kochi l monday l October 26, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l late city EDITION most of worst-hit states past Covid peak, says panel A majority of the 10 states worst affected by Covid may have already seen the pandemic peak in September or early October West Bengal yet to hit peak The curious case of Tamil Nadu In a shift from other states, West Bengal is yet to hit its peak, says a study on Covid progression conducted by a panel of the Department of Science and Technology. Cases should have peaked and started to fall by Oct 4 in WB, but the actual numbers show otherwise. Maharashtra, AP, Karnataka, UP, TN, Delhi, Punjab, MP and Gujarat are the other worst-hit states. P7 ■ With 57,959 cases on July 30, TN was the first to see Covid peak. But unlike Maharashtra, AP and Karnataka which saw a gradual decline after touching a peak, TN did not see a similar trend ■ From July 30 to Sept 8, active cases in TN remained above 50,000 per day. It was after Sept 9 that the figure came down to 49,000 3 states (Delhi, MP & Punjab) may see active cases fall below 1K by Dec 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 Unorganised sector Our jawans won’t yield even an inch: Rajnath in state saw 47% job loss in Apr-July M AYA N K S I N G H & P R A N A B M O N D A L @ New Delhi/ Kolkata Economics &Statistics dept study says 90% of enterprises defaulted on loan repayment 51% 50 55% 70 60 54% 80 69% 90 29% 40 30 20 10 00 April May Malayalis June July Migrants Enterprises which defaulted on loan repayment Manufacturing Trade 90% 88% Other services 92% ment’s effort to conduct a quarterly estimate of the GVA loss. It showed that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the unorganised sector and would affect the state’s economy and GVA. In spite of the phased unlock, economic progress was at a low pace,” P V Babu, director, Department of Economics and Statistics. The report says employment loss among migrant workers in the state did not come down even after lockdown restrictions were eased. The study also found that enterprises with bank loans faced a crisis due to loss of busi● More on P2 ness. Mass copying: KTU seeks report from principals EX P R E S S N EW S S E R V I CE @T’Puram Having cancelled the BTech third semester supplementary examinations held on Friday over reports of mass copying in four engineering colleges, the Kerala Technological University (KTU) has asked the principals of the colleges to submit reports on the irregularities. On the basis of the reports, the varsity will file a complaint with the state hi-tech crime inquiry cell as the students had reportedly misused WhatsApp to share answers. KTU cancelled the examination based on a report from the pro-vice chancellor and rescheduled it for November 5. ● More on P5 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST Job loss among Malayalis and migrants 100 73% 81% The Covid-19 lockdown dealt the unorganised sector in the state a severe blow, causing huge losses, reveals a study by the Economics and Statistics Department. The “Impact of Covid-19 in Unincorporated Sector Enterprises in Kerala”, arguably the only study on the slowdown based on a field survey, reported 47 per cent job loss in the sector between April and July . While April accounted for 74 per cent job loss, May (53 per cent), June (32 per cent) and July (29 per cent) indicated a gradual revival of the sector. A total of 9,261 enterprises in the manufacturing, trade and service sectors in the state were surveyed as part of the study . According to the 73rd round of National Sample Survey 2015-16, the state has 23 lakh enterprises in the unorganised sector, employing around 43 lakh people. “The unabated rise in Covid cases and the subsequent lockdown restrictions have had a negative impact on the workforce of the unorganised sector of the state. The pandemic pushed migrant workers to a grave situation of quitting their jobs and returning to their home states. This economic upheaval resulted in unemployment at its extreme,” the report said. “The unorganised sector contributes to nearly 50 per cent of the Gross Value Added (GVA). The study was part of the depart- 25% E x pr e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ T’Puram YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday asserted that Indian jawans would never forsake even an inch of the country’s land while calling for an end to the tense standoff along the Line Actual of Control (LAC) with China. “We want an end to the border tension with China. We want to restore peace. This is Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inspects a weapon at the Sukna Army Camp, in Darjeeling, on Sunday | PTI our objective. But at times, some nefarious incidents keep happening. But Indian Mann ki Baat Be ‘vocal for local’ during festival shopping, says PM E x pr e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said people need to keep health guidelines in mind while celebrating festivals during the Covid-19 times. Wishing people on Dussehra and other upcoming festivals during his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat, Modi said, “Today all of , you are carrying on with immense patience, celebrating the festival with restraint and hence, in our ongoing fight, our victory too is assured.” He also appealed to the people to remember the sacrifice and service of soldiers, who dutifully guard our borders while we celebrate the festivals at our homes. “We have to light a diya (lamp) at home in honour of these brave sons and daughters of Mother India,” Modi said. He appealed to the people to keep the ‘vocal for local’ resolve in their mind and give priority to local products while shopping for festivals. Emphasising that world is taking note of India’s products, he talked about the popularity of Khadi masks that gained global recognition during Covid times. Kochi Muziris Biennale postponed to Nov 2021 E x pr e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @Kochi Shattering the hopes of art aficionados and the tourism industry, the fifth edition