LATE CITY, 20 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `4.00 ● TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONETARY POLICY REVIEW Core inflation transitory, no need for RBI to panic: Niti chief DEAR EDITOR , I DISAGREE Introducing a fortnightly column in which we invite readers to tell us why when they disagree with the editorial positions or news coverage of The Indian Express Central bank’s overreaction is always a concern, says Rajiv Kumar SUNNY VERMA & ANIL SASI Jharkhand: No ration, no food at home, woman ‘starves’ to death PRASHANT PANDEY RANCHI, JUNE 4 A DAY after the alleged starvation death of a 58-year-old woman in Jharkhand’s Giridih district, an official team that visited her home found no food in the house. A probe has been ordered into why Savitri Devi, a resident of Mangargaddi village in Dumri block, did not have a ration card and whether she had formally applied for one. Savitri Devi died sometime on Saturday, after reportedly being without food for three days. She lived with her two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren, all surviving on the little money sent by her elder son, working in a private company in Maharashtra. The information of the death reached the administration on Sunday after Savitri Devi’s younger son, Hulas Mahato, reached home. Her husband died in 2010. No postmortem was conducted, and Jharkhand Food and Supply Minister Saryu Roy said on Monday that they would fix responsibility for this “lapse”. He also said he had directed the Deputy Commissioner to hold a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, JUNE 4 HEADS OF STATES President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Governors Kaptan Singh Solanki and Ram Naik at the conference of Governors at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Monday. PTI Sugar belt in deep crisis, Govt ready with package for farmers LALMANI VERMA NEW DELHI, JUNE 4 MOVING TO address the crisis in the sugar belt, especially in western Uttar Pradesh where it became a poll issue and saw the ruling BJP being defeated in Kairana last week, the Centre is all set to announce a set of relief measures for sugarcane farmers. Government sources said a package of around Rs 8,000 crore may be announced to reduce the stress in the sugar industry with an eye on clearing the dues of sugarcane farmers. The first measure in the package, sources said, will include creation of a buffer stock of 30 LMT (lakh metric tonnes). This quantity of sugar will remain in the godowns of mills, but the entire carrying cost (towards interest, storage and insurance charges) of around Rs 1,200 crore would be met by the government. This should improve the liquidity of mills, enabling them Facebook gave device makers access to user data to enable features PUNJAB FARMERS TO CALL OFF STIR New Delhi: As the agitation by farmers in several states entered the fourth day Monday, farmers in Punjab decided to call off their stir on June 6. REPORT, PAGE 9 to pay farmers. Another part of the package, sources said, is likely to be a scheme, worth around Rs 4,400 crore, to increase ethanol production capacity in the country. This will help in diversion of sug- 13 WORLD arcane for ethanol production in a surplus season to facilitate timely payment of sugarcane dues to farmers. In addition, the government is looking to set a minimum price for sale of sugar at around Rs 29/kg to help the sugar industry. This is likely to be clubbed with a mechanism to ensure that mills don’t sell sugar beyond a certain quantity. Each mill will be assigned a maximum quota of sugar they can sell every month. This, along with the 30 LMT buffer stock, will regulate supplies in the market and help prop up sugar prices, sources said. During the Kairana bypoll, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in his election rallies, admitted that sugarcane was an issue of concern. He gave an assurance to the farmers that their dues will be cleared by the sugar mills. In Kairana constituency alone, six mills owed farmers more than Rs 800 crore cane dues ahead of the bypoll. BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY 12 EXPLAINED Why no one wants Air India AN “OVERREACTION” by the Reserve Bank of India in its monetary policy review, which got underway Monday, is an area of concern for the Government, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar told The Indian Express. The visible increase in core inflation could just be a “transitory phase” and the central bank “shouldn’t panic into believing that this is a sign of inflationary expectations getting entrenched”, Kumar said. Core inflation, which excludes food and fuel components, was at 5.92 per cent in April while general CPI (Consumer Price Index) inflation stood at 4.58 per cent in the same month. As core inflation rises, there is an expectation that the RBI may hike its key policy lending rate, or the repo rate. