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Supreme Court verdict can stir up Indian sport

The board kept arguing that there was nothing wrong with its administration, citing how well it has spent its money in creating excellent infrastructure throughout the country to pave the way for India to become number one team in the world.

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A Supreme Court bench, headed by outgoing Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur, on Monday finally put its stamp on the Justic Rajendra Mal Lodha Committee report by ordering the removal of Anurag Thakur as president of the Indian cricket board and Ajay Shirkey as its secretary.

It took a year for the apex court to bring an end to a long, bitter argument over a new template for transparency, accountability and good governance to what is considered as the best run and financially sound sports orgnaisation.

The verdict is on expected lines, except that it could have had a relook at the one-state-one-vote and the tenure of office, if certainly not the age cap of 70, and somewhat modified the order.

Curiously, though the verdict has been delayed till a day before Thakur is to lay down his office. The only logical explanation could be to give the board to exhaust all its avenues to argue the historic case.

The board kept arguing that there was nothing wrong with its administration, citing how well it has spent its money in creating excellent infrastructure throughout the country to pave the way for India to become number one team in the world.

The court was obviously not impressed as the independent auditors appointed by the board itself found leakages and siphoning of funds by some of its state units without submitting certificates of utility.

The court has, however, did not accept the names suggested by the Lodha Committee to run the affairs of the board board in the interim after sacking the top officials and instead requested legal luminaries Fali Nariman and Gopal Subramaniam to help it in nominating persons of impeccable integrity for the panel of administrators.

The court has not left the matter to rest by removing Thakur, it has also initiated contempt proceedings against sacked board chief. He has to respond as to why he should not be held liable for obstructing the implementation of the court’s directions on reforms.

In his initial reaction to the verdict, Anurag Thakur said for him it is not a personal battle, the fight is for the autonomy of the sports body.

Even as he stated that he respects the court judgment, he took the cue from former board president Sharad Pawar, saying if the apex court feels that board can do better under retired judges, I wish them all the best.

Pawar told the captains of the industry at the FICCI annual General Meeting a couple of weeks ago that the Supreme Court, which has so far been guiding how to run the country, will now decide how to organise cricket! He did not want to elaborate his remark for what he said “fear of facing contempt of court proceedings”.

As the case dragged on for a year, some of the state associations were putting the succession order in place their kin to take over. But that may not allow them to run either the board or their state units with remote control all that easily as the CEOs will now on be calling the shots.

Rats have already started fleeing. A couple of them did in the last two months when the Lodha Committee exposed the misdeeds of these state units. The first state to announce that it will fall in line soon after the judgment is Andhra Pradesh, whose secretary Gokaraju Gangaraju, Member of Parliament from Andhra, belonging to Bharatiya Janata Party like Anurag Thakur, the young MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh.

Like a good politician Gangaraju defended the delay in seeing the virtues in the Lodha Committee recommendations and quipped: Everyone was together but now that the verdict is out there is no question of defiance!

As Gangaraju added that the board officials have spent long enough to know how to run the administration, implying the politicians in the board will go about their work.

The same politicians can create chaos, more so in the states, but as the Lodha Panel have made sure there are enough safety valves to implement the July 18 apex court order. They could disregard timelines up to a point, but will realize now that they cannot disobey any longer as there is no escape route.

As Justice Lodha said his committee’s report could as well be a model standing order for other sports orgnaisations in the country, ending the “monopoly of a few people in controlling them for years and decades”.

The time is ripe to enforce the excellent template on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) when nothing seems to be going right for it.

Neither the IOA, along with its affiliated state units, nor the national federations will easily accept it, but they can be compelled to do so like the apex court did in the case of the cricket board.

Indian sport is in the process of a great churning and something good will come out of it.

Cities

What happened to our officer in Mumbai is not right: Bihar CM

Kumar, however, did not talk about the CBI probe in the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

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Nitish Kumar Sad

Patna, Aug 3 : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed his displeasure over the way Bihar Police IPS officer Vinay Tiwari, who is in Mumbai to probe Sushant Singh death case, was treated by the Mumbai Police. Tiwari was forcibly quarantined upon arrival in Mumbai by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials. The Chief Minister said whatever happened with Tiwari in Mumbai is not right.

Talking to media persons in Patna, Kumar said, “What happened to the IPS officer who went to Mumbai to investigate the Sushant case was not right. He was carrying out his duty.”

