K. T. Rama Rao
Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao
|Minister of Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Industries, and IT & Commerce|
Government of Telangana
|Assumed office |
8 Sep 2019
|Chief Minister||K. Chandrasekhar Rao|
|Member of Telangana Legislative Assembly|
|Assumed office |
|Executive President Of Telangana Rashtra Samithi|
|Assumed office |
15th December 2018
Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao
24 July 1976
Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh (now in Telangana, India)
|Political party||Telangana Rashtra Samithi|
|Relations||K. Kavitha (sister)|
|Children||K. Himanshu |
|Father||K. Chandrashekar Rao|
|Alma mater||St. George's Grammar School|
University of Pune
|Awards||Inspirational Icon Of The Year - For Politics by CNN-IBN and Ritz Magazine Skoch Challenger of the Year 2015 |
IT Minister of the year 2017 by Skoch.
He is currently serving as the Minister of MA&UD, Industries and IT&C in Telangana KCR's Cabinet. K.T.R. is a Member of Legislative Assembly from Sircilla. He is the son of Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao, Chief Minister of Telangana and founder of Telangana Rashtra Samithi. K.T.R. has been awarded Most Inspirational Icon on the Year 2015 by CNN-IBN and Ritz Magazine. He is multi-lingual, being fluent in Telugu, English, Hindi and Urdu.
Early life and educationEdit
K. T. Rama Rao was born in the Karimnagar district of Telangana (erstwhile Andhra Pradesh), India, on 24 July 1976. His father, K. Chandrashekhar Rao, founded the Telangana Rashtra Samithi political party and is currently the 1st Chief Minister of Telangana. His mother K. Shobha Rao, is a home maker. His younger sister, K Kavitha, is the President of Telangana Jagruthi and a former Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha for the Nizamabad constituency, K.T.R. is married to K Shailima. The couple has two children.
K.T.R. was mostly educated in a boarding school environment through 7 different schools in 10 years. At the age of ten, he moved to Hyderabad and joined the Amravati Public School at Yousufguda before shifting to Nalanda Public School at Mehdipatnam. He completed his schooling at the historic St. George's Grammar School, Abids Road. Further, he pursued Intermediate from Vignan Junior College at Vadlamudi, Guntur, and went on to graduate with a BSc in Microbiology, Chemistry and Botany from Nizam College of the Osmania University at Hyderabad. He holds two Post-Graduate degrees—MSc in Bio-Technology from University of Pune and MBA in Marketing and E-Commerce from City University of New York (CUNY).
In 2006 his father, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, resigned from the United Progressive Alliance-I (UPA). K. T. Rama Rao resigned from his job to join the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and began campaigning for his father who contested for the Karimnagar Lok Sabha by-election in the same year. K. Chandrasekhar Rao won by a margin of over 2 lakh.
K.T.R. began his political career in 2009 when he contested the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly Elections from the Sircilla Assembly constituency. He won by a close margin of 171 votes, defeating independent candidate K. K. Mahender Reddy.
Soon after, K.T.R. and 10 other members from the TRS resigned from the Legislative Assembly in support of a separate State for Telangana. In July 2010, the High Court of Andhra Pradesh ordered the Election Commission of India to conduct by-polls in Sircilla and Vemulawada among other towns across the Telangana region. K.T.R. contested again from Sircilla and again defeated K. K. Mahender Reddy (now with the Indian National Congress (INC)), this time with a margin of 68,219 votes.
 When the Telangana Joint Action Committee organised a rail-road-transport blockade as part of the movement, K.T.R. spent a night with the protestors to push for a consensus on the formation of Telangana and asked for a timeframe to finish implementation.
On 15 October 2011, K.T.R. and other TRS leaders and activists were taken into preventive custody during another three-day rail roko agitation after police and paramilitary forces were deployed by the Kiran Kumar Reddy government to control the ongoing situation. They were released later. On 27 January 2013, K.T.R. courted arrest when he attempted to participate in the 'Samara Deeksha' (protest) at Indira Park in Hyderabad.