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the rate-setting body of the RBI, began its second bi-monthly review from June 4-June 6 in Mumbai. Asked whether the RBI may overreact to rise in CPI inflation, Kumar said: “RBI’s overreaction is always a concern. The word is overreaction and the key is how you define overreaction. Here, 10 THE EDITORIAL PAGE CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Monetary policy review in Mumbai from June 4-6 the key is that core inflation is already higher than retail inflation. That’s something of a worry. I looked at the composition of core inflation. The three biggest contributors are health, education and real estate, a sector which has been down and is not finding buyers. But for some reason, prices have picked up in the real estate sector. The reason may be that housing allowance has been raised.” He said all the three components adding to core inflation could be temporary and do not signal any permanent rise in inflationary expectations. “But the point is all these three could well be transitory. At the beginning of the fiscal year, everybody is raising fees and charges. So in my view, RBI shouldn’t panic into believing that this is sign of inflationary expectations getting entrenched, becoming generalised. So I would, therefore, define overreaction as to doing anything more than maintaining a pause at this stage,” he said. The six-member MPC has kept benchmark interest rates CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Fuel for thought BY KIRIT S PARIKH NEW YORK, JUNE 4 FACEBOOK HAS struck a number of agreements allowing phone and other device makers access to vast amounts of its users’ personal information. Facebook reached datasharing partnerships with at least 60 device makers, including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung, over the last decade, starting before Facebook apps were widely available on smartphones, company officials said. The deals let device makers offer customers popular features of the social network, such as messaging, “like” buttons and address books. Facebook allowed the device companies access to the data of users’ friends without their explicit consent, even after declaring that it would no longer share such information with outsiders. Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users’ friends who believed they had barred any sharing. NEW YORK TIMES KIM SHAKES UP TOP MILITARY BRASS TIANANMEN: US ASKS CHINA TO REVEAL FINAL DEATH TOLL EXPRESS NETWORK ● SHILLONG UNDER CURFEW, ARMY STAGES FLAG MARCH, PAGE 9 DETAILS, PAGE 13 RAJKOT, JUNE 4 THE BHAVNAGAR district unit of BJP was left red-faced on Monday as seven of its members in Mahuva municipality defected from the party to help the Congress capture power. The BJP, however, managed to keep its flock together in Palitana municipality of the district. During the election to the post of president and vice-president of Mahuva municipality, seven BJP councillors, led by senior leader Bipin Sanghvi apparently struck a deal with Opposition Congress to defeat the BJP. After the seven extended their support to the Congress just ahead of the elections, the Congress fielded two of them — Mangu Baraiya and Shailesh Sheta — as its candidates for the post of president and vice-president, respectively. Though the defections reduced its strength to 16, the ruling BJP fielded Haresh Mehta and Himmat Makwana for the top two posts in the civic body. However, in the election, Baraiya polled 20 votes and defeated Mehta who could manage only 16. Sheta also defeated Makwana with an identical margin, completing a turnaround in fortunes of Congress. It was for the first time since 1995 that the BJP lost power in Mahuva municipality. In the general election held two-and-a-half years ago, the BJP had retained power in Mahuva municipality by winning 23 seats out of the total 36. The Congress had bagged 13. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 3 GUJARAT WITH RAHUL’S VISIT, CONG LOOKS AT IMPROVING ITS URBAN PERFORMANCE official figures show MUZAMIL JALEEL KAVITHA IYER Data sharing deals with 60 device makers EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE J&K interlocutor underlines: For 62% of tribal land claims talks, need to cool tempers first rejected in Maharashtra, NEW DELHI, JUNE 4 GABRIEL J X DANCE, NICHOLAS CONFESSORE & MICHAEL LAFORGIA Cong coup in Mahuva municipality, snatches power with BJP rebels DINESHWAR SHARMA, the Centre’s interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir, has said sentiments have to be addressed and the level of violence in the Valley has to be brought down before any political dialogue can be initiated. A former IB director, Sharma, who is credited with advocating the amnesty programme for Kashmiri youth booked for stone-pelting and for persuading the Centre to announce the Ramzan ceasefire, in a recent conversation with The Indian Express, said: “The biggest challenge in Kashmir today is to calm down the sentiments of the people, particularly youth.” “The other issues which need priority attention are how to prevent local youth from joining mil- MUMBAI, JUNE 4 Rajnath with Sharma. The minister’s visit starts June 7 itancy; how to ensure the return of youth who have already joined; convince the youth that violence and gun will not bring solution to any problem but will only add to the miseries...; and, how to restore harmony between people of different communities living in all three regions of J&K.” He made these remarks days ahead of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to J&K — it starts June 7 — during which he will review, among other scenarios, the suspension of security operations for Ramzan. