TIRUCHY TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 15, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 14 LATE 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 S E S A S E N @ New Delhi 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 the payments are minded corporates the goods / not coming from that they are manbuyers and users of service rendered dated to file halftheir goods and seryearly returns with vices. These payments are the corporate affairs minisvery important for MSME try on their MSME dues. operations, sustenance of The ministry also asked 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. 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. 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 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 ONION 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. NEET Ex-judges defend actor, seek to ‘put issue to rest’ EXPORT BANNED WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT The Centre on Monday banned the export of all varieties of onions in a bid to increase its availability and curb its price rise in the domestic market EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai No data on migrant worker deaths during Covid lockdown, says Centre NEET issue rocks Assembly on Members of the Legislative Assembly pay homage to departed parliamentarians, former MLAs, and those who lost their lives due to Covid-19, on the first day of the monsoon session at Kalaivanar Arangam in Chennai on Monday 32 LAKH MIGRANTS RETURNED TO U.P. 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- 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.” the first day of monsoon session T M U R U G A N A N D H A M @ Chennai MONSOON session of the State Assembly had a stormy start on Monday, with the Opposition pressing its demand for a ban on the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). Leader of the Opposition, MK Stalin, said many NEET aspirants had died during the past few days, and that a condolence resolution should be adopted. DMK MLAs were also seen wearing face masks with the words: “Ban NEET, Save TN students.” Speaking to reporters after the House was adjourned, Stalin charged that the ruling AIADMK had failed to exert sufficient pressure on the Centre to scrap NEET, and that the government was staging a drama in this regard. However, Minister C Vijayabaskar hit out at Stalin’s re- marks and said, neither DMK nor the Congress had any moral rights to raise the NEET issue. “Everyone knew that the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) notification for NEET was issued on December 27, 2010, when the Congress-DMK government was in power.” NEET was being implemented based on a Supreme Court verdict, and the AIADMK had been consistent in opposing the same, the minister added. Venue changed The Assembly venue has been shifted after 10 years, from Fort St George to Kalaivanar Arangam so as to maintain social distancing among members. The hall here is an exact replica of the one at Fort St George. Meanwhile, Stalin also said numerous notices were given by the DMK and its allies, to discuss various issues of public interests, including the National Education Policy (NEP) and NEET, however, the Speaker did not accept those demands. In remembrance On the first of the three-day session, the House also paid homage to late parliamentarians – for mer President Pranab Mukherjee, Congress MP H Vasanthakumar, DMK MLA J Anbazhagan – and those who lost their lives fighting the pandemic. Speaker P Dhanapal read out obituary references for former MLAs, including former ministers A Rehman Khan, K Lawrence, trade union leader G Kalan, and former BJP president KN Lakshmanan. DE-CRIMINALISED Same-sex marriages not part of Indian culture & law, S-G tells Delhi HC K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi SAME-sex marriages are neither part of Indian culture nor a part of the law, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Delhi High Court on Monday while opposing a public interest litigation (PIL) demanding marriage rights for the gay community under the Hindu Marriage Act. The court was hearing a PIL filed by four members of the LGBTQ community — Abhijit Iyer Mitra, Gopi Shankar M, Giti Thadani and G Oorvasi — contending that even after the Supreme Court decriminalised consensual homosexual acts, marriages between same-sex couples is still not possible. The submission by Mehta was made during a hearing before a bench comprising Delhi High Court Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan. Mehta challenged the petitioners’ contention that the Hindu Marriage Act does not distinguish between heterosexual and PERSONAL OPINION? Solicitor General Tushar Mehta clarified in his submission that he hasn’t received any instructions but was merely pointing out legal provisions to show that the law does not permit same-sex marriages. He said he will file a detailed note on the same homosexual marriage since it doesn’t describe marriage as a union between man and woman, but only two Hindus. He said the relief sought by the petitioners cannot be granted unless several laws of the land are altered. Justice Jalan said changes have taken place across the world and when two men marry in a foreign country, neither is considered a wife. The court has asked the petitioners to file affidavits from members of the community who are aggrieved by the refusal of authorities to register samesex marriages and slated the hearing for October 21. FORMER Madras High Court judges on Monday came in defence of actor Suriya, after justice SM Subramanian wrote a letter to Chief Justice AP Sahi, seeking criminal contempt court proceedings against the cine-star. In a Twitter statement on Sunday , Suriya had remarked that while even courts were rendering justice through virtual proceedings, students were being forced to appear for NEET in person. Re t i re d HC judges – Justice K Chandru, KN Basha, T Sudanthiram, D Hariparanthaman, K Kannan and GM Akbar Ali – have written a letter, addressed to the Chief Justice, asking him to put the issue to rest by not initiating any contempt proceedings against the actor. In their letter, the judges said: “If the actor’s statement is read in its totality and consid, ering the good work done by him through his charitable trust – which helped hundreds of poor students to complete their higher education and get placements – we should show generosity and magnanimity in leaving the matter without any cognizance.” The judges added that it appears the actor had pointed out that the same court which dispenses justice through video conference had asked students to write the exam “without any fear”. “We are afraid that considering such a statement as contempt of court would be slightly off the mark, and did not require any action as requested by the judge,” said the letter. P4
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