CHENNAI SUNDAY MAY 24, 2020 `8.00 PAGES 24 LATE CITY EDITION SILICON VALLEY MAY MOVE TO PERMANENT WFH MODEL Facebook, Twitter and Google among firms considering a permanent work from home model amid the lockdown WHY THIS MAKES SENSE FOR COMPANIES Once the tech titans adopt the model, analysts predict other, smaller, companies will follow suit. Apart from saving money on building giant office spaces, companies can adjust the salaries of employees depending on the area where they live. In other words, workers who live in more affordable cities may not be able to keep their fat Silicon Valley paychecks 40% WILL IT HAMPER CREATIVITY? ■ While WFH is the buzzword right now, implementing it could take time. Facebook aims to adopt it over the next 10 years ■ Meanwhile, Google CEO Sundar Pichai expressed caution, saying full-time WFH may affect brainstorming—the creative process. “I expect us to need physical spaces,” he said in a recent interview OF FACEBOOK EMPLOYEES ARE INTERESTED IN WFH CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Why MSMEs find Centre’s `3 lakh crore credit line hard to come by @ Hyderabad / New Delhi / Bengaluru / Chennai TEN days after the Centre’s `3 lakh crore revival package, micro, small & medium enterprises continue to live in a finance-friendless world. Until last week, it was only a matter of time before rescue arrived. When it finally did come, the wait is again getting longer, both due to departmental de- lays and bankers’ reluctance. Unlike big businesses that hit headlines arm twisting governments for handouts citing job losses and systemic failures, this is a segment that strives to pay the piper. For them, the fear of a default cuts like a knife as it snaps whatever negligible institutional credit line they have for good. This story is about our capital-starved MSMEs, who sometimes are loved by the government, but mostly unloved by Temperature rises in Ladakh with India and China in face-off Indian Army rushes additional troops after China moved 5,000 PLA soldiers along LAC M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi in the contested Doklam Area. At present, in Easter n IN a proportionate response to Ladakh, PLA troops are spread Chinese mobilisation of troops out on the stretch right from in Eastern Ladakh, the Indian Galwan to Demchok. The 145 Army has rushed additional km long Pangong Tso lake lies troops to the area. near Galwan from where the “The Indian Army has mobi- stand-off started. Pangong Tso lised Reserve Force to match up is a glacial lake lying at a height the Chinese deployments,” said of about 14,000 ft and is strada source aware of the develop- dled between India and China. ment, adding the Army has fac- Pangong Tso’s 45-km stretch is tored in any future increase of under Indian control. troops in the area. On May 5, the Norther n The decision to move for- Flank of the lake became the ward additional troops was flashpoint for the stand-off taken after the Chinese when Indian troops People’s Liberation stopped the Chinese Army brought in a Regtroops near Finger 5. iment commanded by a The finger area conSenior Colonel having a It looks like the sists of a series of disChinese are strength of around puted mountainous 5,000 soldiers. A Chi- prepared for a spurs along the lake. long haul similar nese Senior Colonel to the Doklam The scenario turned Rank is equated with a ugly last week when stand-off Brigadier of the Indian PLA men reportedly atSenior officer Army . tacked Indian soldiers The decision also with rods, stones and comes in the wake of Indian punches leading to retaliation Army Chief General M M Nar- from the Indian side. avane’s visit to Ladakh on “India overlooked the heightFriday . ened activity of PLA in the China has also moved its Bor- Eastern Sector of LAC. The der Defence Regiment close to Chinese had been focusing on the borders. In response, India this sector for the past two has moved the Indo Tibetan years,” said a strategic analyst Border Force ahead on the In- who tracks China closely . dian side of Line of Actual According to data shared Control (LAC). with Parliament in November In June 2017, Indian Army 2 0 1 9 , t h e r e w e r e 2 7 3 and PLA had a 73-day long transgressions in 2016, 426 in standoff when the Chinese 2017 and 326 in 2018 with a large tried to change the status quo number of them happening in in the area by building a road Ladakh. WITH THIS ISSUE P L U S 1 2 PA G E S the banking system. Or so it appears. Often, successive governments are seen cherishing MSMEs, perhaps because they make for a fantastic metric. They are humongous in size, 6.3 crore and counting, are among the biggest employers engaging 11 crore, add 30 per cent to nominal GDP, 45 per cent to manufacturing output and 48 per cent to merchandise exports. Yet, MSMEs are currently living on the breadline with AMIT BANDRE S U N I T H A N AT T I , J AYA N TA R O Y C H O W D H A R Y, B I S M A H M A L I K & B I N I TA J A I S W A L Oxford University What is the vaccine? The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine is made from a virus ChAdOx1, which is a weakened version of the common cold virus, the adenovirus. It has been developed by the Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group at the university. How does it work? After receiving the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, it is hoped that the vaccine will activate the body’s immune system to attack the adenovirus and prevent it from entering human cells and stop an infection. At what stage is it? The first phase of human trials began in April with about 1,000 volunteers aged between 18 and 55. On Friday, the university announced that it was entering Phase 2 with volunteers above 55 years. The Serum Institute of India has been closely working with the university. VACCINE RACE Pfizer What is the vaccine? Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have been working on the BNT162 vaccine, an mRNA vaccine. @ Chennai THERE seems to be no respite for Tamil Nadu. With 759 fresh cases, the State’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 15,000-mark, reaching 15,512, on Saturday. Five more people died, taking the toll to 103. Chennai had 625 cases, while 49 cases were among the people returning from other States and countries — including five from Phillipines and seven from UK. Districts neighbouring the capital city too saw a steady rise in cases, with Tiruvallur reporting 22, Chengalpattu 39 and Kancheepuram 13 new patients. All the patients who died on Saturday were from Chennai, had co-morbidities and were over 50 years of age. The city now accounts for 72 of the total deaths in the State, while it has 5,865 active cases. As many as 74 people who returned from other countries existing schemes (read the `3 lakh crore credit guarantee plan), while requests for working capital loans to cover rentals and employee salaries are not being evenly entertained. Meet Jayarammu Mayanna, who runs a physical vapour disposition coatings business in Peenya, North Bangalore. Mayanna’s humble enterprise employs 12 and his loan request drew a blank as the bank manager was blissfully unaware of the Covid-relief package. Similarly, Hyderabad-based Oxford University on Friday said the vaccine it is developing for the coronavirus has entered the second phase of human trials. Earlier in the week, the US-based company Moderna announced their vaccine candidate prompted an immune response in the human body in Phase 1 of the clinical trials. If in the coming months a vaccine to prevent Covid 19 is available, it could become the fastest vaccine ever made. But where do we stand? Over 100 potential vaccines are in the making, but our hopes are pinned on four TEXT: SUMI SUKANYA DUTTA At what stage is it? Pfizer started dosing its experimental vaccine on participants in the US in Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials. The firm plans to enroll 360 volunteers. Satish (name changed), who makes and supplies equipment for mining and manufacturing companies, was left dumbfounded when his banker broke the bad news that there were no fresh guidelines to offer collateral-free credit. “I am currently making rounds at various banks and have not achieved anything so far,” explained Mayanna, who also is a member of Peenya Industries Association and Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association. CONTINUED ON: P5 Moderna RNA What is the vaccine? The Massachusetts-based biotech company Moderna’s vaccine candidate is said to be moving ahead of schedule. Its mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate was the first to enter clinical trials How does it work? It uses a messenger RNA, or mRNA. An mRNA is a Sinovac What is the vaccine? Sinovac Biotech Ltd is working on an inactivated vaccine called CoronaVac. Preclinical results are encouraging molecule that produces antigen. The antigen activates the immune system, helping the body to defend itself against Covid-19 At what stage is it? The company has been doing Phase 1 trials and has received the US Food and Drug Administration nod to start advanced trials. The company said trials had shown good results At what stage is it? The firm is also doing Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials and has announced that it is in discussion with regulators in other contries and the World Health Organization to launch Phase 3 TTD to auction 23 assets worth `1.54 crore in TN E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Tirupati RUSH TO GET HOME Thousands of migrant workers thronged the Palace Grounds in Bengaluru on Saturday to get their names registered to return home a day after Karnataka govt said it will bear the cost of migrants travelling on special trains | PANDARINATH B HOPING TO RESTART INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS BEFORE AUGUST: CENTRE 2,600 MORE TRAINS OVER NEXT 10 DAYS The Indian Railways will operate 2,600 more Shramik Special trains in the next 10 days to take more than 36 lakh stranded Indians to their homes, Railway board chairman YK Yadav said on Saturday. The railways has already operated about 2,600 trains since May 1 | P7 