KOLLAM l TUESDAY l SEPTEMBER 15, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION ORACLE BEATS MICROSOFT IN BID FOR TIKTOK’S U.S. OPS ByteDance, the Chinese owner of the popular TikTok app, has chosen Oracle as its ‘trusted tech partner’ in the US DID NEW CHINESE LAW SCUTTLE MS’S BID? PARTNERSHIP, NOT OUTRIGHT SALE: WSJ Analysts say a new Chinese law that bars TikTok from transferring its technology to a foreign buyer without Beijing’s sanction, may have helped scuttle Microsoft’s bid. ByteDance had on Sunday said it won’t sell TikTok’s algorithm. However, Microsoft was keen on having a full control over the algorithm to “prevent China from using the app to snoop on Americans” ■ The deal between ByteDance and Oracle is being structured as a partnership and probably won’t be an outright sale, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources ■ China’s state-owned media reported on Monday that ByteDance will not sell TikTok’s American operations to Oracle | P9 Sept 20 DEADLINE TO SELL TIKTOK’S U.S. OPERATIONS TO AN AMERCIAN FIRM 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 LIFELINE FOR SMALL BIZ CENTRE ORDERS 500 BIG FIRMS TO CLEAR MSME DUES tor delayed payments to the MSME sector, shows that AFTER cracking the whip on 54,241 cases involving dues of Central and state public-sec- `15,846 crore have been filed tor enterprises, the Ministry by MSMEs in facilitation / of Micro, Small and Medium arbitration councils so far. Enterprises on Monday diOut of this, 3,910 cases rected large private firms to with dues of `715.4 crore clear their dues to small busi- have been settled while 21,462 nesses on priority . are scheduled to be heard afCiting legal provisions un- ter 15 days. Also, 9,314 applider MSME Development Act, cations have been rejected the Nitin Gadkari-led minis- while 4,764 have been settled try shot off letters with the buyer. to the heads of 500 Central public big companies seeksector firms owe a ing immediate rewhopping `2,650.63 lease of funds to the crore to MSMEs cash-starved venwhile state PSUs dors as the 75-day collectively owe lockdown tipped `1,608.92 crore. them over the edge. “Around `10,000 Many MSMEs are crore has been paid struggling to keep by C P S E s, ” t h e What the business afloat MSME ministry law says amid no demand said, while urging According to and consumers constates to clear paythe MSME serving cash in an ments pronto. Development uncertain world. The ministry now “Many MSMEs Act, 2006, dues plans to take up the are doing business to MSMEs must matter with other with big corporate be cleared within big firms through 45 days of the groups. However, social media. It reacceptance of minded corporates the payments are the goods / that they are mannot coming from buyers and users of service rendered dated to file halfyearly returns with their goods and services. These payments are the corporate affairs minisvery important for MSME try on their MSME dues. The ministry also asked operations, sustenance of jobs and other economic ac- entities having more than tivities at the grassroots lev- `500 crore turnover to come el. This will ultimately bene- on board the Trade Receivafit the entire economy,” the bles Discounting System MSME ministry said. (TReDS) to improve cash flow While the exact quantum to MSMEs. TReDS is an onof money owed to MSMEs is line platform that facilitates not readily available, the gov- financing of trade receivaernment-run MSME Samad- bles of MSMEs through mulhaan website, meant to moni- tiple financiers. S E S A S E N @ New Delhi Oppn raises slew of issues during Zero Hour LAC tension, NEET and GST compensation flagged; govt pushes its legislative business EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE first day of the Lok Sabha’s monsoon session saw the Opposition using Zero Hour to raise a host of issues, including students’ suicide amid the NEET exams, LAC tension and nonpayment of GST compensation to states. On the treasury side, the government introduced a number of legislations and got approval for a couple of them. Speaker Om Birla rejected adjournment motions moved by Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and party MP K Suresh, who sought urgent discussions on the Chinese incursions in east Ladakh. While Chowdhury attempted to raise it, Birla said he could speak when the House takes up discussions on the matter. In his brief remarks, Chowdhury saw in the incursions China’s conspiracy to occupy 1,100 km of Indian land from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh. He sought a clear reply from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule drew attention of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to the wobbling econ- omy and unemployment situation. “The biggest challenge right now in the country is the state of the economy and unemployment,” she said. Leader of the DMK in the House T R Baalu raised the issue of 12 students from rural backgrounds who had allegedly committed suicide due to the NEET exams for admission to undergraduate medical courses. “Within a month of the school exams, they had to appear for NEET. They were all bright students,” said Baalu. The Lok Sabha passed two bills — The National Commission for Homeopathy Bill, 2020 and The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2020 — after brief discus- MSP MECHANISM TO STAY, SAYS GOVT Amid Opposition protest over introduction of agrarian legislations, the Centre on Monday said the Minimum Support Price mechanism will stay irrespective of recommen-dations of experts. The government introduced three legislations pertaining to the farm sector POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE? Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying tribute to former President Pranab Mukherjee and others who passed away recently, in Parliament on Monday | PTI sions. The Opposition charged that the government was rushing with legislations without addressing concerns of stakeholders. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan rebutted it, saying the recommendations of parliamentary standing committee on the legislations have been incorporated. The BJP and the Trinamool Congress members renewed their rivalries after veteran member Saugata Roy commented on the finance minister and Union minister Prahlad Joshi demanded an apology. The remark was later expunged. The bills introduced in the Lok Sabha include a proposal to bring cooperative banks under the supervision of the RBI, with Sitharaman giving details of the extent of the NPAs. 29 MPs test +ve on Day 1 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi CLOSE to 30 PMs tested Covid-19 positive on the opening day of Parliament on Monday . While 17 Lok Sabha MPs were found infected — 12 from BJP, two YRS Congress, and one each from the Shiv Sena, DMK and RLP — 12 Rajya Sabha, members tested positive — two each from BJP and Congress and one each from AIADMK, TRS, AAP and Trinamool Congress. All Covid protocols like social distancing, usage of masks and sanitisers were observed on Day 1 of Parliament. While close to 200 members SCHOOLS According to the government data, over 32 lakh migrant workers returned to their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh amid the lockdown. Bihar drew about 15 lakh people, while Kerala saw nearly 3.1 lakh migrants return. About 72,000 workers returned to Tamil Nadu and 37,050 to Telangana P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi THE Centre on Monday told Parliament that it does not have any data on the number of migrant workers who died during the 68-day lockdown, but said about 1.04 crore workers travelled back to their hometowns during the period. In a reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, the government also said no compensation has so far been paid to the relatives of the migrant workers who lost their lives during the lockdown. Though the Centre says it does not have data on deaths of migrant workers, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) had revealed in May that at least 80 migrants died on Shramik special trains alone. Many non-governmental organisations have also put together data on migrant worker deaths during lockdown. The SaveLife Foundation, an NGO working for road safe- Panel orders to cut down 4 trees to ‘save’ man from bats IN STATE NOT TO REOPEN IN SEPT-OCT Though there are several queries regarding school reopening, it will be inappropriate to do so at this point, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. M A N O J V I S W A N AT H A N @ Kochi ty on May 31 said, 198 migrant , workers have died in road accidents. “It is shocking that the government says it does not have the data on migrant deaths. It was all over the papers. We have seen reports by independent organisations. Everyone knows there was a crisis,” said a former IIM-A professor, who wished not to be named. A senior official of SHRAM, an NGO, said, “It’s shocking that the government did not bother to collect data on this.” Responding to a question on the status of migrant workers in Tamil Nadu, the Centre said, “India, as a nation, has responded through the Central and state governments, SHGs, RWAs, medical health professionals, sanitation workers as well as several genuine and bonafide NGOs in the nation’s fight against the unprecedented humanitarian crisis due to Covid-19 and the country-wide lockdown.” KSU state president K M Abhijith being cornered by police officers after he fell down amid the lathi charge after the organisation’s protest march to the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram, demanding Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel’s resignation, turned violent on Monday. Abhijith was admitted to a private hospital after he fractured his leg in the melee | VINCENT PULICKAL No charges, no need for Jaleel to quit over fabricated stories: CM EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @T’Puram THREE days after the Enforcement Directorate quizzed Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel in connection with the smuggling of gold through the UAE diplomatic baggage, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said categorically on Monday that there is no need for J a l e e l t o q u i t ove r t h e