MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 26 FEBRUARY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`3|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR RAHUL GANDHI KEEPS UP ATTACK ON MODI P6 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 30 and 15 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.85% Min. 44% Max: 29.4°C (+4) SUN RISES 06:49 hrs MOON RISES 14.28 hrs Min: 17°C (+5) SUN SETS 18:19 hrs MOON SETS 04:30 hrs TEMPERATURE THUMBNAILS People celebrate Holi, the spring festival of colours, during the traditional gathering at the Nandgaon temple in Uttar Pradesh on AFP Sunday. Militants kill 2 cops in J&K: Two policemen were shot dead by militants today in two separate attacks in the Kashmir Valley on Sunday. Militants fired upon a police post near the shrine of Sufi saint Sheikh Noor-udDin Noorani in the Chrar-e-Shareef area in Budgam district this afternoon, killing constable Kultar Singh. Constable Farooq Ahmed was killed when militants attacked a police post set up to outside the residence of Hurriyat leader Fazal Haq Qureshi, in the Soura area of Srinagar. Qureshi was injured in a militant attack in December 2009, he added. NORTH KOREA OFFERS TALKS WITH US HIT BY EXODUS, MAYA’S BSP SCOUTS FOR LEADERS P12 P10 Sridevi, leading lady of 80s and 90s, dead AGENCIES V eteran actress Sridevi, who redefined stardom for actresses in India during an illustrious career spanning over four decades, passed away suddenly late on Saturday night. She was 54. The actor, wife of producer Boney Kapoor, died of cardiac arrest in Dubai, where she had gone along with her family to attend her nephew Mohit Marwah’s wedding. While some of her family members returned from Dubai after the wedding, Sridevi, Boney and her younger daughter Khushi had stayed on. Her elder daughter ~ Janhvi ~ had not travelled with the family because of the shooting schedule for her upcoming Bollywood film, her first in the industry. Reports from Dubai said the autopsy on the star’s remains was completed late today, and her body would be flown back to India tomorrow. Sridevi made her Bollywood debut in 1978 with Solva Sawan. But it was only after five years with Jeetendra-starrer Himmatwala that she gained commercial success. Before her entry into Bollywood, the actor had NEW DELHI, 25 FEBRUARY AMITABH BACHCHAN ON TWITTER, BEFORE NEWS OF SRIDEVI’S DEATH BROKE She was a veteran of the film industry, whose long career included diverse roles and memorable performances. My thoughts are with her family and admirers in this hour of grief. May her soul rest in peace NARENDRA MODI been a known face in South Indian films. She made her debut as a child artist in in Tamil film Thunaivan in 1969. She also worked in Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada films. Sridevi’s beguiling eyes, scintillating screen presence and acting prowess soon made her one of the most sought-after actors in the Hindi film industry. While films like Mawaali (1983), Tohfa (1984), Mr India (1987) and Chandni (1989) kept her at the top in the box-office game, outings like Sadma (1983), ChaalBaaz (1989), Lamhe (1991), and Gumrah(1993) earned her critical acclaim. She went on a hiatus for 15 years after starring in home production Judaai, co-starring her brother-in-law Anil Kapoor and Urmila Matondkar. It was director Gauri Shinde's EnglishVinglishin 2012 that marked Sridevi's comeback. Her nuanced performance as a middleclass woman, learning to speak English to feel accepted by her family, won accolades. Last year, she was seen in revenge-drama, Mom, opposite Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna. She also shot for a special appearance in Shah Rukh Khan's upcoming film, Zero, which releases in December. Sridevi was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour, in 2013. Minutes after the news of her death broke, many Bollywood actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Sushmita Sen, Sidharth Malhotra and Riteish Deshmukh took to Twitter to pay their condolences. The first one, however, was Amitabh Bachchan who in a cryptic tweet wrote,“Don't know why, feeling a strange restlessness.” “I have no words. Condolences to everyone who loved #Sridevi . A dark day. PRIME MINISTER I’ve lost a dear friend and the industry has lost a true legend. My heart goes out to her family and friends. I feel the pain with them #RIPSridev … you will be missed RAJNIKANTH ACTOR RIP,” tweeted Priyanka, alongside a still of Sridevi from Mr India. OBITUARY, PAGE 5 The Army has started implementing reforms aimed at readying a larger talent pool for crucial tasks and bringing down the age of those commanding key formations, including along the borders with China and Pakistan. Top sources in the defence establishment said the idea behind the initiative was to bring down the age of commanders at all levels and ensure deploying the “right person for the right job” in a timely manner. “We also want longer tenures of brigade commanders, divisional commanders and corps commanders,” a top military official told PTI, explaining the implementation of a new promotion policy as part of the overall reform initiative. The Army has begun putting the measures into effect. The issue was discussed extensively at a meeting of top commanders of the Army last year when it was also decided that the organisation's human resource policy would be reoriented. “The aim of the initiative