of Kochi Muziris Biennale, which was scheduled to begin from December 12, has been postponed to November 1, 2021, in the wake of the unrelenting Covid-19 situation in the country . “We have decided to postpone the event as there will be great difficulty in bringing the materials for installations to Kochi,” said Bose Krishnamachari, presid e n t , Ko ch i B i e n n a l e Foundation. He said the travel restrictions due to Covid-19 have forced the foundation to postpone the biennial event. “Over the past few months, the Kochi Biennale Foundation has been discussing the Covid-19 situation with our stakeholders. With the pan- demic showing no sign of abatement in India, Kerala having slipped into the second spike of cases, prolonged travel restrictions, and generally unfavourable conditions on-ground, we have decided to move the opening of the Biennale to November 1, 2021. We expect that circumstances by then would be conducive for visitors, artists, staff, and others for a safe and complete Biennale gathering,” said an of ficial statement. Bony Thomas, treasurer, said it is impossible to get the government permission to host Biennale that will attract over six lakh people over a period of three months. “We have waited but found it impractical to continue,” he said. Thomas said the Students Biennale will continue as per schedule and will start the digital display from ● More on P5 February 2021. Bihar polls A school dropout, Sahni is making waves R a j e sh K u mar T hak u r @ Patna Amid the poll fever in Bihar, several activists, intellectuals and students from across the country, including JNU scholars, are these days camping in the nondescript Ratnauli village in Muzaffarpur district to campaign for a candidate — a Class 7 dropout electricianturned-MGNREGA activist, Sanjay Sahni. He is in the fray from Kurhani assembly seat in Muzaffarpur as an independent candidate. So, what’s it about 39-year- old Sahni that has drawn renowned social economist Jean Dreze and students from prestigious institutions towards his campaign? Well, it’s his exemplary work as a MGNREGA activist who has not only busted many irregularities in its implementation but also helped hundreds of poor people find work under the rural job scheme. It was a chance discovery of mismanagement and swindling of MGNREGA funds by elected representatives and district administration in his village that prompted Sahni to quit his electrician’s job in Delhi and return to Bihar in 2011. On digging deeper, he found large-scale loot of the funds. That’s when he decided to float MNREGA Watch, a national collective of workers and organizations working in this field, to spread awareness among labourers and to scrutinise policy implementation. Sahni targeted the spurious liquor business in the district. This won him the trust of rural womenfolk who joined his collective as volunteers in large numbers. ● More on P8 soldiers will not allow even an inch of the country to be taken away by anyone under any circumstance,’’ Singh said after performing Shastra Puja at the Sukna-based headquarters of the Army’s 33 Corps in Bengal on the occasion of Dussehra. Indian and Chinese militaries are in a standoff position all along the LAC in Ladakh since May The Defence . minister also inaugurated a 19.85 km-long in Sikkim a 19.85-km alternate road alignment on National Highway-310 in Sikkim, which serves as an important link to bolster defence preparedness in Nathu La Sector. Singh’s statement set the tone for his meeting with army commanders, who will attend a biannual conference in Delhi on Monday for the first time after the clashes in Galwan Val● More on P7 ley in June. Army chief gen set to visit Nepal on Nov 4 New Delhi: Army Chief Gen M M Naravane’s three-day visit to Nepal beginning November 4 is expected to have a significant diplomatic overtone. It will be the first high-level visit from India to Kathmandu since the neighbours’ ties came under strain, after Nepal came up with a map claiming areas in Uttarakhand to be part of its territory. Biden slams Trump for ‘filthy air’ remark E x pr e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi President Trump called India ‘filthy’. It’s not how you talk about friends, & it’s not how you solve challenges like climate change. Kamala & I deeply value our partnership & will put respect back at the centre of our foreign policy Joe Biden US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has lashed out at President Donald Trump over his comments referring to India’s air as filthy and said he and his running mate Kamala Harris deeply valued the US-India friendship. “President Trump called India ‘filthy’. It’s not how you talk about friends, and it’s not how you solve global challenges like climate change. @ KamalaHarris and I deeply value our partnership and will put respect back at the centre of our foreign policy ,” Biden tweeted as he retweeted his op-ed in the latest issue of ethnic India West weekly . “The Obama-Biden years were some of the best we’ve ever had between our two countries. A Biden-Harris administration will build on that great progress and do even more. We can and should be natural allies,” Biden wrote in the op-ed. “If elected President, I will continue what I have long called for. The US and India will stand together against terrorism and work together to promote a region of peace and stability where neither China nor any other country threatens its neighbours.” During the second presidential debate on Friday, Trump, while defending his decision to walk out of the 2017 Paris Accord, appeared to blame India, China and Russia for climate change. “Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India. The air is filthy I walked . out of the Paris Accord as we had to take out trillions of dollars,” he had said. Trump’s comments came ahead of the visit of US State Secretary Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper to New Delhi for the 2+2 Dialogue, where India and the US are expected to sign the BECA.
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