On 3 October 2013, 64 days after the Congress Working Committee's resolution on Telangana was passed, a cabinet note approved its formation in principle. In this context, K.T.R. demanded that a Bill be introduced in Parliament in an interview to Rajdeep Sardesai. He also declared that the impending "Telangana government will not compromise on any aspect of administration being delegated to the union government with regard to (the city of) Hyderabad."
He hinted at a working association with the Congress Party in the future. But on 5 December 2013, a group of Ministers report listed possible options of carving out Rayal-Telangana with 12 districts and Telangana with 10 districts. K.T.R. reacted strongly against the proposal.
After the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014, was passed by Parliament in February 2014, K.T.R. clarified on behalf of the TRS that large sections of the party have expressed their wish to retain regional identity in the Telangana discourse (vis-à-vis allying with the Congress Party in the new state). After the Bill received the President's assent and was published as an Act of Parliament in the Official Gazette of India, K.T.R. adhered to the principle of inclusive leadership by issuing a statement to the media in the wake of rumours attempting to scare people of Seemandhra residing in Hyderabad (vis- à -vis their safety and security once the new state would come into being on 2 June 2014):
"All sections must derive confidence from the fact that even at the height of our movement (for statehood), no individual, family or institution was harmed or alienated. This has been the philosophy of the party and it will continue to be the driving force in the days to come. We are looking forward for a Telangana that is growth-oriented, development-oriented, drives employment, education focused and takes care of the need of all sections of society." (April 23, 2014)
Finally, the first Legislative Assembly elections for Telangana, the 29th state of the Indian Union, were held on 30 April 2014 (which also coincided with the 2014 General Elections) K.T.R. contested as the MLA candidate for TRS from Sircilla against Konduri Ravider Rao from the INC, winning the seat for the third consecutive time by a margin of 53,004 votes. TRS emerged as the ruling party with the single largest majority in the assembly, winning a decisive mandate of 66 out of 119 seats.
K.T.R. was appointed as Executive Working President of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi Party (TRS) by the President and Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao.
Role as MinisterEdit
Minister for Information TechnologyEdit
Soon after assuming office, Information Technology (IT) Minister K. T. Rama Rao briefed the Chief Minister on large-scale projects for a progressive Hyderabad in a review meeting of the Information Technology and Investment Region (ITIR) Policy.
In December 2014, along with the Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation(TSIIC) Chairman, K.T.R. held discussions with the CEO of Smart City in Dubai with regard to developing Hyderabad under the ambit of ITIR. K.T.R. also called on Yusuff Ali M A, chairman of the Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group who said that his company would invest Rs 2,500 crore in Telangana's FMCG domainfor 2015-16. During the same time, Rama Rao visited the Sonapur camp in Dubai to interact with about 20,000 migrant workers from Telangana who resided there.
In May 2015, K.T.R. led an IT department delegation on a two-week tour to the United States with the agenda of discussing and reaching partnerships with corporate giants on various areas of collaboration with the Government of Telangana. The top brass of 30 leading companies which include John Chambers of Cisco, Mark Hurd of Oracle and John Veihmeyer, the global chairman of KPMG, met K.T.R. to discuss the new industrial policy and ease of doing business in Telangana. He met Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, and Amazon executives Monique Meche & John Schoettler who assured their continued support to the State's initiatives in the IT space. The Minister had also exhorted Non Resident Indians in a meeting at Seattle to be Goodwill Ambassadors in representation of the state government outside India.
In a bid to make Hyderabad a global city, K.T.R. was responsible in roping in close to half a billion dollars' worth of investments in one month alone (May 2015) for Telangana. Google announced that it would set up its biggest development centre outside the US in Hyderabad, with an outlay of Rs 1,000 crore. In June that year, Amazon announced that it would set up its second fulfilment Centre in the state that is expected to be larger than the existing one, K.T.R. declared during the inauguration of the latter at Kothur, Mahbubnagar district. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was reached between the Government of Telangana and Amazon Seller Services Private Limited (ASSPL). In partnership, Amazon India would offer training to sellers and Small and Micro Enterprises through seminars, workshops, and ready reckoners on e-commerce business. In July 2015, Uber had announced plans to set up its first Center of Excellence in Asia and invest upwads of US$50 million in Hyderabad, its biggest investment outside the US.
