI Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday sought to expand the BJP’s catchment area by advising the party to increase its outreach among the non-Hindu marginalised sections of the society, like the Pasmandas among the Muslims, for their equitable development. He made the point at the BJP’s National Executive meeting during a presentation by the unit in UP where the party , recently wrested the Rampur and Azamgarh Lok Sabha seats that have a big Muslim population, hitherto held by the Sama- SC judge sees need to MVD’s campaign rein in social media to reduce accident If you were booked on an IndiGo flight on Saturday there was , every possibility that you spent more time at the airport than the destination. The reason? On Saturday more than 50% of , IndiGo flights were delayed because crew, including pilots, went on ‘sick leave’. Though there was no official confirmation, there are indications that this was linked to a recruitment drive conducted by Air India. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, however, has taken notice of the delays and has sought a report from the airline. “We have noted the development and sought a report from the airline,” DGCA told this newspaper. If sources are to be believed, less than 45% of the flights operated by IndiGo were on time on Saturday due to shortage of crew. The country’s largest airlines was inundated with inquires and complaints on Twitter not just about delays but also about passengers not being offered refreshments during the waiting-period. To put it in perspective, ontime records of Air India, SpiceJet, Vistara, Go First and AirAsia India were 77.1%, 80.4 %, 86.3%, 88% and 92.3% respectively on Saturday IndiGo , . refrained from making any comments. It is claimed that a lot of pilots went to interviews to another airline (Air India) as a result of which there was a scarcity of work force in IndiGo. Both airlines did not comment on this. U n n i k r i s h n a n S @T’Puram The motor vehicles department’s (MVD) latest move asking officers to give priority to reducing road accident-related fatalities in a month, instead of just meeting financial targets, has borne fruit. Kerala reported 12.6% fewer deaths in January-May this year than the same period in 2019 ever since the initiative 5-month report of was rolled out at fatal road accidents the start of 2022. This is being considered a significant achievement Jan 459 379 -17.4% as road accidents claim over 4,000 Feb 393 367 -6.6% lives in the state Mar 410 354 -13.7% every year. In 2019, Apr 421 367 -12.8% 4,440 deaths were reported of which May 444 392 -11.7% 2,127 took place in Total 2,127 1,859 -12.6% t h e f i r s t f i v e months. Besides monthly targets, the new system makes the RTO (Enforcement) responsible for handling all serious accident cases in a district. The officer files a report within 24 hours of an accident, followed by an analysis in the next 48 hours, detailing the reasons that caused the accident and corrective steps. The reports are sent to the District Road Safety Council to take action in coordina● More on P5 tion with other departments. Change E x p r e ss Ne ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi deaths bears fruit 2022 Crew on leave, most IndiGo flights delayed Supreme Court judge Justice J B Pardiwala on Sunday warned against personal attacks on judges, saying they were creating a dangerous scenario, while delivering the Justice Khanna Memorial Lecture. Observing that personalised opinion on social media was harming judicial institutions, he said it needs to be regulated. “Personal attacks on judges for their judgments leads to a dangerous scenario... Judges have to think about what the media has to say instead of what the law has to really say This harms . the rule of law,” the judge said. He noted that social media is primarily being used to express “personalised opinions” against judges, rather than a “constructive critical appraisal” of their judg- ments. “This is what is harming the judicial institution and lowering its dignity This . is where digital and social media have to be regulated throughout the country to preserve the rule of law under our Constitution.” The judge pointed out that Constitutional courts were okay with criticism but the problem is with the “half truth” is being pursued on social media. “A trial is supposed to be carried out by the courts. Trials by digital media are undue interference for the judiciary. This crosses the Laxman Rekha and is all the more problematic when only half truth is pursued. Constitutional courts have always g raciously accepted informed dissent and constructive criticism,” the judge said. Pardiwala, as part of the two-judge bench, had pulled up BJP’s Nupur Sharma for her hate speech. 