Kumar further said that the Director General of Bihar Police will talk to the officials of Maharashtra about the alleged mistreatment of Tiwari.

Kumar, however, did not talk about the CBI probe in the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Mumbai on June 14, in what the Maharashtra Police said was a case of suicide.

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India

Your last minute Raksha Bandhan gifts guide

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New Delhi, Aug 3 : Nothing should stop you from making siblings feel loved this Raksha Bandhan. If you are still searching for the perfect Raksha Bandhan gift for your sibling, here is a list of last minute gifting options you can grab from your nearest shopping mall.

Whisky

You can gift the The Glenlivet 12 YO to your brother which is one of the classiest, most sophisticated malts. This whisky has been called a lot of things in its time: smooth, fruity, complex, sophisticated, entertaining, classic. Representing The Glenlivet’s signature style, this classic malt is first matured in traditional oak, before spending time in American oak casks which impart notes of vanilla and gives the whisky it’s distinctive smoothness. The mineral-rich water that comes from Josie’s Well helps form the flavours during mashing and fermentation, whilst the specific height and width of the copper stills add a delicate yet complex character.

Price: Starts at Rs 3,500

Wine

If your sister is a wine lover, gift her Jacob’s Creek wine which is rooted in 175 years of wine-making tradition. It is one of Australia’s leading global wine brands, offering quality with great varietal expression. A bottle of Jacob’s Creek is more than a wine, it is a warm, generous, life-loving attitude as it is created with consumers and their evolving tastes in mind.

Price: Starts at Rs 1,100

Hair Straightener

Philips SenseIQ Hair Straightener is for those who love styling their hair. This intelligent hair straightener’s sensors measure hair temperature more than 20,000 times per styling session to quickly adapt temperature to lock in up to 70 percent of the hair’s natural moisture. It helps in maintaining the hair’s essential strength providing vibrant shine on the outside and healthy strong hair on the inside.

Price: On request

Hair Dryer

To provide the most effective yet protective hair drying, Philips SenseIQ Hair Dryer’s sensors measure hair temperature more than 4,000 times per styling session to quickly adapt temperature to lock in up to 90 percent of hair’s natural moisture. This results in hair which is dry yet retains natural moisture.

Price: On request

Philips Facial Pen Trimmer

DIY facial hair removal is often a concern for women, especially now when salon visits are being given a miss. However, the Philips Facial Pen Trimmer will be the perfect solution for hair removal from eyebrows, upper lips, and forehead. Featuring a compact and portable design and providing a pain-free experience, the trimmer comes with a click on comb and cleaning brush.

Price: On request

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India

‘Students will need Covid tests every 2-3 days to keep campus safe’

The analytic modelling study of a hypothetical cohort of 4,990 college-age students without SARS-CoV-2 infection and 10 students with undetected asymptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection were conducted.

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New York, Aug 3 : To fight against novel coronavirus, researchers have revealed that college students would need to be tested for Covid-19 infection in every two to three days for safely reopen of campuses this fall.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, defines the screening performance standards for SARS-CoV-2 tests that would permit the safe return of students to the US residential college campuses this fall.

“In the absence of an effective vaccine, the best hope for reopening campuses in the fall is likely to be a robust strategy of behaviour-based prevention combined with regular monitoring to rapidly detect, isolate, and contain Covid-19 infections when they occur,” said the study authors from the Yale University in the US.

For the study, the research team used epidemic modelling to test different monitoring programmes that would minimise Covid-19 cases and also maintain a college’s ability to isolate and quarantine infected students.

The analytic modelling study of a hypothetical cohort of 4,990 college-age students without SARS-CoV-2 infection and 10 students with undetected asymptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection were conducted.

The findings suggested that frequent screening (every two days) of all students with a low-sensitivity, the high-specificity test might be required to control outbreaks with manageable isolation dormitory utilisation at a justifiable cost.

The research team found that every infection prevention strategy on the table will be crucial to preventing campus outbreaks — including frequent hand-washing, wearing masks, social distancing in classrooms and dorms.

In this modelling study, symptom-based screening alone was not sufficient to contain an outbreak, and the safe reopening of campuses in fall 2020 may require screening every two days, uncompromising vigilance, and continuous attention to good prevention practices, the researchers said.

“The safe return of students to residential colleges demands an effective SARS-CoV-2 monitoring strategy,” the study authors wrote.

“Results suggest that a highly specific screening test that can easily be administered to each student every one to seven days,” they added.

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