On 4 June 2015, K.T.R. met Hong Kong industrialists at a summit organised by CII where he interacted with close to 50 representatives from the electronic hardware manufacturing space over investments and opportunities in Telangana state. On 8 June 2015, K.T.R. met the top executives of Foxconn Technologies, FIH Mobiles and TECO Electric & Machinery Co as part of his visit to Taiwan and invited them to set up units in Telangana. In a meeting with the top executives of these firms, the Minister explained the new industrial policy of the State and the interest being evinced by several companies to set up their manufacturing units in Telangana.
He set up the largest start-up incubator, T-Hub on 5 November 2015. A 70,000-square-foot facility, the structure is constructed with an investment of Rs 40 crore in the first phase. The platform located at Gachibowliis one of K.T.R.'s landmark initiatives for the state's young talent pool to innovate, incubate and incorporate new ideas for entrepreneurship. Up to 300 start-ups and provides a futuristic workspace for up to 800 people at once. K.T.R. conceptualised the cell a step further than the norm by includingpublic private partnership and mentorship as core features of the facility. This, by outsourcing business mentorship to ISB, technology support to IIIT and IIT and legal guidance to NALSAR.
Phase II of the facility is expected to expand the space to over 3 lakh sq feet. Through the IT department, K.T.R.'s government has provided a seed fund of Rs. 10 crore to the T-Hub innovation fund and an initial capital of Rs. 125 crore is expected to flow into an accelerator-focused fund. He reportedly urged the Chief Minister in December 2015 to allocate a bigger corpus going forward. Additionally, K.T.R. revealed that his government is keen to complete the impending installation of more IT clusters along the Outer Ring Road, a gaming tower to promote animation industry, a Data Analytics Park and an SME Tower to encourage small and medium companies.
K.T.R. invited several industry leaders including Adobe Systems CEO Shantanu Narayen, Biocon chairman Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy among others to mentor young entrepreneurs of the state. In December 2015, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka met with K.T.R. during his visit to T-Hub. Soon after, the company announced that it was going to expand its Pocharam campus to double the capacity to 25,000 employees as compared to 12,000 employees, making it Infosys' biggest campus. The Dalai Lama Centre for Ethics and Transformative Values at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has decided to establish its South Asia centre in Hyderabad.
On 19 March 2016, K.T.R. urged Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to sanction Rs 100 crore for the second phase of T-Hub. Mr. Prasad was also urged to sanction Rs 3,000 crore due to the State for implementation of IT Investment Region.
Speaking about the government's single window clearance mechanism for mega investors like the TSI-PASS, K.T.R. said that more than 1,000 organisations had been given clearance between July and August 2015, paving the way for flow of investments worth Rs 25,000 crore and creation of 70,000 new jobs.
Another initiative reckoned as the brainchild of K.T.R. is the Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) that has enabledaround 40,000 out of the 75,000 engineering graduates turn readily employable for industry during 2015-16. In K.T.R.'s assessment of the needs of Telanagan's youth, the TASK should be mandated to create a workforce of 100,000 by the year 2022 through access to skill development. K.T.R. has linked T-Hub with this certification programmeto meet the said 5-year target through a sustainable ecosystem of job creation.
During a 2014 (CII) conference on Cyber Security, K.T.R. had urged industry to collaborate with the government to combat cyber crimes. This, while emphasising a dedicated workforce to defeat the threat that hackers pose to the IT infrastructure. Towards a Swachh Digital Telangana, in July 2015, two important MoUs were signed in the presence of K.T.R.. As a result, One MoU between the Government of Telangana and C.R. Rao Institute of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science to make cyber security part of the state's multi-policy framework. Another was signed between TASK and Samsung South West Asia in offering courses on software development and testing operations. In August 2015, the state government partnered with NASSCOM and Data Security Council of India (DSCI) towards making Hyderabad a cyber-safe destination.
