eye THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE Jumping Through Loops NEWDELHI,LATECITY OCTOBER11,2020 Coding is now being pitched as a new interactive playground for children 18PAGES,`6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, ` 12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA SUNDAY STORY PAGE 9 JAGAN REDDY COMPLAINS AGAINST JUSTICE N V RAMANA In rare letter to CJI, Andhra CM lists allegations against SC’s Judge No. 2 CM refers to Judge daughters’ land deal; last month, Justice Ramana said Judges victims of gossip PICTURE ABHI BAAKI HAI The powers-that-be have long eyed the film industry, but is there a plot twist under BJP? Behind the scenes of a Covid-battered, nervous industry SREENIVAS JANYALA HYDERABAD, OCTOBER 10 IN AN unprecedented move, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSJaganMohanReddyhaswritten to Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, alleging that Justice N V Ramana — next in line to be the CJI — “has been influencing the sittings of the (Andhra Pradesh) High Court including the roster of a few Honourable Judges”. The Chief Minister’s eightpage letter refers to Justice Ramana’s alleged “proximity” to TDP leader and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, and an Anti-Corruption Bureau investigation into “questionable transactions of land” involving twodaughtersof JusticeRamana and others in Amaravati, before Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy; Justice N V Ramana it was declared the site for the new capital of the state. Dated October 6, the letter was released to the media in Hyderabad Saturday evening by Ajeya Kallam, Principal Advisor to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister. The Sunday Express reached out to the Secretary General of the Supreme Court for comment,buttherewasnoresponse. Last month, Justice Ramana, speaking at the launch of a book by former Supreme Court judge Justice R Banumathi, said: “As judges are self-restrained from speaking out in their own defence, they are now being construed as soft targets for criticism. This issue is further complicated by theproliferation of social media and technology, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Two firms of BSY’s grandson get Rs 5 cr from seven Kolkata shell companies Pvt channel alleged quid pro quo for Bengaluru housing project; Karnataka CM’s grandson says ‘working loans’ JOHNSON T A BENGALURU, OCTOBER 10 TWOCOMPANIESinwhichChief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s grandson Shashidhar Mardi became a director after the BJP came to power in Karnataka in July2019receivedRs5crorefrom seven Kolkata shell companies between March and July 2020. The chain of transactions figure in documents filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) that were scrutinised by The Sunday Express, and details of bank accounts of the two firms were telecast by a private TV channel that was taken off air by the state government for eight days, but is now on air again. Lastmonth,PowerTVhadalleged in a series of reports that themoneywaspartof aquidpro quo for the promise of obtaining government clearance for RCCL, a private firm, to construct a Rs 660-crore government housing project in Bengaluru. The project, which was awarded to RCCL in April 2019 when the Congress-JD(S) coalition was in power in Karnataka, is awaiting the final work order. Speaking to The Sunday IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER Chirag Paswan performed the last rites of his father, Ram Vilas Paswan, in Patna on Saturday. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad were among those who attended the cremation. PTI REPORT,PAGE6 EXPRESS NETWORK The firms share common addresses: 301E, B B Ganguly Street, and 277, B B Ganguly Street in Kolkata. Partha Paul Express,Marditermedthemoney as “working loans for a project” for which “all documentation” hasbeenprovided.Hedeniedthe allegations levelled by the TV channel, saying they were made with “ill intentions” and a bid to “tarnishthefamily”.Mardi,30,is the son of Yediyurappa’s daughter Padmavathi V Y. RCCL director Chandrakant Ramalingam did not respond to requestsforcomment.However, he filed a police complaint last CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 REVVING UP NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 10 ■ Petrol and ■ Diesel demand in Aweeklywindowintolivesof India’snewsmakers,impactof thepandemiconthem PAGE 10 ‘Children are home, I get to spend time with them’ SACHIN PILOT CENTRAL BANK AFFIDAVIT IN SC