VILLUPURAM WEDNESDAY JULY 15, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION CENTRE ISSUES NORMS FOR ONLINE CLASSES BY SCHOOLS The Union HRD ministry on Tuesday recommended a cap on duration and the number of daily sessions for students MAX 30 MIN FOR PRE-PRIMARY STUDENTS In its set of guidelines called ‘Pragyata’, the ministry has recommended that the duration of online classes for pre-primary students should not be for more than 30 minutes. For classes 1-8, a maximum of two online sessions of up to 45 minutes each can be held, while for 9-12 classes, four sessions of 30-45 minutes duration each have been recommended ■ 240 mn CONCERNS ABOUT HIGH SCREEN TIME ■ The main emphasis of Pragyata is on balanced online and offline activities, keeping the screen time as an essential parameter in accordance with the level of students The ministry framed the norms after parents raised concerns about students’ protracted exposure to mobile/computer screens STUDENTS HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS, SAYS MINISTRY 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 Thorny issues block EMI moratorium extension A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi THE Centre is in favour of extending the moratorium on term loan EMIs beyond August 31, but an announcement will be made only after the legal and technical issues are fixed. “RBI has to sort out two things — one-time restructuring of loans and the legal response to the Supreme Court on whether banks can charge ‘interest on interest’. Only when these two issues are fixed, will an extension be announced,” said a senior official from the finance ministry . As the current moratorium will end in August, banks will have to declare many loans as non-performing assets in their second quarter result, else they will fall short of minimum capital requirement. Fitch Ratings estimates that under a moderate stress scenario, PSU banks will need at least $15 billion to meet Tier-1 nor ms. Which means the banks will require immediate recapitalisation. Restructuring will take away that burden to a great extent, but RBI will have to define the terms for restructuring before the current moratorium ends. Another issue is that many businesses have moved court over denial of moratorium and also over the interest charged during the relief period. Recently, the Karnataka High Court ruled that banks cannot deny moratorium to businesses whose survival is at stake. “Courts can ask RBI to enforce moratorium. Courts can also ask banks not to sit over borrowers’ request for moratorium,” said Veena Sivaram- ‘Interest on interest’ Last month, the Supreme Court said there is “no merit in charging interest on interest” for deferred EMIs during the moratorium period. The matter will again come up for hearing in the first week of August akrishnan, partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. But the situation is tricky as the SC is looking at the legality of ‘interest on interest’ (EMI already includes interest, so charging interest for moratorium period will be interest on interest). However, if this is waived, it will dent banks’ profitability So, extending the . moratorium without charging interest will be challenging for the finance ministry . EXPRESS READ Sathankulam case: Five cops in CBI custody India, China military commanders hold talks Five policemen arrested over the death of a father-son duo after being allegedly thrashed at Sathankulam police station, were sent to the CBI custody till July 16, by a Madurai court on Tuesday. The CBI had, originally, sought 5-day custody. P2 New Delhi: Indian and Chinese military commanders on Tuesday held over 10-hour-long intense negotiations on the next phase of troop retreat. Sources said Depsang and disengagement of troops from both sides from Finger4 was discussed Truth can be rattled, not defeated... My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all those who have come out in my support today Sachin Pilot, who was dropped as Dy CM Gehlot pushes out co-Pilot to crush Rajasthan revolt Sachin also sacked as the state party unit president, loyalists too axed RAJESH ASNANI & RICHA SHARMA @ Jaipur/New Delhi THE Cong ress on Tuesday sought to crush the Rajasthan rebellion by sacking Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and his two loyalist ministers from the Gehlot ministry buoyed as it was , by the chief minister showing his strength the Congress Legislative Party meeting the previous day . Apart from Pilot, Vishwendra Singh and Ramesh Meena were axed from the ministry, Ashok Gehlot later conveyed to Governor Kalraj Mishra in writing, seeking his approval. Pilot was also sacked as the state Congress unit president. In his place, Govind Singh Dotasara was appointed state PCC chief. However, the drama is not fully over as the Pilot camp as well as the BJP asked Gehlot to prove his strength on the floor of the Assembly The buzz in Jaipur is . Gehlot is confident about his numbers and might want to take a floor test in a few days. And Pilot is expected to speak his mind on Wednesday . The axe fell after the second CLP meeting in as many days, which was boycotted by the Pilot camp. The meeting adopted a resolution authorising action against the rebels, who are holed up at a resort in Gurugram. The CLP meeting was held at the Fairmount resort where all of them were shepherded to by Gehlot. Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Sur jewala later announced the big punitive action. He said Pilot was ensnared by the BJP into working to bring down the Congress government The numbers game In the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, the Congress has 107 MLAs and the BJP 72. An estimated 102 MLAs, including allies, attended the CLP meeting called by Gehlot on Monday. Among the Congress allies in RS polls, the Bharatiya Tribal Party with two MLAs decided to stay neutral in the floor test although he was given a lot of respect and key posts all through his career in the party . Party sources said the high command decided to take firm action after Pilot ignored repeated communication to join the CLP meeting and discuss his grievances there. “Pilot was not ready to yield and Gehlot on firm ground as he enjoyed support of most of the MLAs. Even the par- ty’s top leadership was against hard bargaining with Pilot. All efforts to find a middle ground failed,” said a senior