On his Mumbai tour during February 2016, K.T.R. got assurances from Reliance Group and Tata Groups to invest in Telangana in varying capacities, especially the prestigious double bedroom house scheme. He is said to have extracted a promise from Mukesh Ambani for establishing a world class university in the State in Dhirubhai Ambani's name.
On 10 March 2016, Governor E S L Narasimhan stated in his address to the joint session of Assembly that, with K.T.R. as the first IT Minister of the state, the IT sector recorded huge exports of Rs 68,258 crore through 1,300 IT units, including 500 global companies, which shows 16 per cent growth.
Minister for Panchayat RajEdit
On 19 January 2015, K.T.R. announced that at least 29 government employees of various departments will be brought to work under the chairmanship of village sarpanches through a new Act that will strengthen village panchayats in Telangana. He also assured that his government will appoint special tribunals and ombudsmen for the purpose of accountability and grievance redressal. K.T.R. stated that the government has plans to spend Rs. 642 crore in 150 most backward mandalstill the year 2020 for improving livelihood and human development index under the Telangana PallePragathiprogramme.
In June 2015, K.T.R. urged Union Panchayat Raj Minister, Nihal Chand, to give priority to the new state and ensure that arrears of the 13th Finance Commission funds be released from the central pool with immediate effect. This, while appraising him of important programmes that include Our Village- Our Plan, Harithaharam and the much sought after construction of two bed room houses with basic amenities for the poor and weaker sections.
A Cabinet Sub-Committee chaired by Minister K.T.R. had formulated guidelines for the implementation of ‘GramaJyothi', a flagship programme of the state government which was launched on 15 August 2015. The guidelines envisaged that the perspective plan should focus on provision of basic amenities for rural development. To meet them, K.T.R. emphasised the allocation of funds to various works like provision of drinking water, health, education, electricity, sanitation and roads among others.
In September 2015, K.T.R. asked officials of the Rural Development department to explore the scope of linking development programmes like the Telangana PallePragathi, Kalyana Lakshmiand Beema Surakshaschemes  with the Stree NidhiCredit Cooperative Federation that ensures disbursement of credit to members of women's Self-Help Groups (SHGs). Towards inclusive growth, he then declared that the State Government had deposited Rs. 165 crore in Stree Nidhi Banks as on2 September 2015, and was offering interest-free loans to women's organisations across Telangana. The Stree Nidhi scheme, launched to counter Micro Finance Institutions, announced a dividend of Rs. 98 lakh for the State Government for the year 2012-13. K.T.R. congratulated his department for the said development and lauded the implementation of programmes conducted by the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP).
K.T.R. also unveiled that the State Government was planning to increase the bank linkage to SHG women from the earlier Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. He directed officials to construct Mahila Bhavans for SERP offices at the village level. In July 2014, K.T.R. had expedited the clearance of dues to the tune of Rs 14.96 crore for women beneficiaries of the Bangaru Talli scheme.
During a review meeting of the Department of Panchayat Raj held on 18 September 2015, K.T.R. announced that e-panchayat system would be rolled out across Telangana in the forthcoming months, the TRS government's flagship project in the e-governance space for a progressive state.
Towards women empowerment, he declared that about 10,000 women would be provided employment through the proposed comprehensive village service centers or PalleSamagraSevaKendram. These women, besides qualified youth, are trained and appointed as Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) to operate, supervise and implement government schemes at the village level.
Interacting with a group of women at a VLE training programme held at the Telangana State Institute for Panchayat Raj and Rural Development (TSIPARD), K.T.R. appreciated women from over 4 lakh self-help groups for successfully repaying Rs. 5,000 crore loans availed by thrift groups adhering to fiscal discipline.
On 2 October 2015, K.T.R. and Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy launched the E-Panchayat initiative at the Bibipet Village in the Nizamabad district of Telangana. About 100 PalleSamagraSevaKendrams were set up. All gram panchayats in the state went online for the first phase of the e-panchayat initiative which concerns issuing birth and death certificates. Streamlining the payment of MGNREGA wages and pensions to beneficiaries and ensuring overall reduction of corruption would ensue in later phases. K.T.R. had officially stated that internet broadband and V-Sat services were tested successfully and distributed subsequently for the purpose.