RBI opposes loan moratorium extension: Will hit credit discipline Says will affect small borrowers, urges court to lift stay on declaring NPAs ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 10 THE RESERVE Bank of India has toldtheSupremeCourtthatcontinuation of the loan moratorium period beyond the six months already granted may affect overall credit discipline, and small borrowers will eventually feel the pinch. The central bank has also urged the apex court to lift its interimorderstayingdeclarationof accounts as non-performing assets (NPAs), saying this will have “huge implications for the banking system, apart from undermining”its“regulatorymandate”. In a fresh affidavit filed in the SupremeCourt,whichishearing a plea on the question of charging interest on interest for loan repayments during the moratorium period, the RBI said “a long moratorium exceeding six months can also impact credit behaviour of borrowers and increase the risks of delinquencies post resumption of scheduled payments.Itmayresultinvitiating the overall credit discipline whichwillhaveadebilitatingimpact on the process of credit creation in the economy. It will be the small borrowers which may end up bearing the brunt of the impact as their access to formal lending channels is critically dependent on the credit culture”. As Covid fuels personal vehicle use, petrol demand in September higher than 2019 PM ON WIND TURBINES: WATER EXTRACTION FROM AIR ALREADY ON, SAY ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU SCIENTISTS PAGE 8 My ISOLATION PAGES 14, 15, 16 INDIA’S PETROL consumption grew for the first time since February in September, with diesel demand also recovering month on month, according to datareleasedbythegovernment’s PetroleumPlanningandAnalysis Cell. The petrol consumption last month, at 2,450 thousand metric tonnes (TMT), was even higher thanforthecorrespondingperiod in 2019 (2,372 TMT). However, while diesel con- thousand metric tonnes for Feb, March, August, September 2,511 2,156 ▲ ▼ 7,160 5,651 4,849 5,489 2,381 2,450 ▼ ▲ 11.25% -16.37% -7.53% 3.29% ▲ ▼ ▼ ▼ 6.28% -24.24% -20.73% -5.96% ▲▼ Ascomparedtocorrespondingmonthin2019 sumption rose to 5,489 TMT, as much as 13.2% higher as com- pared to August, it was still 6% down as compared to September2019.Fuel consumption in India collapsed after the government announced a nationwidelockdownonMarch25 to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. Demand initially recovered steadily following the lifting of the restrictions butstalledafterJune,whenstate andlocalgovernmentbeganimposing local-level lockdowns. Experts said preference for personal means of transport to avoid infection seems to be behindthepetrolsalesrisingtopreCovid levels. “Petrol is only used CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Citing LAC, US slams China, says Ambulance driver who ferried 200 bodies we turned other cheek too long of Covid patients since March dies of virus SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 10 IN WHAT sets the tone for US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun’s visit to India from Monday, two top US administration officials have slammedBeijing,invokingitsongoing standoff with India. US NationalSecurityAdvisorRobert O’Brien has flagged Communist Partyof China’s(CCP)“territorial S Jaishankar with Michael R Pompeo in Tokyo. PTI file aggression” at the Indian border andUSSecretaryof StateMichael RPompeohassaidthatChinahas amassed60,000troopsonIndia's northern border. Biegun’s visit is expected to set the stage for the Indo-US 2+2 meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the Indian side and Pompeo and US Defence Secretary Mark T Esper later this month. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ASHNA BUTANI NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 10 FOR OVER six months, Aarif Khan slept in an ambulance parkinglot28kmfromhishome in northeast Delhi’s Seelampur, staying in touch with his wife and four children on the phone. Khan was on call 24X7, ferrying patients of Covid-19 as well as carrying its victims to their last rites. On Saturday morning, the Khan (second from left) was on call 24X7. Express 48-year-old ambulance driver succumbed to the disease at Hindu Rao Hospital. Employed with the Shaheed Bhagat SinghSewa Dal, thatprovides free emergency services in NCR, Khan would often pitch in with money for the last rites if a family was in need, or help with the rituals if a deceased’s near ones were not around, his colleagues say. "He ensured everyone got