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INTERVIEW, PAGE 8 MORE THAN 62 per cent of claims filed by tribals for individual land titles in Maharashtra under the Forest Rights Act have been rejected, according to data compiled till March 31, 2018, by the state’s Tribal Development department and accessed by The Indian Express. Records show that of the 3,59,745 claims for Individual Forest Rights (IFR) submitted under the law that came into force in 2006, 2,24,874 claims, or 62.5 per cent, were rejected in a three-tier process involving local bodies (see box, page 2). These include 51,348 claims rejected by Gram Sabhas, 1,70,126 by Sub-Divisional Level Committees (SDLCs) and 3,390 by District Level Committees (DLCs). Of the appeals filed by IFR claimants, only 41.37 per cent were accepted by DLCs, including claimants rejected previously and those who sought amendments in acreage granted. Records show the government processed 3,35,660, or 93 per cent, of the IFR claims it received. Of the 1,10,786 claims accepted, land titles have been distributed to 1,10,589 claimants covering 2,60,271.52 acres. Implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act was the central demand of the nearly 40,000 adivasi protestors who undertook a “long march” of 180 km from Nashik CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR IIT ENGINEERS TAP NUCLEAR BAN MONITOR TO BUILD A WHALE ATLAS Team draws on signals from CTBTO system in conservation project SOWMIYA ASHOK NEW DELHI, JUNE 4 IT IS an indecipherable call. It has popped up every year for the past 15 years, around the same month, but for the two IITMadras engineers listening in, they “don’t know where it is coming from” — or how much the thing, speaking this tongue, weighs. “We are picking up a very strong call, in the entire dataset,” Nikita Pinto, MS student at IITM’s department of ocean engi- neering, told The Indian Express. “Every year, it turns up at the same month. We don’t really know which whale is making this sound. We can’t find it in previous published literature but it is a distinct sound.” Pinto and her colleague, assistant professor Tarun K Chandrayadula, are tracing migratory patterns of baleen whales, among the largest animals on earth, across the Indian Ocean to build a “whale atlas.” Borrowing acoustic signals recorded by CTBTO, the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty organisation, which monitors nuclear testing across the world, the two have just begun a research project to map whales in the region. “We use the vast recordings from the CTBTO network to get the acoustic data. These hydrophones are deployed in groups of three, and are referred to as triads. These triads are currently in place at Diego Garcia (central Indian Ocean), Cape Leuwin (Western Australia), and Crozet Islands (close to Antarctica),” says Chandrayadula. They are developing a method to detect and localise whales Though the hydrophones that record low frequency sounds from less than 10Hz to up to 100 Hz are only a few in number, low frequency sounds travel far in the deep ocean. “They propagate up to thousands of kilometres, because of a special waveguide property of the ocean,” he says. The two engineers are working with recordings since the early 2000s. “A big contributor to the background spectrum are sounds made by fin whales, and blue whales. These animals make these sounds while scouring long distances across the ocean basins, looking for mates and food,” says Chandrayadula. The blue whale, and fin whale populations are currently endangered. “Acoustics is thus a vital part of their life cycle. We are currently using these acoustic recordings to track the whales, their migratory patterns, and their potential relationship to changing oceanic conditions,” he says. Pinto summarises their work by saying they are developing a method to detect and localise whales. “This field of marine mammal bio-acoustics, is mostly dominated by people who are biologists and in this case marine biologists who are, looking at data and trying to make inferences and predictions about what is going to happen and how they (whales) are going to change their behaviour,” she says. “We are looking at this more from an engineering-math angle, rather than how whales are behaving. It would be interesting to see how our work and the outcome of that could help marine biologists, conservation policy experts and even help better map shipping routes that avoid places where whales congregate,” says Pinto. Mapping the whales is important for conservation. “If we CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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