K.T.R. launched the Water Grid Scheme (Telangana Drinking Water Supply Project - Water Grid) in September 2015, with an estimated outlay of Rs. 35,000 crore. According to him, the State government is fully determined to complete the project, also known as Mission Bhagiratha, one that is expected to find a lasting solution to the drinking water needs of people in the State, much ahead of the stipulated time frame of three-and-a-half years. The government would also use hydraulic modelling software for determining the size of water pipelines, pumping capacity and height to which water would be pumped.
Wide spread success of the concept and implementation in the initial month impressed the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, who wished to replicate the model for the Bundelkhand Region. K.T.R. and a team of IT department officials had flown to Lucknow in October 2015 to give a presentation in respect of the Water Grid Scheme, alongside inviting Yadav to visit Telangana for a ground-level assessment.
Earlier, K.T.R. had also inaugurated the Rs. 10 crore Comprehensive Protected Drinking Water Supply (CPWS) Scheme at Puttakota in Raghunadhapalemmandal and a new rural water supply scheme at Edulapuram village in Khammam rural mandal.
On 27 January 2016, the Government of India, the Government of Telangana, and the World Bank signed a US$75 million credit agreement for the Telangana Rural Inclusive Growth Project. This was hailed as a significant boost to the rural development department on the ministerial watch of K.T.R. that would enhance the agricultural incomes of small and marginal farmers in the state, and ensure increased access to services related to health, nutrition, sanitation and social entitlements.
K.T.R. told the State Assembly in March 2016 that the state government would construct as many as 1,000 new Gram Panchayat buildings across the state in the first phase at a cost of Rs 130 crore. The new buildings will replace the dilapidated ones. The government has sanctioned Rs 13 lakh for each building. He also told the House that a total of 2.75 lakh LED bulbs would be fitted in 25 municipalities and nagar panchayats of Telangana government at a cost of Rs.10 per bulb as fitting charges.
Role in GHMC electionsEdit
Elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the urban local government body of Hyderabad, were conducted in February 2016. K.T.R. was made in-charge of the party's campaign for the election. He was entrusted with the complete responsibility of the party's campaign and publicity strategy since KCR was preoccupied with MLC polls. The odds were against the party in the city election since it had won only 2 out of 24 Assembly seats in previous GHMC elections.
The election has seen K.T.R. actively touring all 150 wards of the city in a span of one week, conducting more than 100 public meetings while canvasing for TRS. Starting as early as 6 am every day, he worked round the clock to participate and engage with important leaders in the campaign sending a strong message to party cadre. He was seen to use his marketing skills and political experience to promote the party as a strong contender in the election.
Hyderabad is a bastion for urban-centric parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) which draw their support from the large Seemandhra population and working class residing in the city. Proving the allegations that the ruling party was trying to conduct elections during the Sankranti vacation were wrong, K.T.R. asserted that he believed in inclusive leadership and that the party would win with the votes of Seemandhra people, exuding confidence that the people of Andhra region would also vote for the TRS seeing the development works of the government.
His initiatives as the IT minister of the State won the confidence of both the people and industry leaders making his campaign a success. He also reached out to Bengalis, Jains, Sikhs, Muslims and "basti log". The induction of local basti leaders, announcement of the double-bedroom scheme, regularisation of house sites and uninterrupted water supply attracted people from the basti to vote for the party in large numbers.
As a result, TRS won in 99 out of the 150 wards in the city, virtually wiping out the BJP, Indian National Congress (INC) and TDP. Political analysts attributed this to the articulate speeches of the double master's degree holder turned-politician that won the hearts of Hyderabadis and positioned him as the most preferred leader among young voters.
K.T.R. is lauded for the victory of TRS in the GHMC polls since the party had a bitter loss when it contested for the local government (Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad) elections in 2002, when it ended up winning just one division.
Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development and Brand HyderabadEdit
On 7 February 2016, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao announced an additional portfolio to K.T.R. as a compliment for successfully fielding the party to victory in the GHMC Polls. He was assigned the Municipal Administration and Urban Development subject in addition to the Panchayat Raj and Information Technology portfolio.
K.T.R. unveiled the government's vision for development of Hyderabad at an event titled "Brand Hyderabad" conducted along the lines of the popular "Town Hall" kind meetings in the US in December 2015. The event was an effort to engage all citizens, especially the youth, in the overall development of the city where he spoke about various issues like decongestion of roads, water grid, public amenities, solid waste management and law enforcement among many issues pertinent to the city. K.T.R. markedly delineated the broad vision for urban governance and globalisation of Hyderabad city.
Soon after taking charge as the urban development minister, he conducted a review meeting with municipal officials on various development works in the city and announced an action plan to develop Hyderabad in 100 days through participatory democracy. This included initiatives like digging 1,000 water harvesting pits, permission for house constructions within GHMC limits, a separate portal and App for complaints, encouraging sports, setting up 150 gyms and improvement of 20 colony parks.
For rejuvenation of the polluted Musi River, K.T.R. announced that the state government would approach the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Incheon, South Korea for a loan of Rs 3,000 crore. In a widely lauded populist move, he assured citizens that GHMC will remove accumulated debris from the drains in the twin cities by spending Rs. 30 crore and that works would be completed before the onset of monsoon in 2016. He also personally inspected various drains where huge piles of debris were accumulated causing obstruction to the free flow of water. K.T.R. appealed to the citizens to cooperate with government and join hands with the GHMC in making the city clean and green. The minister also appealed to the industrialists, manufacturers and hoteliers not to discharge the waste into the drains and warned that action be initiated against the violators.
In March 2016, K.T.R. said that the government was ready to form special-purpose vehicles, provide speedy clearances and ensure proper dispute redressal mechanism for firms investing in key infrastructure works, including flyovers, expressways and others in the capital region.
In the same month, K.T.R. announced that the Telangana government finalised three new IT growth corridors in Budwel, Miyapur and Tellapur, where around 250 acres of land for each corridor would be made available for private players to move in and help develop facilities under Public, Private Partnership (PPP) mode. Representatives from 25 nationwide firms participated in the interactive session chaired by Minister Rama Rao.
K.T.R. aimed at revitalising Hyderabad and boosting the state's economy by launching the Happening Hyderabad initiative for 52 events across 52 weeks a year. The concept encourages the hosting of several events in the city round the year from music and dance programs to food and art events. The Telangana government would partner with various event organisers by providing them financial or branding support, a first of its kind initiative by any state government in India.
K.T.R. replied to a query in the State Assembly in March 2016 that 74 per cent of Hyderabad Metro Rail project was completed. He informed members of the House that the metro line had been laid to an extent of 43 km in a short span of time and claimed that it is a world record for the world's biggest metro project in public private partnership.
In January 2016, K.T.R. met US Consulate General Michael Mullins and discussed the issue of students seeking admission in American universities from Hyderabad being sent back from the US. The Minister told Mullins that it was not correct to send back students who have secured valid visas after spending time and money. He said he would write a letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the issue.
In March 2016, K.T.R. announced that the long-pending Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP) in Old City area of Hyderabad would be completed in the by August and would be opened to public.
K.T.R. has been lauded for his fact-driven and comprehensive speeches that have engaged audiences about the Telangana government's policies. Speaking at the Spirit of Hyderabad event during January 2016, K.T.R. painted Hyderabad as a mini India and a point of confluence for various cultures.
K.T.R. laid the foundation stone for the IMAGE (Innovation in Multimedia, Animation, Gaming and Entertainment) Tower at Hyderabad Knowledge City, Raidurgam of Serilingampally mandal, on Sunday, 5 November 2017. The IMAGE Tower will be a centre of excellence with state-of-the-art facilities that will act as a catalyst for animation, visual effects, gaming and comics sectors in Telangana.
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