2019 @ New Delhi Month E x p r e ss Ne ws Se r v i c e E X P RESS REA D Shinde clears Speaker poll test Mumbai: Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde on Sunday won the first round of his fight against the Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena, when his government got the ruling coalition’s candidate elected as Speaker. The government will take the confidence vote on Monday | P8 Sandalwood statues go missing no looking back Staffers of Kanayannur village office in Kochi working on Sunday to clear pending files. Several government offices in the state functioned on the holiday for the purpose. Nearly 35,000 files were disposed of in LSG offices alone | A Sanesh | P4 The Kattakkada police have started a probe into the incident in which 10 sandalwood statues went missing from the strongroom of Paruthippally forest range office. The statues were stored as material evidence in a case that is under trial Nedumangad court | P4 money matters Falling rupee leaves economy bleak, NRIs jubilant RAJ E SH A B RAHAM @Kochi Francis Joseph (name changed) and his wife work in Abu Dhabi and are coming to Kerala later this month for holidays. High on their to-do list is buying property in Kerala using their savings from the past three years. The fall in the value of rupee against the US dollar — the Indian currency has fallen 6 % in the first six months of 2022 — means they will get more value for their dirhams. “When we reached Abu Dhabi in 2019, the rupee was trading at 17.6 to a dirham. Now, it’s at 21.5 rupees/dirham,” says Francis. That’s a fall of 22.15% in the last three years. The decline is good news for lakhs of Indians working abroad. Kerala is the biggest beneficiary with an estimated 27-28 lakh Keralites working abroad. Foreign remittances contribute a fifth of the state’s economy. Most West Asian currencies are pegged to the US dollar. This means when it appreciates against the rupee, there is similar appreciation in Gulf currencies as well. Prakash Bhaskar, head of forex business, Unimoni India, says, “We can expect an increase in NRI remittances from GCC countries, the UK, the US, etc. Due to the inflow of money to India, enquiries and transactions in real estate may improve in the coming days,” he said. According to the World Bank, India received remittances worth over $89 billion in 2021, a growth of 8 % from $82.73 billion in 2020. Though the world was hit by the pandemic in 2020, remittances that year were a shade over the $82.69 billion received in the non-Covid year of 2019. “Expats get a higher value on remittances to India. Currently it , is favourable to NRIs. It is good to convert US dollars, AED (dirham), and Saudi riyal in the next six months. Beyond that, there are chances for the rupee to appreci● More on P5 ate,” says Bhaskar. BJP era, says Amit Shah Claiming that the next 30-40 years will be the BJP’s era, Amit Shah in his speech said the party will end family rule in both Telangana and West Bengal jwadi Party. Coming as it did after a recent hate speech by a party functionary led to riots across the nation, the advice was also perhaps meant to serve as a course correction. With the party gearing up to face polls in minority dominated states like J&K and Telangana, the message was to make the party more inclusive. He also called for taking out a Sneh Yatra (fraternity trip) to enhance affection and coordination in society by reaching out to all sections of society He . had made a similar suggestion at a meeting of party officebearers last year. Modi said the party’s goal was to take India from tushtikaran (appeasement) to triptikaran (fulfilment), adding that would lead to the goal of sabka vikas (development of all). Taking a dig at the Opposition, he said the country is now fed up of dynastic parties and the politics of appeasement. Modi also advised the party to learn from the failings of parties that are in terminal decline instead of mocking them, apparently alluding to the Congress. P7 More rain till July 6; alerts issued E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday forecast heavy rain in the state at least till July 6 and issued orange or yellow alerts for most districts. Orange alert has been issued in Idukki, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasaragod & Malappuram on Monday. All districts except Wayanad, P’thitta, Palakkad, T’Puram and Kollam may get heavy rain on Tuesday. Thunder and lightning are likely during the period. Meanwhile, heavy rain lashed most parts of the state on Sunday Experts said conditions have . become favourable for the strengthening of monsoon. “The monsoon trough has become active towards the southern side. The cyclonic circulation over south Jharkhand is likely to develop into a low pressure area. As a result, wind speed is likely to increase over the Arabian Sea and will result in more rain,” said Rajeevan Erikkulam, meteorologist with the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority .
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