incident. There was no precedent of a minister quitting after being interrogated as part of an investigation, he said. “Some quarters sent a lot of complaints deliberately to the investigating agencies and it’s their responsibility to bring POLICE TEAM TO CHECK FAKE NEWS A police team led by ADGP Manoj Abraham has been constituted to check the creation and spread of fake news, CM Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday. The government had set up a ‘Fact Check’ team in PRD for the same purpose. clarity to the complaints,” Pinarayi said in his press briefing. “No charges have been levelled against the minister. Only some fabricated stories are doing the rounds. So there is no need for the state government to worry .” Reiterating that the investigation is progressing in the right direction, the CM said the investigating agencies checked with Jaleel details pertaining to the consignment of religious texts received from the UAE Consulate as he is the minister in charge of the ● More on P4 Wakf Board. GOOD NEWS `44L/yr package. Placement season augurs well for state’s fresh engg grads A N U K U R U V I L L A @ Kochi HERE’S some good news amid the economic slowdown and Covid-19 pandemic. The new campus placement season, which kicked off this month, augurs well for the fresh graduates of the state’s premier engineering institutes. The placements, being held through online tests and interviews due to the pandemic, are seeing blue-chip corporations such as Amazon, Cisco, Oracle and Goldman Sachs hiring fresh engineering grads from NIT-Calicut, the College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET), Cusat School of Engineering were in attendance in the Lok Sabha chamber, over 30 were seated in the visitors’ gallery above the main chamber. BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi took to twitter saying, “After the routine Parliament test for COVID & genome test it’s confirmed that I have tested positive for the virus.” Another MP Jamyang Tsering Namagyal wrote, “My health is fine but I’m being advised to quarantine.” Others who tested positive included Suresh Angadi, Anant Kumar Hegde, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Deepender Singh Hooda, Naranbhai J Rathwa, A Navneethakrishnan, Sushil Gupta, V Lakshmikantha Rao and Shanta Chhetri. COVID SCARE No data on migrant worker deaths during Covid lockdown, says Centre 32 LAKH MIGRANTS RETURNED TO U.P. The integrity of the RT-PCR tests was put under the microscope as Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) convenor and Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal tested positive in Delhi but negative in Jaipur. “I got myself tested for COVID-19 on the Lok Sabha premises. It was positive. Afterwards, I got the corona test done in Jaipur’s SMS hospital, which showed the result as negative. Which is accurate?” he wondered on Twitter and others. The students have also been offered salary packages in the range of `20 lakh/ annum to `44 lakh/annum. This is almost as good as last year, said placement officers in the colleges. Some of the fresh B-Tech grads have pocketed `50 lakh as CTC (Cost to the Company). Computer Science, Electrical & Communication and Electrical Engineering are once again the most soughtafter streams, like in recent years. “Compared to 201920, 2020-21 is seeing only a slight dip in the number of candidates recruited,” said NIT Calicut training & placements headSameer S M. “This time more students are likely to receive internship offers so that companies will get more time to decide on their selection after observing their perfor mance for two months in the summer of 2021 for final deployment on the field in 2022,” he added. ● More on P5 NIPAH virus had demonised bats and Covid-19 seems to have added to the public’s scare. Following rumours that the flying mammals are one of the biggest reservoirs of deadly viruses, a Pathanamthitta resident approached the Kerala State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) and obtained an order to chop down four trees that harbour them! The commission on Monday ordered to axe four badam trees at Kadamankulam junction in Kallooppara panchayat in Pathanamthitta, as it found substance in complainant Saji Oommen’s argument that the bats roosting on the trees were spreading fear of infection. Commission member V K Beenakumari, in her order, directed Kallooppara panchayat secretary to cut down the trees within a month and submit a compliance report. A KSHRC release said Saji approached the commission complaining that the bats could spread deadly diseases like Nipah and Covid. Kallooppara panchayat secretary had submitted a report that the overhanging trees were posing a threat to the public. However, the commission dismissed this argument. The commission observed that there was substance in the argument of the complainant that the droppings of the bats falling on his house premises posed a threat of infection to his family . Green activists, expressing anguish over the order, pointed out the bats play an essential role in ecology ● More on P5 .
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