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi UNION Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said the government will try to restart a “good percentage” of international flights before August. “I can’t put a date on it. But if somebody asks can it be done by August or September? My response is why not earlier depending on the situation,” the minister said, adding, “I am hopeful that before August or September, we will try to start a good percentage of international civil aviation operations.” The minister clarified that domestic passengers who don’t have Covid symptoms and have a green status on Aarogya Setu app need not be quarantined on reaching their destinations. THE Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has decided to auction 23 immovable properties including house sites and agriculture lands at different places in Tamil Nadu. The total upset value (bidding value) of the 23 properties has been fixed at a little over `1.54 crore. The TTD Board of Trustees, which met on February 29 had resolved to dispose of the immovable properties, which are unviable and not maintainable by TTD through public auction as per the upset values fixed by constituting TTD teams. Though the proceedings for the auction of the 23 properties were issued by TTD Estate Officer V Devendra Reddy on April 30, the issue came to light only on Saturday . The resolution was communicated to the department concerned on March 17 and thereafter, proceedings were issued on April 30 and two different teams constituted for conducting the public auction. The two teams have been entrusted responsibility for conducting a public auction in respect of the above properties, finalisation of the successful bidders, and remitting the sale proceeds to the TTD account. The two teams were asked to prepare a plan of action for conducting public auction by splitting the 23 properties equally among the two teams. TTD officials said disposing of the unviable and not maintainable by TTD is a routine matter. But, state BJP state chief Kanna Lakshminarayana said the decision hurts the sentiments of the Hindus. Only departures from city airport? E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai The State government has appointed Hans Raj Verma, Additional Chief Secretary of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, to coordinate domestic air operations and formulate a strategy to handle incoming passengers. Domestic flight operations in the State are likely to resume on Monday However, it seems that only . departures will be allowed. Sources said a final decision is likely P4 after a high-level meeting on Sunday . RS Bharathi arrested under SC/ST Act, released on bail hours later 759 cases, 5 deaths take TN past 15K mark, toll at 103 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE banks literally folding the tent on borrowers, whose payments are behind schedule as unpaid dues pile up and economic activity ran aground due to the lockdown. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman may have announced relief measures amid drumbeats, but her package, apparently hasn’t reached bank branches yet. So existing borrowers are being turned at the door, with some even getting ridiculed for making enquiries about non- EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at a meeting in Salem on Saturday have tested positive so far. Of tem 38 initially tested negative, but tested positive on exit after seven days. Of the 5,136 people who returned by trains till May 23, five have tested positive, while, 818 samples are still under process. Meanwhile, 363 more people were discharged on Saturday, taking the number of discharged patients to 7,491, which is almost on par with the 7,915 cases currently active. The number of people tested so far in the State will soon reached 4 lakh, with 12,155 people being tested on Saturday alone. The number of testing labs too has P2 risen to 68. @ Chennai DMK organising secretary and Rajya Sabha MP, RS Bharathi, was arrested at around 5.00 am on Saturday by Central Crime Branch based on a complaint filed under the SC/ST Act on March 12 for comments he made on February 15. By 10.50 am, the 73-year-old had been released on interim bail till May 31 by the Egmore Court. Bharathi’s lawyers argued that his family included doctors and being placed in prison under judicial custody amid the COVID-19 pandemic might pose a risk of spread of infection to other inmates, the principal sessions judge R Selvakumar of Egmore Court noted while granting the bail. Bharathi was released on executing a personal bond of `10,000. However, he has been asked to surrender before the court on June 1 without fail, subject to the criminal original petition pending before the court, the judge added. DMK president MK Stalin condemned arrest and accused the AIADMK government of being behind it. However, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami dismissed his allegations. “The arrest is a legal action,” he said, claiming Stalin was simply attempting to P3 gain political mileage.
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