a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RBIworry:its mandateand bankingsystem RBI HAS argued against extending the loan moratorium beyond six months, and has also asked the Supreme Court to lift the stay imposed on declaring accounts as NPAs beyond August 31. The RBI is of the view this will have huge implications for the banking system and also undermine its regulatory mandate. A more “durable solution”, the RBI said, is provided by the Resolution Framework for Covid-19 related Stress, announced by it on August 6, which “enables the lenders to implement a resolution plan in respect of personal loans as well as other exposures affected due to Covid-19, subject to the prescribed conditions, without asset classification downgrade. The framework, inter alia, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Record DU cut-offs: 100% for three courses in LSR SUKRITA BARUAH & ARANYA SHANKAR NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 10 DELHIUNIVERSITYsetanewadmission cut-off record with its first list Saturday after the Lady ShriRamCollegeforWomendecided on a 100% cut-off for three courses, and 30 courses across colleges had cut-offs over 99%. Last year, the highest cut-off across all colleges was 99% for admission to the BA (Honours) Political Science programme in Hindu College. This time, the highestcut-off hasreached100% in LSR for admission to three courses— BA (Honours)Political Science, BA (Honours) Psychology and BA (Honours) Economics. Last year, the college had a 98% cut-off for Economics, 98% for Political Science and 98.75% for Psychology. LSR College principal Suman Sharma said that in the history of the college, the cut-off had never touched 100% in even one subject,let alone three. “This has CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RELATED REPORTS PAGE 3 Back-stories and chitti tales: Indian Americans on the campaign trail PAGE 1 ANCHOR KARISHMA MEHROTRA SAN FRANCISCO, OCTOBER 10 THEYEARwas1949.Introducing Jawaharlal Nehru to a New York gathering, J J Singh, president of the India League for America, a privateorganisationthatworked to “further Indian causes” in the US, had called him the “rainbow, reaching from East to West”. This was no Howdy! rally in scale or ambition, yet, as a 1951 issueof TheNewYorker,featuring RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE Singhas'TheOne-ManLobby'for IndiaintheUS,underlined,itwas nomeanfeateither.Singhandhis organisation were “largely responsibleforthemostsignificant periodofIndianactivityintheUS” untilthen,providingalegalroute Sabrina Singh Amit Jani with Joe Biden Gautham Raghavan Sampat Shivangi (left) and Shalabh Kumar (right) for the 4,000 Indians in the US then to gain citizenship. Some seven decades later and the community now 700times stronger, as Singh's grandaughter Sabrina Singh works as the first Indian American press secretary for KamalaHarris,theIndian-origin Democratic vice-presidential candidate, it's in vastly different circumstances. Along with at least a dozen other Indian Americans working at Ground Zero of the 2020 elections, Sabrina is part of a generation that is flexing unprecedented political muscle, far removed from her grandfather's days of a “one-man lobby”. “Hewalkedtheveryhallsthat I have worked in,” Singh told The Sunday Express, referring to her early days when she worked as communications director for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. “My grandfather wasprobablytheonlypersonlike him in a room, and when I movedtoDC,Iwasoftentheonly Indian American in most of my jobs. That has slowly changed.” The33-year-oldhasheldseveral political posts, all with the Democrats — regional communications director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, spokeswoman of the Democratic National Committee, and national spokesperson for both Senator Cory Booker and Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s campaigns. Half a century after US President Lyndon B Johnson signed the 1965 Immigration Act, allowing Indians with technical degrees to enter the country, Singh says she is now seeing more Indian Americans choose careers in government and politics rather than pursuing the more traditional engineering and medical degrees. Though Indian Americans make up only 1 per cent of the US population, they make up at least 2 per cent of the roughly 600 officials on the campaign roster of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Harris. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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