is to improve overall functioning of the Army,” the official said. The sources said as part of the new promotion policy, selections for key assignments had been widened to encourage young officers and increase their motivation levels besides ensuring longer tenures at the level of command and director general. The world's second largest standing Army has been undertaking a series of reforms and procuring various weapon systems to bolster its overall capabilities in the wake of evolving security threats including on India's borders with Pakistan and China. The sources said under the new policy, corps commanders may be promoted as army commanders if they have at least 18 months of tenure left in their service as against the previous requirement of 24 months. They said the top brass of the Army has also decided to sternly tackle incidents of indiscipline. In August last year, the government had announced major reforms in the Indian Army such as redeployment of nearly 57,000 officers and other ranks as well as ensuring better utilisation of resources. The reform initiatives were prescribed by a committee headed by Lt Gen DB Shekatkar (retd) which had a mandate to recommend measures for enhancing combat capability and re-balancing the defence expenditure of the armed forces to increase the “tooth to tail ratio”. China sets stage for Xi to stay on indefinitely ED to approach other countries on Nirav Modi, Choksi’s assets PTI SPECTACULAR FINALE Widening its probe into the PNB fraud case, the Enforcement Directorate will soon send judicial requests to over a dozen countries for obtaining information about the overseas businesses and assets of diamantaire Nirav Modi and owner of Gitanjali Gems Mehul Choksi. Official sources said the agency will approach a competent court in Mumbai with a request to obtain Letters Rogatories to be sent to about 15-17 countries where the agency has traced the footsteps of the diamond and gold jewellery businesses of the firms owned by Modi, his uncle Choksi and others associated with them. The countries where the LRs would be sent include Belgium, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the USA, the UK, Dubai, Singapore and South Africa. Some official requests on the basis of agency-toagency exchange will also be made, the sources said. The move is aimed at obtaining the details of the overseas financial holdings of Modi and Choksi, who are accused in the Rs 11,400 crore PNB loan fraud case, their bank accounts, assets, partnerships, showrooms, trusts and other assets, they said. These assets and the sources of income will be investigated and if necessary would be attached under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act if it is found that they have been created using tainted funds or the proceeds of the alleged bank fraud, the sources said. The CBI, meanwhile, examined PNB's Executive Director K V Brahmaji Rao for a second day today in connection with its probe PTI into the fraud case. BEIJING, 25 FEBRUARY Fireworks light up the night sky outside the closing ceremony as the Olympic cauldron is seen at the Pyeongchang AFP 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on Sunday. PM for wider women’s participation STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 25 FEBRUARY Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday emphasised on the need to ensure participation of women in all fields of life which is every Indian's fundamental duty and that the dream of a New India envisages women who are strong, empowered and equal partners in development. In his monthly radio talk, he said a woman's power today underlined inner fortitude and self-confidence, which made her self-reliant. “Not only has she herself advanced but has carried forward the country and society to newer heights...Today the country is moving forward from the path of women development to women-led development," he said. Referring to International Women's Day observed every year on 8 March, he recalled the words of Swami Vivekananda, who had said the idea of "per- PTI Don't know why, feeling a strange restlessness. MUMBAI, 25 FEBRUARY P15 Army looking at larger talent pool, younger officers Legendary actress died of a sudden cardiac arrest in Dubai. She was 54 Border shelling: Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged heavy fire for over two hours along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district on Sunday after the neighbouring country's troops began firing indiscriminately, an Army spokesperson said. There was, however, no casualty reported in the firing which started in the Nowshera sector around 1645 hours and continued till 1850 hours, the spokesperson said. The Pakistani army initiated “unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics P5 and mortars. Kohli, Dhoni rested: Skipper Virat Kohli along with senior player Mahendra Singh Dhoni were prominent among the host of players rested for the T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka, starting March 6. Rohit Sharma will lead a second string team comprising the leading performers in domestic (Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 and IPL) tournaments. Shikhar Dhawan will be his deputy in a side that has as many as six changes. On predicted lines, top fast bowling duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have also been rested along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya after they shared enormous workload on the South Africa tour. P16 SAMEER VERMA LIFTS SWISS OPEN TITLE fect womanhood" was "perfect independence". "We are part of a tradition where men were identified because of women. YashodaNandan, Kaushalya-Nandan, Gandhari-Putra, these were identities of a son...," he said. As India observes National Science Day on February 28, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of the "relentless quest" for truth. "And this is the very essence, the real inspiration behind scientific inventions and discov- eries. Never rest till every why , what and how are answered," he said. On the issue of safety ahead of National Safety Day on March four, he said "if we are not aware of safety in our daily life, if we are not able to attain a certain level, it will get extremely difficult during the time of disasters," he said. Modi regretted that while people read signboards on safety, they often ignored the messages. He said till three years ago, thousands of people lost their lives every year because of heat waves. Since then, the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) has organised workshops on heat wave management as part of a campaign to raise awareness among the people. "In 2017, the death toll on account of heat wave came down remarkably to around 220 or so. This proves that if we accord priority to safety, we can actually attain safety," he said. On the newly-launched 'Gobar Dhan' scheme where rural waste would be converted to clean energy through biogas under the government's Swachch Bharat campaign, Modi said the aim of 'Gobar Dhan' -- or Galvanising Organic Bio Agro Resources -- was to ensure cleanliness in villages and generate wealth and energy by converting cattle dung and solid agricultural waste into compost and biogas. He pointed out that India had, at close to 300 million, the highest cattle population in the world, with a daily output of three million tonnes of dung. He said a target had now been set to use cattle dung, agricultural waste, kitchen waste to produce biogas-based energy. Under the scheme, farmers will be encouraged to consider dung and other waste not as waste but as a source of income. "There will be novel opportunities for newer jobs linked to waste collection, transportation, biogas sales. An online trading platform will be created for better implementation of 'Gobar Dhan Yojana' -- it will connect farmers to buyers," he said. Modi called for self-help groups and cooperatives to take this forward. "I urge entrepreneurs, especially our sisters residing in rural India, to step forward, and through the creation of self-help groups and cooperative societies extract full advantage from this opportunity," he said. In an unprecedented move, China's ruling Communist Party on Sunday proposed to remove presidential term limits from the party's Constitution, preparing the ground for President Xi Jinping to stay in power indefinitely after the end of his second term in 2022. The CPC Central Committee proposed removing the clause that the President and Vice-President “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” from the country's Constitution, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday. The removal of the term limit, which is expected to be endorsed by the plenum of the party to be held on Monday would give 64-year-old Xi, regarded as the most powerful leader in modern China, a limitless tenure. Xi's predecessors, Jiang Zemin who was in power from 1993 to 2003 and Hu Jintao from 2003 to 2013 stepped down as the general secretary of the party as well as the president in line with the rule of two terms to promote collective leadership system in the one-party state. If China pushes ahead with the proposal, Xi would become the country's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, who ruled for more than three decades through 1976. President Xi, who is also the general secretary of the CPC and chairman of the Central Military Commission, began his second five-year tenure last year, following a national Congress of the CPC. A seven-man leader- ship committee unveiled last year included no potential successor, raising the prospect that Xi intends to govern beyond his second term. Since then, all organs of the party have declared him as the highest leader of the party. setting aside the principle of collective party leadership that was followed in the last three decades. The CPC Central Committee also today proposed writing Xi Jinping’sThoughts on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into the country's Constitution. This would make Xi the only leader after Mao and his predecessor Deng Xiaoping whose thoughts were written into the Constitution. It would place him above the rest of the leaders of the party. Robert Lawrence Kuhn, an American scholar on China who moved closely with Chinese leaders and scholars for decades, told PTI earlier that the inclusion of Xi's thoughts in the Constitution and his “core leadership” status conferred on him by the party previously put him “substantially ahead of others” in the party. Besides the two-term rule, top Chinese leaders also followed a convention of retiring after 68 years.With the status of“core leader” and his name written into the Constitution, the retirement age limit is not expected to be applicable to Xi. MUMBAI, 25 FEBRUARY
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