party leader. “Both Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka were in touch with him but he decided to push his rivalry with Gehlot too far without accepting that he does not enjoy majority support to validate his claim for the CM’s post,” said another party leader. After meeting the Governor, Gehlot charged that Pilot had been working with the BJP for the past six months to topple his gover nment. “Pilot and his group are simply obeying whatever the BJP is dictating to them. The resort where they are staying has been organised and managed by the BJP and those people who are experts at toppling governments are controlling the entire game in the resort.” Meanwhile, Pilot and his loyalist MLAs continue to stay in Gurugram. A video clip from his camp appeared to show they had 16 MLAs. Later, the Maharashtra unit of the Congress suspended former spokesperson Sanjay Jha, who had already been dropped from his post. The action was taken for ‘anti-party activities and breach of discipline’. Chennai under control, cases spike in rest of TN E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai The districts in southern and northern tips of the State continued to witness a spike in Covid cases on Tuesday even as the situ, ation in Chennai was largely brought under control. A total of 4,526 fresh cases were recorded in the State, of which just 1,078 were in Chennai. Chennai’s share in the State’s caseload has come down from 50 to 24 per cent. Madurai, on the other hand, added another 450 fresh cases to its tally that now stands at 4,199. Tiruvallur and Virudhunagar have recorded 360 and 328 cases respectively . Despite the surge in Madurai, the government has announced that the intensive lockdown in the city would be relaxed from July 15. As in Chennai, complete lock- CHENNAI The city’s share in the daily caseload has come down drastically from 50% a few weeks ago to just 24% on Tuesday FRESH CASES EPS & TEAM at the CMO test negative. The Chief Minister is scheduled to visit three districts from Wednesday to review the Covid work DEATHS RECOVERED MADURAI 450 cases in 1 day in the southern district on the day before the lockdown was relaxed; second-highest after Chennai TOTAL CASES 4,526 67 4,743 1,47,324 down would be enforced in Madurai too on all Sundays in the month of July . A total of 67 deaths were reported on Tuesday across the State, taking the toll up to 2,099. Among the deceased was a 13 year old girl from Sivaganga, with chronic kidney ailments. The victim was ad- mitted on July 6, to Pudukottai Medical College Hospital. She tested positive on July 13, and died on the same day due to acute pulmonary edema, acute respiratory failure, CNS infection, TB meningoencephalitis, and chronic kidney disease. Two of the deaths reported on Tuesday were per- sons without comorbidities. Meanwhile, the famous Iruttu Kadai Halwa shop in Tirunelveli, which was shut down after its owner died of Covid, reopened after a gap of several weeks. Hari Singh’s grandson opened the shop, and will be taking the business forward. FULL COVERAGE: P4 LIFE & LIVELIHOOD Unnao returnees struggling to earn N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow Anuj Kumar (L) at his village work site Despite Mumbai being a costly city, I saved enough to send it home. But, here I can barely support myself Anuj Kumar, now a daily wage labourer THEIR numbers are maddening — more than 32 lakh — and their stories as repetitive as their existence in the persistent Covid-19 virulence. Lockdowns forced them back to their villages in Uttar Pradesh, where their sustenance is in question and their anxieties about better livelihood are growing by the day . Many have already started their journey back: Trains to Mumbai and Gujarat from Gorakhpur and Lucknow are running full and ads for cheap and direct bus services from east UP towns have started popping up on Facebook. For its part, the government has skill-mapped most of them. More than 10 lakh migrant workers have been absorbed in the rural jobs scheme, MGNREGS. Besides, the gover nment has signed pacts with various industrial bodies such as IIA, Naredco and Ficci to provide 11 lakh jobs. Plus, there is an assortment of offers under the newly launched PM Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana and interest-free loans to run enterprises. But all that appears to be in a flux going by snatches of conversations with these young migrants of Unnao: Anuj Kumar (30): The food delivery man is back from Mumbai, digging pits 1,500 km away in Unnao. He earned over `25,000 per month until lockdown became the order of the day Now, in his native . village Kalu Khera, he works as a daily wager for the forest department and earns `200 a day, not guaranteed for all 30 days. In mid-May Anuj along with eight , others took their four mobikes to make the 1,500-km journey Reach. ing home was the happiest moment of his life. “Despite Mumbai being a costly city I saved enough , to send it home. But, here I can barely support myself,” he says. CONTINUED ON: P7 NEET quota now for RTE students too E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai THE State Cabinet, which met on Tuesday decided to in, clude students who studied under the RTE quota up to Class 8 in government schools in the proposed horizontal reservation for medical admissions. Educationists have sought more clarity on the move. In its last sitting on June 15, the Cabinet gave its nod for 7.5 per cent reservation in medical admissions to government school students who clear NEET. It is expected that an Ordinance would be promulgated soon. After further consultations, sources said, the government decided to include RTE students also under the ambit. However, it’s not clear if the reservation will then go beyond 7.5 per cent. That apart, the Cabinet also cleared four new investment projects, worth a whopping `2,500 crore. Proposals to manufacture electric buses, automobile components, and paper boards are among those that have been approved. Together, these projects are expected to create employment for 4,000 people. The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, lasted for around 75 minutes. KP Anbazhagan, P Thangamani, and Sellur K Raju did not attend the proceedings as they are under treatment for Covid. Law Minister CVe Shanmugam was unwell, and skipped the meeting.
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